If you missed the first Mindshop advisor training round of 2018 we’ve put together some highlights to give you a taste of the practical information and insights shared at the events around the globe.

James Mason, Managing Director of Mindshop, was joined by long-standing Mindshop advisor Rod Willers in Australia and New Zealand, with Dr Chris Mason presenting in the UK and US on the topic ‘Value Creating Growth’.

Rod shared insights from years of experience as a partner in the largest professional service firms in Australia and from building and operating his own consulting business.

Insight 1: Mind the performance gap

Mindshop recently surveyed over 160 business leaders and advisors, the results highlighted the need for continuous capability improvement to build business success, and emphasised that capability must be supplemented with ten key high-performance habits to bridge the gap to success. Key findings from the report include:

  1. Advisors are focused on refining their business models in 2018, top of the ‘skills or capabilities required’ list for 13% of respondents.
  2. Strategic planning days are most likely to be offered as a service by advisors in 2018.
  3. Finding time or capacity is in the biggest concern for advisors in 2018.

For more insights from the survey and a list of capabilities and high performance habits needed by business advisors, download the full report here.

Insight 2: Get alignment in your business model

The creation of an advisory business model that fits your purpose and vision is key to ensure your business is sustainable in the long term. Power comes through alignment of your purpose with your sustainable competitive advantage, which is then expressed in your business model and marketing materials.

Insight 3: Shift to implementation and execution

‘Don’t pay me for the plan, pay me for the implementation’
Russell Cummings, Mindshop advisor.

Rod outlined the seven key success factors that power great implementations:

  • Use frameworks to help the team develop and execute the strategy (Now-Where-How, One Page Plan for example)
  • Match the level, language and approach of the business
  • Meet regularly to assess progress
  • Have a tailored focus
  • Ensure your approach is culturally aligned to the business
  • Watch for having a scope that’s too broad, saturating the organisation with overly complex projects and not adapting as the situation changes
  • Have a support plan to any implementation project to ensure change success.

And remember, implementation is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

Insight 4: Five steps to lifting value with potential customers

Display your value to create growth when having preliminary discussions with clients by following these steps:

  1. Frame – discuss your unique value proposition, timing and focus (let the client dictate the focus), have authentic war stories at the ready
  2. Questions – Delve into the business, asking about their vision, goals and consequences of failure, what support and resources are needed to overcome barriers?
  3. Listen – focus on client’s priorities, not your agenda, watch energy levels, demonstrate you genuinely care
  4. Use a process or tool – for example Now-Where-How or Porter’s Competitive Strategy framework to dig deeper and provide structure
  5. Next steps – don’t leave without next steps being outlined, always summarise in a One Page Plan, post everything in your support system.

 

Insight 5: Challenge the leaders you work with
Challenge the commitment of your clients’ leaders to change by using a model such as Mindshop Change Success. Ensure organisations are ready for change by exploring:

  • leadership support for the project
  • the need for change
  • ‘what’s in it for me’
  • the change process and
  • the confidence of the organisation to successfully implement the change project.

Insight 6: Use activity mapping

An activity map is a strategy tool to un-pack an organisation’s competitive advantage as to how it competes for profit, it connects elements of the market-facing value proposition to the company’s assets, capabilities and values. It helps map out what a company does and doesn’t do which makes it unique.

Use it to show how every function contributes to the achievement of strategy, for greater alignment across different offices and to prioritise where to focus your energies to drive improvements in the value proposition.

Insight 7: Capability will drive increased referrals

Referrals should be a key part of your lead generation program. To maximise the effectiveness of your referral program, you should:

  1. Do good work!
  2. Ask for the referral
  3. Foster advocate behaviour and always close the loop
  4. Target influential and active referrers
  5. Ask yourself some hard questions if it’s not working for you

 

I hope you take away some pointers from these highlights, the next major Mindshop event round is in May, when our conferences take place in the Gold Coast, London and Denver. I look forward to sharing more highlights with you then!