Over the past 20 years, we’ve seen many advisor firms unintentionally stop growing. But why?
In many cases, the growth plateau was either a conscious or unconscious decision made by firm owners, who had realized their staffs had become too large for them to manage.
Some owners brought in managers to take up some of their load. However, in most cases, this just added to their management overload.
Once we realized how widespread this phenomenon had become, we started looking for ways to enable advisory firms to continue to grow — without overloading their leaders, hiring unnecessary managers and implementing useless performance reviews.
The traditional performance management systems of an advisory firm business model are largely broken, and what’s most helped to fix these systems has been building “self-managed teams.”
Tools and Training
We helped give self-managed teams the tools and training they need to succeed, a clear idea of the job they are supposed to be doing and a simple, yet accurate, way to measure whether they are succeeding. A small group of people are in the best position to figure out what needs to be done — and then to do it.
A self-managed team is one that works autonomously within the business and that manages itself — without outside oversight and/or performance reviews.
It has full responsibility over one area, which typically is a segment of the business and/or a group of clients. Often, the team is made up of a group of four people and/or advisors with a range of experience and expertise.
These teams share leadership roles, with complete autonomy to make decisions within their scope/client bases. In other words, each team member is a player and a coach.
Their roles include making decisions about remote work, schedules, accountability and goals. The teams have self-accountability to be successful, and all members of the team share in any blame or kudos.