A little less conversation, please

As I’ve documented in my last couple of blogs, I’ve made some changes to my lifestyle to help me achieve my goal of being leaner and fitter for 2017. The first hurdle was the realisation I needed to make the change but the biggest challenge is actually doing it. Thankfully, the strategy is paying off and, although it’s not at all easy, I am reaping the rewards so I’m highly motivated to see it through.

I came across this graph that illustrates the typical processes we go through around the change process:

Change psychology graph Jan 2017

I’m highlighting it because, aside from my personal fitness crusade, I see many financial advice firms struggling to come to terms with the thought that they need to change their business models to be leaner and fitter and, ultimately, survive in this digitally-driven world.

Reading the trade press, there’s a strong theme that promotes the fact that the old order of financial advice is becoming out-dated. Automation is putting pressure on fee structures and increasing the threat of business being lost to the robots. There is optimism too, but the main message is that IFA firms need to embrace change and they need to do it sooner rather than later.

My day job involves me in having many conversations about change with firms, both large and small. I rarely hear any arguments about the need to do something to address the issues being highlighted in the media. What I do see though is a reluctance to actually start to put into place a plan of action that will start a process that will lead to better business outcomes. It’s not surprising: when things are going well in terms of the here and now, it’s easy to put thoughts of change to the back of the mind. The problem is, digital advances are happening at rapid speed and the concern is that those businesses that put off until tomorrow what they should be addressing today will not be in the lean and fit shape they’ll need to be in to prosper in the medium to long-term.

As Elvis so eloquently put it: a little less conversation, a little more action please.