UK financial services consultant, Michelle Hoskin, is an expert on best practice advice. In this article, Hoskin shares her expertise with her Australian peers, and examines what it means to be the ‘best’…
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, ‘best’ can be defined as: ‘Of the highest quality, or being the most suitable, pleasing, or effective type of thing or person’.
The problem with the term ‘best’ is that it is so subjective – what is deemed ‘best’ by one person may not be deemed ‘best’ by another. However, one thing is for sure: it’s the only standard on which we should pride ourselves and which we should strive to achieve every day.
So, what has this got to do with financial services?
Well, pretty much everything! I have had the honour of working with some of our profession’s finest financial advisers, planners and firms, and it continues to sadden me that regardless of their personal, professional and business achievements, many are still suffering from the same complexities and challenges, all of which are distracting them from achieving their true potential and from becoming the ‘best’ possible version of themselves.
So, what are these challenges and complexities?
- No clear vision of their true purpose
- A lack of top management buy-in and support
- No strategic plans by which the vision and goals will be achieved
- Poor team management and leadership skills
- Under-resourced, inadequately skilled and poorly trained staff
- Inefficient workflow and task management systems
- Ineffective time and diary management
- A lack of practice management guidelines, operational procedures and unique ‘house style’
After many years of seeing these challenges take hold of each one of you I have designed a programme called ‘The 8 Principles of WOW!’.
it’s the only standard on which we should pride ourselves and which we should strive to achieve every day
While there is clearly a great deal of science behind the process, the concept is simple. Draw a marker in the sand and ask yourself: “If I were starting my business from scratch tomorrow (without any clients, any staff and any baggage), what would ‘best’ look like?”
In particular, what would ‘best’ look like in the following key areas?
- Processes and procedures
- IT and technology
- Key stakeholders
Only when you have done this will you have a clear vision of what ‘best’ means and looks like to those who are most important.
So, to end, I have seen and experienced first hand how amazing life can be for both you and your clients, but to achieve the life that you want, you need to wake up to the fact that failing to address the challenges and complexities outlined above will prevent you from achieving your true potential and from becoming the best possible version of yourself.
Michelle Hoskin is the leading operational best practice expert in financial services. Internationally recognised, she is innovative and inspirational in her approach. She believes that in order to change the professional face of financial services forever, each and every adviser and planner must achieve their true potential and becoming the best possible version of themselves.