Case Studies

  • Michael Burke

    Michael Burke

    Burke Corporate Advisory Group, Australia

    'Mindshop Business Leader Groups have had the single biggest impact on my business.'

    Michael Burke

    Independent Advisor

    Clients become advocates

    Mindshop Business Leader Groups allow advisors like Mike Burke to build communities within their client base, drawing on individuals from a diverse range of industries and specialisations to meet on a quarterly basis for regular professional development and networking. Mike runs three Business Leader Groups totalling over 20 members with the assistance of Mindshop.

    Mike’s thoughts on Business Leader Groups are unequivocal:

    ‘Delivering Mindshop Business Leader Groups has had the single biggest impact on my business. Business Leader Groups bring both my clients, and prospective clients together in the room, the leaders become great advocates of both Mindshop and myself. It has lifted my own capability as I am forced to present latest thinking, ideas, tools and concepts which helps my overall learning. After all, the best way to learn is to teach. Finally, the groups help my clients grow as they hear from others and not just from me. Mindshop do all the organisation behind the scenes as far as invites, follow ups and venues. I have neither the capability nor the inclination to undertake these tasks, and so frees up my time to focus on the important issues. Mindshop have the process nailed.’

    Constantly challenged with new IP

    ‘Also, Mindshop pull together all the intellectual property which again would take me days and weeks to find. I get presenter notes, tips and ideas which I combine with my own war stories and knowledge to present, which according to the feedback are great sessions. The ongoing feedback is that leaders feel as though they walk away with real take-aways for their business and without being lectured at.

    I could run leader groups without Mindshop, but my view is that these groups would die very quickly. With Mindshop’s assistance I have three very dynamic leader groups that are continually challenged and are never bored and never feel as though they are going over the ‘same old ground’.

  • Colin Hall

    Colin Hall

    5Pconsulting, Australia

    'The training days are really valuable; I always feel energised afterwards.'

    Colin Hall

    Independent Advisor

    Global collaboration, local training

    Being an independent business advisor in the top end of Australia was a lonely business for Colin Hall, until he found Mindshop. What he gained was not only a network of like-minded peers and collaborators, but also professional and personal growth.

    Confidence to take on new challenges

    ‘The discussion forum is fantastic, I check it almost every day, there is always a whole range of contemporary issues being discussed, and people sharing ideas or solutions. Advisors post a problem and very soon garner useful responses, not only from local colleagues, but also from around the world. This shows the collaborative nature of the network. The training days are also really valuable and I always feel energised afterwards.I knew I could help my clients in many ways, but often the time required to invest in preparation or research made this prohibitive. Mindshop has significantly increased my fluency as an advisor, and given me the confidence to take on things I might not have previously done. If you’re looking to start or grow your advisory business, don’t rush it. Start with a few Mindshop tools, and use them well. Practice, practice, practice.’

    Professional and personal development

    ‘One of Mindshop’s core principles is ‘Value to Others’ this is a pervasive theme throughout the resource base and is often explicitly stated when advisors communicate with each other, it’s a value that has multiple layers to it and since joining Mindshop I have drilled down into these layers more often and more deeply than before, it’s helped me to help others in both a professional and personal context.’

  • Chet Marino

    Chet Marino

    Verus Partners, United States

    'I have had an excellent experience since joining Mindshop!'

    Chet Marino

    Independent Advisor

    Immediate, practical application

    My coach has really challenged me about every aspect of my business – from my own mindset to the business model itself. I found him to be particularly helpful this past year as I made a significant transition and got better prepared for the future. The regular training events have all been valuable and had immediate practical application in developing my offerings, building my capability and growing the business. The advice, tools and resources provided through the Mindshop Online platform have been effective conversation starters and provided me ways to apply them to better serve my clients.

  • Matt Sharwood

    Matt Sharwood

    Advise Accountants, Australia

    'Mindshop has given me the tools to help the client focus on what is possible inside their business.'

    Matt Sharwood

    Accounting & Professional Service Firm

    A solid process foundation brings results

    Matt Sharwood is a strategist for Advise Accountants, an accounting firm that specialises in bringing a strategic view to their small and medium-sized business clients. Before joining Mindshop Matt’s main challenge was simple – where to start?

    ‘Using Mindshop tools gave me a process framework that formed a great foundation for our advisory solutions and produced great results for our clients’ says Matt. The number of tools available anywhere, anytime to solve clients’ problems is awesome, the Mindshop Online training platform has to be one of the best on the market, and add to this the strength of the members in the Mindshop network and you have a perfect combination to provide clients the best possible advisory services.’

