This is the second in a series in which we explore the Seven Steps to a Successful Client Transformation Services Practice. This post will focus on Vision and Strategy – two components that are inextricably linked in creating success for any business. These two components are linked thru leadership. The leader of a business, organization or practice has to set the future direction and have the ability to communicate that vision to the team in a way that creates alignment.
Think of your most successful clients – I would be certain that those companies have several things in common:
- Consistent, strong, full-time leadership
- A shared vision that is communicated by the CEO and is understand at all levels of the company
- A well-defined strategy for everything from what niches to target to what the financial structure needs to look like to what is the best way to attract and retain talent.
If it is good enough for those successful businesses, shouldn’t it be important to you as you build your client transformation practice? I run into too many firms that don’t make this connection and the practice flounders.
Let’s look at a few common mistakes:
No True Leader – All your research and discussions have led you to realize that outsourced advisory services will be the engine for future growth. You understand that to provide this level of service will require a different mix of talent and competencies than your traditional QuickBooks practice. So, what do you do? You ask a tax partner to lead this effort – without developing a plan to transition the tax clients away in short order. So, this hugely important growth area will be led by someone who has statutory deadlines about 6 times per year, and in effect will be an absentee leader. Does that sound like something your growing clients would do?
No Shared Vision – Vision has gotten a bad rap ever since President H.W. Bush called it “that vision thing”. Vision is not a “thing”, it is something you and your team create intentionally. The EOS folks have dissected this and found four root causes for why a vision is not shared:
- Too complex
- No agreement was truly ever reached by the team
- The vision wasn’t written down and communicated
- The vision wasn’t re-enforced often enough
Vision was created, put in the drawer and never connected to the day-to-day priorities – Many of us lived through the Mission, Vision, Values craze. You created a vision statement, defined a lofty mission and decided on some core values that made you seem likeable. They were memorialized in a photo hanging on the wall in the break room. No accountability, no measuring success and no connection throughout the organization.
Today, there are many tools and resources to help bring all this together and create a shared pathway for your team — EOS, results.com, traxion.io, 5 Dysfunctions of Team and many others. The key is to make the vision a living reality by creating a strategy and a regular cadence of accountability. We will discuss metrics in the next blog post as they are critical to providing that accountability.
Go visit with your successful, high growth companies and ask them about these concepts. Once verified, come back and implement in your new practice. If Seven Bridges can be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.