In my career I have had the privilege of working with some very hard working, excellent employees and young advisors. But there is one thing that you (as an employee or an advisory firm manager) need to watch out for when firms have highly productive, capable employees.
Having these people on your team is a very good thing—in fact, it’s the key to a successful advisory practice. However, as the company grows, highly motivated employees will take on more roles and relationships in the company because they can, and are willing to do whatever the firm needs. Just because they are capable doesn’t mean they should take on more. When they do, job functions in the company become unclear, motivation and quality falls, and owner/advisors often lose sight of how the firm actually runs. In the management consulting biz, we call this problem “scope creep.”
In order to be a thriving firm you,actually want employee roles to have the opposite effect—to become more focused and specialized. I know this is counterintuitive to most business owners, but trust me, it’s important.
Consider: At most advisory firms, the majority of employees and partners are doing a minimum of four job functions. For instance, one advisor may serve in the roles of Junior Partner, Head of Financial Planning, and have Lead Advisor functions and Support Advisor functions, depending on how you define these roles.