Six weeks ago, someone on my staff forwarded an email to me from Kathy Sturgis reporting a glaring typo in a newsletter article. The way the criticism was delivered showed skill and sensitivity. So I replied with an email apologizing while saying we had a staff change that week and were getting some issues smoothed out. I thanked her for the kind way she delivered her feedback, and I gave her a free marketing video as gesture of my appreciation.
That evening, Kathy connected with me on LinkedIn and thanked me for the video, and then I noticed the Ph.D. following her name. I had stumbled across a gem, a strategic business coach and personal development expert who was working with an independent advisory firm. We spoke over the phone the next day.
That’s how Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D., yesterday came to share her ideas at an A4A webinar about how independent advisors can be improve at strategic in business planning.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Sturgis scored a 4.5 star rating from attendees, but even that high score belies the wonderful comments from some attendees who said they were already planning on changing their behavior as a result of the session.
Financial planners fail to plan in their businesses and can obviously use some coaching on this topic, as you can see from the graphic above. It’s a poll of the attendees at the session. It was a small session. Only 50 attendees, probably because it was Father’s Day. But more than 90% of attendees took the poll. It shows that two-thirds of financial planners attending the session reported having no written strategic plan. This is no surprise. But it is ironic that planners themselves do not plan. You need some outside help and that’s why we are Advisors4Advisors.
Dr. Sturgis has agreed to conduct four quarterly webinars on A4A over the next year in which she will coach advisors to be more strategic in their business. Since the good doctor and I knew we were headed in this direction, we asked attendees about specific topics in strategic business planning where they wanted Kathy to address. This is going to help us begin to focus on bringing you ideas over the next year that you will find useful.
The slide above confirms to me that A4A members are not interested in life-balance and the soft side of practice management. You’re not looking for stress management help and you don’t need us to tell you to spend more time with your family. You want help with bread and butter business planning focused on goal planning and getting things done by managing time better.
Polling attendees on A4A webinars provided data to design a curriculum over the next year for sessions focused tightly on help you grow your businesses. But we’d value input from advisors who plan to attend. The first session is available for 24/7 replays for A4A. Dr. Sturgis is passionate about this project and I’ll be shocked if we do not spur growth in many advisory firms who have the good sense to take the time to attend this webinar program and take action based on it..
Comments from attendees on organizational development expert Kathy Sturgis’ first session are below.
- Good information. I am a fan of Verne Harnish as well.
- Excellent; very motivational.
- I liked it a lot. Got something specific to do.
- Specific examples are helpful
- Nicely organized--I continue to be challenged enunciating vision, mission, and values
- Great stuff!!!
- Did a great job. Thank you for your time today.
- I got on late (about 20 minutes), but of what I heard, it was a good overview, nicely laid out. I took a lot of notes and will try to listen to a reply with the firm principal.
- Love this kind of stuff. I think stress management is also critical. I love time management too. I am a David Allen junkie. It has helped me a lot.
- Wow, this was quite a solid presentation! Kathy is very polished and knowledgeable, an expert on the subject matter, and easy to listen to. Having a strategic plan in writing myself, I pulled it out during the webinar and made a few notes in the margins on various topics Kathy discussed. She's right on target with the idea of explaining to prospects and clients the "WHY" of why we're in business. This is the starting point and really opens the door to everything else. Thank you.
- She did a great job, was well organized and engaging.
- Good strategic planning overview and refresher. Would like to see some work on developing/increasing clients' planning propensity. Our initial data gathering form ask clients to (obviously subjectively) quantify there planning propensity on a 1-10 scale with 10 being highest. Most don't even respond. We do get a few 7's. I think most don't know what planning is. They get confused by adjective modifiers that get placed in front of it, like "strategic", "life", "financial", "business"
- A lot of good info that helps me understand better what will go into the planning process.
- Liked it, food for thought.
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