It's human nature to avoid change. Change requires action, effort, and sometimes pain.
Often change can feel like a rollercoaster. We can start off nervous but excited, with a bit of uninformed optimism, perhaps even butterflies in our stomach. Then reality kicks in and we can come crashing down into the valley of despair – a common place to quit, revert and retreat to safety in familiarity.
We see this with accountants struggling to implement structured advisory services in their firms.
Often at this point it all gets a bit too hard, BAU takes over and new initiatives get dropped. This is where why we need to change needs to be reinforced to push through to success. It’s here that we need to keep our foot on the gas, gaining momentum to realise the reward.
Adopt or delay
Recently Xero surveyed more than 4000 businesses worldwide to identify the most common behavioural barriers to adopting new technology. They’re using the findings to help you better understand what may hold you back.
The number one barrier was ‘resistance to change’. Resistance usually comes from a lack of confidence or excitement about technology. There is often a mentality that the present is comfortable and 'if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it’. The emphasis from Xero's One Step study is around determining whether you're an adopter who takes action straight away, or a delayer who keeps postponing it. That one step can make all the difference.
It's here that the dissatisfaction of the current state multiplied by the vision of the future state and some clear first steps needs to be greater than the resistance to change.
Sometimes the challenge is less about awareness of the need to change, but confusion over where to start and apprehension at how to bring others on the journey. Perhaps you’ve been burned before with changes to technology or systems that have fallen flat, or when the change champion left your firm taking their knowledge with them.
Championing the change
At The Gap, we’ve created Gap Champion content to help engage the leadership team and educate all team members around how to implement structured Business Advisory - including the what, who, when, where, how, and most importantly, why.
These resources (with an overarching step by step process) help you overcome that natural resistance to change by building confidence and excitement about the endless opportunities for your firm and your clients.
By tasking a few key people to champion the change, it’s less likely you’ll suffer from failure to implement. They will ‘top up the gas’ and keep the focus on the bigger picture - why you made the decision to change in the first place, and the risks if you don’t.
Creating a desire to change
You may already be delivering Business Advisory work, but the real gains lie in using a system and educating the team to spot client opportunities and truly understand what it is that your clients need.
Building confidence can come in the form of teaching your team how to position your Advisory services. Or, teaching your team how to hold effective meetings - how to ask better questions and use mindsets to demonstrate the potential for a client that doesn’t realise they need change or help.
Educating your team to identify solutions - in the form of services - for your client’s challenges will highlight the endless opportunities to help them build a more sustainable and scalable business. Connecting development opportunities for your team to the client realising their aspirations (which essentially boil down to more time, mind and financial freedom) can ignite their passion to learn and change.
Whether it’s in our own business or our clients', we all need support to overcome the ‘comfortable present’, mitigate the risks, and grasp the opportunities that exist in our business.
Setting your team up for success is critical to implementing change. From planning to internal marketing and upskilling; we have a raft of Gap Champion resources and a clear process to take the unknown out of where to start, who should be involved, and the order to do things. Whether you’re looking for serious transformation or a system behind what you’re already doing for better leverage, we’ll demystify your implementation plan.
Here’s an example of what your firm's Gap implementation plan may look like. We help tailor yours depending on your clients' needs and where your firm is at in your change journey.
Our Implementation Plan
An example of your first 12 months.
At The Gap, we provide our members with all they need to market, sell, deliver, and scale advisory services to support your business clients beyond compliance.
Book a demo with our sales team to understand how The Gap can help you drive change for yourself and for your clients.
“Change is hardest at the beginning, messiest in the middle, and best at the end.”
- Robin S. Sharma