It’s hard to pick just six highlights from across the three Mindshop conferences for 2018. So many great stories, practical tips, new capabilities and trends for business advisors were discussed. But I’ve attempted to give a little taste of what you missed. Many thanks must go to all the Mindshop advisor speakers and keynotes for sharing their experiences and tools with us across London, Denver and the Gold Coast.

Insight 1: Evolve the way you work
Part a: ‘Think like a disrupter’. The age of hundred-page strategic plans and product development strategies are gone, so adopt lean start up thinking and processes to deliver value. A one-page Lean Canvas or a One-Page Business Plan should be all it takes to get your clients’ ideas and challenges in focus, or why not facilitate a hackathon to incubate ideas? Challenge your clients earlier on in your interactions. Are they change ready?

Part b: ‘Is travelling to clients chewing up your time and travel budget?’ Online interactions are becoming the ‘sand between face to face meetings’. Discover the myriad of benefits of a true blended coaching and training offering, not just cutting your costs but also increasing your responsiveness.

Insight 2: Tap into your intuition
Tapping into your ‘gut’ may seem esoteric but there’s a growing body of research showing that it is not only a valid, but also a key mechanism for swift and effective decision-making using ‘unconscious cognition’. With the mountain of big data at your disposal, it’s become easy to get bogged down in details. Instead, learn to tap into the experiences and learnings you’ve amassed over the years to quickly come to a good decision. They say a great entrepreneur makes judgements 50% on rational thought and 50% based on intuition.

Insight 3: Ease off the accelerator
Work life balance is no longer a ‘nice to have’ but an essential for sustainable success. We’re all busy, but there’s a fine line between ‘peak performance’ and ‘burn out’. Reduce your stress levels and ensure you are on the right side of the work / life balance by refocusing on what’s important and relevant (after all, less is more). Selectively using online productivity tools, virtual teams, tapping into your network and mining with minimal marketing effort (existing services to existing customers) will make your life easier whilst simultaneously improving your client experience.

Insight 4: Become unconsciously competent
Are you a master at the change success model? Can you facilitate an 8 wastes session (hint the 8th waste is untapped employee creativity) standing on your head? Understanding and applying key business or personal tools for quality client interactions is an essential capability. Not only will you be agile, pivoting where-ever your interactions with clients takes you, but you’ll save time (see insight 1). As one of our keynotes, Charles Leadbeater said ‘We shouldn’t become second-class robots in our interactions with customers’. What capabilities do you need to build or improve?

Insight 5: Why would we mourn you?
What is fundamentally irreplaceable about you and your services to your clients? Why would they lament if your services were no longer around? Understanding the purpose of your business will help you to create a memorable brand and sense of bias for your service. Your brand will flourish if cemented in trust built on an emotional connection rather than simply expediency. As one of our keynotes, Matt Jones observed, ‘People don’t cross the street for convenience’. Think about building trust in your relationships with clients to optimise customer lifetime value.

Insight 6: Future proof your business
Staying relevant to your clients is key for a sustainable, successful advisory business. Keep up to date by learning new capabilities and continuing to simplify complexity for clients. They’ll appreciate your ability to show agility, adapting to whatever’s thrown your way layered with an ability to join the dots on emerging trends. But here’s a word of caution – don’t move so quickly that you disconnect with your clients’ true needs. Implement practical strategies and keep them focused on the top three things first.

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