    Asking the right questions

    ‘Know Mindshop tools and have faith in them. They do work. Remember you do not know all of the answers and often the client knows the answer but is simply not asked the right question. The Mindshop tools help you ask the right questions.

    Our business has been growing rapidly over the last few years. I put this down to the fact that we are not just accountants but rather a firm that is about helping clients run the best business possible. I made the comment the other day to a client that over the three years I had been working with them we’d doubled their profit. That’s one of the achievements I am proudest of, Mindshop has given me the tools to help the client focus on what is possible inside their business.’

  • Neil Sinclair

    Neil Sinclair

    WK Advisors and Accountants, New Zealand

    'Mindshop has provided us the tools and confidence to essentially smash the traditional compliance model.'

    Neil Sinclair

    Accounting & Professional Service Firm

    Sticky, actively engaged clients

    Within four months of launching their Business Advisory Services, fee growth and opportunities being created for WK was ‘miles ahead of expectation’ according to Director, Neil Sinclair.

    ‘Our advisory offering has a number of elements to it, but one of the key foundations is an organisation called Mindshop, who want to truly assist their clients by offering deep advisory solutions, this is not the cookie cutter model offered by others. Now all trading clients get an element of advisory in their annual compliance services, basically every client is walking away with a load more value. We now have incredibly sticky clients, clients who actively engage with us more and the organic fee growth opportunities coming from this is amazing. What Mindshop has provided us is the tools and confidence to essentially smash the traditional compliance model.’

    Practical approach, tangible outcomes

    ‘The most exciting aspect to me is having the tools to really add value. Good example, last week I signed off a set of books from a retail business. Their margins were down following the purchase of another business. Previously, I would have highlighted this to the client in the annual meeting, had some general discussions about how they could improve, the client would have left, probably done nothing and we would repeat the cycle the following year. This year I ran a ForceField workshop, the result – the client walked away with 16 tangible actions to improve his margin, the client’s staff are on board and motivated to help achieve the target. WK now is engaged to do a quarterly business review and accountability meetings, and full management reporting. More than quadrupling the fees charged!

    This I truly believe is game changing stuff.’

  • Will Abbott

    Will Abbott

    Randall & Payne, United Kingdom

    'The result is a substantial new income stream in the hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum.'

    Will Abbott

    Accounting & Professional Service Firm

    The lightbulb moment

    One particular incident sticks in Will Abbott’s mind when he reflects on the lightbulb moment that led him to becoming a successful business advisor.

    ‘I met with a client for our usual accounts meeting, and their profit was low. We talked about all the non-chargeable work he was doing and how he might go about changing that. Twelve months later, we met again and had the same conversation! The client jokingly said ‘you’re a bit of a one trick pony aren’t you?’ and that really brought it home to me.

    Our clients wanted to do more than just talk about the numbers, they wanted someone to help change the numbers, and I felt that I did not have enough knowledge or tools to really help. I could see what they needed to do, but couldn’t help them with the how to do it.

    I was aware that some of my other clients were working with business coaches and seemed to be paying them a lot more than they were paying me to do their accounts. That was a lightbulb moment – it was time to do something, and that something was Mindshop.’

    Becoming a facilitator of change, not just a consultant

    ‘So after joining up, I completed all the online courses and became an Accredited Mindshop Facilitator Plus (AMSF+) which was more than enough skills to build an advisory offer. But I found what takes time to learn is that we are not acting as consultants, but as facilitators. Our role is to help and guide the client to develop their own solutions and then hold them accountable for taking the necessary steps. The Mindshop toolkit is the key to drive this facilitation, the resources are all there, including workshops, which means a lot of the work is already done so there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

    Picking a ‘favourite’ Mindshop element is difficult. Being able to draw together my clients into a Business Leader Group keeps me up to date with new thinking and enables me to promote my advisory services to new clients. Then there’s the combination of online resources (accessible in my own time and at my own pace), access to an experienced coach and a network of like-minded individuals which together is very powerful.’

    A substantial new income stream

    ‘Mindshop has given me the ability to talk confidently with clients regarding a broad spectrum of issues from profitability, sales growth and strategy. What client would not want to have a conversation about those issues? The result is a substantial new income stream in the hundreds of thousands of pounds per annum. Even better, 50% of our advisory service work is coming from clients where another firm does their compliance work! Plus advisory is generating opportunities for other departments including compliance, tax planning and corporate finance.’

