This year has been one unlike any other. While we are all looking forward to the calendar turning over and a COVID-19 vaccine becoming widely available, the truth is that we are technically still in a crisis that won’t simply go away on Jan. 1.
And we are not in one crisis; we are experiencing many. In addition to economic struggles, advisors and their staff are dealing with kids not in school, unanticipated technological issues and too much change to handle all at once.
When we are overloaded, strategic planning becomes more challenging. Therefore, as we head into 2021, advisors need to change the way they think about strategic planning.
For example, telling your clients they should make big, life-changing decisions during a transitional time in their lives would not be providing sound advice. In the same vein, now is not the time for most advisor firms to make big, company-changing decisions.
This is what advisors need to do instead: Focus on the now.
Given the amount of change we are experiencing today in both our professional and personal lives, advisory firm leaders should stay focused on day-to-day activities instead of projecting into the future.
Even though employees, partners and boards may want to know what your 2021 plan is, the challenges of 2020 will continue into the new year — and we have to continue to act as if we are in a crisis.
This means that leaders need to put their focus on the daily needs of their team, not setting goals for where they want their company to be at the end of next year — which could look very similar to the one we are about to finish.
Not ‘Normal Times’
In the current COVID-19 context, if you move beyond a daily focus then it’s all too easy to exhaust your workforce. And let’s be honest, your workforce already is exhausted.