Change is the new normal for financial advisers


Who Moved My Cheese?

Financial Advice is not going through some changes; constant change is the new normal.  Whatever regulatory stuff you are going through now in your particular jurisdiction will not be an end to it.  It will be ongoing.  More importantly though, regulatory change is not the BIG change which will become the constant challenge.

Engaging consumers and turning them into clients who continue to trust and retain you as their valued adviser for decades requires a constant reinvention of value and service.

This thinking made me dig out my copy of “Who Moved My Cheese“, and a quick review of it made me realise that it is a very handy reference guide for financial advisers the world over right now.  In fact it is probably more relevant now than a decade ago.

This easy little read is all about the process and the mindset of handling change.

What moved me to refer to it again was the question (from an adviser): “when all the change will stop?“.

My honest answer, though they thought it flippant at the time, was “it won’t; changes will only accelerate“.

Change will constantly accelerate in the areas of regulatory requirements; professional practice standards (which should differ from regulatory requirements if we are to evolve as a profession); consumer expectations in transparency, speed and value; and; implementation of new technology and communications mediums.  Then there is artificial intelligence…which of course has the potential to totally eliminate many service industries.

Spencer Johnson lays out the formula for coping with it all successfully, and the key is the mindset – or attitude – that one has towards constant change.  His key points are:

Change Happens.  The world will keep moving and evolving whether you want it to or not.

Anticipate Change.  Be ready for the changes that are reasonably foreseeable or predictable.

Monitor Change.  Keep reading industry news, talk to peers, pay attention to consumer research, regulatory reports and divergent views from around the industry.

Adapt to Change Quickly.  The quicker you let go of the old way, the sooner you can thrive in the new era.

Change.  Do it. Don’t constantly be getting ready to get ready, and never actually doing it.

Enjoy Change. Savour the adventure…as we do with new restaurants, holiday destinations, relationships…pretty much anything else in life. Embrace and take the positive experiences that you can out of it.

Be Ready To Change Again.  The cycle will repeat.  New changes will happen.

As Dr Spencer Johnson said:

“They keep moving the cheese”

Financial advisers can pretty much count on that as our constant too. Things will keep changing and evolving, and if you haven’t read this little gem you should. If you have read it, it is probably time to go back and read it again.

But whatever you do, to manage the changes and survive first “accept”.  Then Adapt.

It is Darwinian really.

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