    What tips do you have for other accounting firms looking to grow their advisory business?

    ‘Accountants need to stop trying to get paid for every minute spent with clients and recognise that every conversation is an opportunity to help, which clients will value and pay for. Try to take the time to really understand what a client is trying to achieve and how their business fits into those bigger plans. Focus on the outcomes clients need, recognise the value in what we do, then share these stories with prospects.

    This is challenging, as it requires a complete change in mindset, a move away from time-based billing. Unfortunately, most accounting firms will stick with what they know, leaving these valuable opportunities for others.

    I think one of my longstanding clients says it best, ‘you help us understand the issues and make us do the things we need to do.’

  • Wayne Davies

    Wayne Davies

    NextGen Success, Australia

    'It’s not only the additional revenue, it’s also about effectiveness.'

    Wayne Davies

    Organisational Learning & Development

    Efficiency to focus on clients, not logistics

    Providing strategy and leadership for next generation leadership, Wayne Davies, Principal Consultant at NextGen Success talks about how Mindshop Academy Groups have become his ‘ideal’ service type.

    ‘Apart from providing me the framework to build a retainer-based business, Mindshop Academy Groups give me a regular touch point with my clients, which often leads to other work such as strategy workshops and DISC profiling. But it’s not only the additional revenue, it’s also about effectiveness. I probably would be able to deliver the Academy Groups without Mindshop, but much less efficiently, Mindshop’s support gives me the ability to focus on my clients, because I don’t need to spend energy on content research and preparation, Mindshop does the heavy lifting for me. Knowing that I will be reminded on key actions prior to the events means I’m kept on track and accountable.’

    Extending knowledge

    ‘Plus, having discussions with senior Mindshop executives about session content means I am coached and extending my knowledge at the same time. By ‘sharpening my own saw’ and delivering the content provided by Mindshop, it keeps me up to date with issues relevant to my clients.’

  • Fidelity Worldwide Investments

    Fidelity Worldwide Investments

    Fidelity International, Hong Kong

    'The program to date has achieved a return of over 20:1'

    Fidelity Worldwide Investments

    Organisational Learning & Development

    Fidelity Worldwide Investment (FWI) is the non-US operation of Fidelity Investments which employs close to 40,000 people world-wide. FWI has operations in 23 countries and employs 4,000 people. In 2010 FWI in Hong Kong decided to formalise their continuous improvement (CI) program by engaging Mindshop to train and coach the Fidelity key executives in the Mindshop CI tools and processes. The program was expanded to include Japan with a total of 15 senior Fidelity personnel licensed to use the Mindshop intellectual property. The program to date has achieved a return on investment of over 20:1. After two years 16 cross functional CI initiatives involving 75% of employees had been completed. Many internal project teams have also used the CI structure to improve their service delivery.

    The FWI program is headed by the Fidelity Investments Chief Operating Officer, Carl McGann. Carl, a seven year veteran of Fidelity, has embraced the CI program and is a ‘hands-on’ practitioner of the tools.

    ‘While the ROI is an essential outcome, the soft benefits should not be overlooked’ McGann said, ‘motivation, morale, even recruitment and retention of our best people, have been positively impacted by the Mindshop program. What I like best is that it is a Fidelity program “powered by Mindshop”, not the other way around.’

    When asked where the program is heading in the coming years McGann commented,

    ‘The level of sophistication, strategic thinking and capability of our team keeps improving, so I am confident that our continuous improvement skills will become our competitive advantage.’

    When asked what had enabled the program to thrive at Fidelity, McGann included, management support, 24/7 access to the Mindshop online resources, and coaching support for his executives, as the key factors. Fidelity has been a successful user of the Mindshop Business Leader program and a good example to other corporates as to how to compete in difficult times.

  • ABN Group

    ABN Group

    Alcock Brown-Neaves Group, Australia

    '250+ participants in the program across 10 different groups'

    ABN Group

    Organisational Learning & Development

    Building over 3000 homes a year across the country, ABN has constructed more than 44,000 homes in total since it was established in 1978. Ranked 2nd in the Housing Industry Association’s 2009-2010 Housing Top 100 list, and 46th in the 2010 Business Review Weekly list of the top 500 private companies, the ABN Group has established itself as an industry heavyweight.

    Mindshop supported an internal development program run by Mindshop Facilitator, Rod Willers over a period of 5 years. The program peaked at over 300+ participants across 10 different groups who receive quarterly business development training, 24/7 access to a wealth of online resources and regular coaching support between each meeting.