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Educating, Influencing and Encouraging a New Growth Mindset

By Joey Havens

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In my previous blog, we talked about “the gap” and our need for a wake-up call regarding moving to an advisory services mindset. 

So how do we move our organizations towards advisory services? How do we seize our future by being relevant starting now? I think there are four foundational building blocks, and we’ll discuss the first one today: MINDSET SHIFT.

Our team members will not move to providing advisory services until they have a mindset shift. How can we accelerate this shift? First, we must understand that our knowledge and many of our analytical skills make us perfectly suited to be the primary advisors for businesses. Unfortunately, we have put ourselves into the accountant box and are comfortable there. Spreadsheets, tax returns, data input, transactional advice. It’s been great the last 100 years.

We will struggle to get our firms out of this accountant’s box without a mindset shift by our team members. But we can begin that shift by developing a common future view. A common futureview is very powerful in helping each other move past and over the gap.

As Daniel Burrus says, “Our future view will determine our future.” Our future view is simply what we believe the future holds. What hard trends will happen regardless of other trends? Are we intentional in understanding the future facts around us and how that shapes our world? Or are we haphazard in our future view? 

One thing shaping our future view at HORNE is that we’ve experienced 55 years of incremental change since our firm’s inception in 1962. Now, more change is coming in the next five years than in those past 55 years combined. We treat this as a future fact. The amount and speed of the change we are facing informs our future view. Most of our conversations and thinking involve incremental change, our experience says incremental change, yet we know it is not incremental anymore. I love this Malcolm Gladwell quote, “Change is gradual until it isn’t.” 

We’re standing on eight future facts that shape our future view:

Until this point, this blog is word for word what I shared in March 2018. Wow, did Malcolm Gladwell get it right. Pandemic equals accelerator on steroids. DISRUPTION everywhere. What is amazing is that the future facts that we based our strategy on, that we used to help professionals shift to a mindset of advisory, are actually more relevant in 2021.  

These future facts, which many are already prevalent today, can help us influence, educate and collaborate with our teams. Our strategies can be developed and accelerated based on our team understanding and embracing a future view that doesn’t look like 2015 or 2016 or 2017 or 2018 or any of the past 20 years. Let’s revisit our 2018 Future Facts:

  1. There’s more automation of our technical knowledge today and we are in the midst of an exponential jump in that automation. This is an opportunity as team members can elevate to higher-value work.   
  2. Business models based on time are not as relevant or profitable. The higher growth and profitability are being driven by firms capturing the worth of advisory services. We didn’t say these legacy models would not exist, they simply are already fading as newer business models are driving more growth.  
  3. The pandemic disrupted almost all business models in some way. Uncertainty is rampant both on the survivor side as well as the opportunity side. Clients are screaming for help if we simply listen to them. This is a future fact that is already here and waiting on us. 
  4. We are seeing more competition for different types of professional service firms, technology companies, and private equity dollars are intensifying that competition as new and creative business models are introduced to our clients.  
  5. Anticipatory skills are distinctive and already providing firms with exponential growth. In the midst of uncertainty and disruption, things move so fast, being agile is not enough to thrive. You must help your client anticipate the next opportunity or challenge.  
  6. Let’s combine 6 & 7, as the talent war is real and growing. We are seeing early retirees that are causing this talent gap to expand. 
    The evolution in how people want to work and live is creating huge demands on the workforce. Talent recruiting and retention has never been more important. The only winners here will be those who have grown not simply good cultures but great cultures! Cultures with a clear and vibrant purpose, sharing a story of building something that people choose to be part of. Patrick Lencioni was so right as he stated, very quickly, culture is going to be the only competitive advantage. It is a huge advantage today. 
  7. Emotional Intelligence is absolutely critical to leading teams and clients today. Leadership development is a critical challenge for every organization.  

How well does your entire organization understand these future facts that are really not future facts anymore? 

We have some new future facts that we will be working on after this series of building blocks for advisory services. Unfortunately, we cannot change someone’s mindset. That is an individual choice, just as many will either avoid or ignore or deny these future facts that are here.  

Building block one is moving the entire organization forward with a mindset of advisory and a futureview that creates opportunity around new services and new opportunities. A mindset of growth and strategy that is responsive to these facts and the future facts appearing on the horizon. 

Next week we will visit how important confidence is to move us forward.