Bounce forward, to a better business as usual

17.10.20 11:10 AM By Melanie

Photo by Edwin Hooper.

2020 started with a considerable challenge for the financial planning profession, that is, the need to comply with a new universal set of standards and values. Although significant, there was time to prepare and evolve and, although there’s a long way to go, it’s fair to say the profession met the challenge as a whole.


Then something happened that few would have predicted. The pandemic - COVID-19. Shutting down businesses, closing state and national borders and giving super fund members early access to their super is something none of us thought would define the year. 

Unlike other changes, COVID-19 didn’t give us much notice. There wasn’t time to prepare yet it’s forced a change to the way financial planning does business. It has changed many client’s needs, wants and desires and long-term outlook too. Those without financial planning advice must feel more anxious and uncertain about the world, seeing their employers closed, seeing their investments and superannuation balances fall. Many were also patiently praying for either JobSeeker or JobKeeper to arrive, to give them back some sense of financial certainty. Those with financial planners surely had better emotional support, information and outcomes.

Not only were clients affected, it was our own colleagues and our own businesses too. We had to suddenly change the way we did business. Not only were we forced to rush to buy work from home IT equipment, there was also the need to continue to support new advice needs under these new work conditions. A move from work to retirement, an investment need or perhaps a move to aged care all continued to create advice needs and pressure to meet them. Of course, the need for good advice for existing clients also increased as they too adapted to a new and unfamiliar world. 

This is what makes change – planned or unplanned – interesting; it takes us out of our comfort zones and makes us move to a new state. 

We have a choice. 

Photo by Brendan Church.

We can either just survive it or seek to thrive as a result of it. We know that sudden unplanned change drains the human battery faster than just about anything else. It can leave you feeling anxious, deflated, un-energetic and at times even completely disinterested. Have you felt any of those things or seen someone feeling those kinds of emotions? The answer is probably yes. These are normal human reactions. Many are happy to step back into a defensive position and just ride it out to survive it.

   

Last week, we saw early signs of state and territory governments allowing us to return to a modified normal as cafés and restaurants re-opened with restricted numbers. This week, in NSW at least, it was announced school is going back full-time from next week.

Is the financial planning profession and is your business ready to bounce back?

The idea of bouncing back or snapping back from a challenge isn’t a new one. It’s the idea that after being through a trauma we quickly return to life as it was. Our reality is we think it’s a flawed idea. We never really will bounce back exactly to life as it was. Any unexpected event and certainly something as big as the COVID-19 virus will change the way society and its individuals’ function both in the immediate and longer term.

 

We think the idea of bouncing forward is a better one. Instead of the idea of throwing a ball at a wall and bouncing back to you, it’s more like the idea of stretching an elastic band on your finger to shoot it forward. In other words, we just don’t come back to life the way it was, we come back to a better life than the one we had before the change.

At Striver, we don’t presume to have all of the answers but here’s a quick checklist that might assist you think about your own staff and business and bounce forward.

Working remotely from home

  • What challenges has it presented?
  • Have all of these challenges been solved?
  • Can staff be productive working from home and can management be satisfied this is the case?

Advice strategy

  • Are we ready to deal with less aspirational more defensive clients?
  • Are we ready to create more defensive advice strategies?
  • Can we develop new skills to light the pathway for clients out of COVID-19 and into their new bounce forward world?

Advice process and technology

  • What challenges has it presented?
  • Have all of these challenges been solved?
  • Can we effectively deliver advice differently and in a more flexible manner for our clients?

Current human resource considerations

  • What challenges has it presented?
  • Have all of these challenges been solved?
  • What do we need to do to ensure our people contribute to their own bounce forward, as well as their clients and business bounce forward?
  • What management and leadership skills are required to develop new talent the right way, to nurture future advisers for professional success?

New human resource considerations

  • What gaps do we need to fill immediate and in the near term?
  • What do we need to do to fill the gaps amongst either new or existing staff?
  • Can new entrants to the profession, like graduates be recruited and molded to support your business and help the sector thrive into the future?

COVID-19 safe office environments

  • What are the issues we need to consider?
  • What are the gaps we need to fill: Safe Work Australia has some free resources on this one that are really worth checking out, across a range of different work environments. 

With a bounce forward ethos, there’s a fundamental shift of attitude. Suddenly, the defensive position of change seems to present an opportunity to mix things up and make things better. Now there’s something new to get excited about. It’s an opportunity to genuinely move forward proactively, to a world better than the one that we had.

 

Striver hopes a bounce forward idea replaces the negative feelings with positive ones like being hopeful, optimistic, and feeling energetic. These feelings can lead you to a place where you and your business are under improved control, to a place where you have genuinely bounced forward.

 

Striver provides the financial planning profession with the opportunity to attract, hire, retain and develop highly vetted graduates, at the right place, at the right time and at a competitive price. We also seek to remove the risks created by undertaking the recruitment all by yourself. Above all, Striver prides itself on delivering talent that is aligned to your culture. 

To find out more or to join us, please visit www.striver.careers. To get started simply click ‘Join the Tribe’. If you’ve already joined the tribe, you are welcome to also come and meet our newest ‘Strivers’ through their online profiles. We wish you the best with your own bounce forward plans and look forward to working with you if we can assist. 

Join the Tribe
Related Article
Mentorship
Mentoring matters - the advice professional's 'ultimate' pay it forward

It's been a year like no other we've experienced. The financial planning profession has had an unprecedented year of change and as a result... Read

Related Article
Partnership
Supporting the Next Generation

Published by Colonial First State: Colonial First State is supporting the long-term sustainability of the financial advice industry by partnering with Striver... Read 

Related Article
Industry
Accounting firms’ loss could be financial planning’s gain

Published by Accountants Daily:

Graduates whose job offers at big four accounting firms have fallen through due to COVID-19 cutbacks are now turning to... Read
Articles & Media