When working with our advisor clients at ActiFi, we use the following model to help our clients conceptualize how to look at what they believe to be good information and good ideas. The model is as follows:
Data => Information => Knowledge => Behavioral Wisdom
Used in many forms, the most useful way to use the model is to understand the challenge of moving from the left to the right of the equation with the biggest gap being moving from Knowledge to Behavioral Wisdom. Admit it: there is an overabundance of data and information floating around and it is impossible to process it all. Despite the difficulty, what is achievable is the ability to change existing behaviors and adopt new behaviors in a consistent and effective way.
There is so much information available to advisors in written form, at educational conferences, with online video presentations and Webinars, but little of it is effectively implemented. One of the things that I am personally committed to, what I want to see happen in this profession, is for more advisors to adopt powerful ideas and information into their practices. In this difficult market and economic environment, it is critical for advisors to build better businesses and deeper client relationships. Now is the time to adopt this model and focus on developing behavioral wisdom so that the proven concepts and ideas actually benefit our clients and your own businesses.
To focus and adopt, advisors first need to recognize how difficult human behavioral change is and balance the resources they allocate to implement new ideas. Many times advisors buy a new software package or instruct their staff to implement a new idea in their business, but do not spend the time to understand the impact on their processes and more important, the impact on individual employees’ job responsibilities.
A balanced approach to implementing new ideas involves spending approximately equal amounts of time on three distinct areas of the process:
- evaluating and purchasing technology or the idea
- documenting and understanding the impacted processes
- and changing management as it relates to the specific employees who will be affected by the new technology or business idea.