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Financial Advisory Teams: Rules and Structures for Partnering Together

By Ray Sclafani | September 24, 2015


Financial_Advisory_Team_GroupWhat are your financial advisory team’s rules and structures for successfully partnering together?

When you’re just starting out and your financial advisory team consists of one, two or three people, rules and structures for partnering together are rather unnecessary. As your organization grows, however, the challenge of managing complexity and achieving efficiency grows exponentially with each additional team member.

A set of common rules and structures for partnering together affords a multitude of benefits – from better strategic planning and faster decision making to consistent client responses and better adherence to individual and team deadlines. They infuse you and your team members with more pride, cultivate positive feelings about the team and how it functions, and minimize potential conflicts.

From the silly and benign to the more serious and impactful, there are a multitude of formal and informal rules and structures that will matter to your financial advisory team:

  • What is your dress code policy?
  • How will the team partner together to deliver a consistent client experience (roles, responsibilities, processes)?
  • What steps will be mandated to enhance attention to detail and follow-through?
  • How will client meetings be conducted?
  • Who will be responsible for keeping various office areas clean and orderly?

Well-articulated and agreed to rules and structures provide greater clarity and focus, as well as more openness, commitment and trust…the hallmarks of a successful financial advisory team. 

The power of co-creation

When team rules and structures are mandated and driven from the top down, they quickly establish an unhealthy dynamic of superiority and subordination. Conversely, when your team’s rules and structures for working together are co-created and mutually agreed upon by all team members, they’re far more likely to be followed and enforced.

Without agreed upon rules and structures, financial advisory teams tend to default to what they know best – typically what they are accustomed to doing individually. This often leads to confusion, a lack of trust and commitment and conflict. All conditions you want to avoid.

Ideally, your rules and structures should be co-created early in the formation of your team. But remember that they are not static and should continue to evolve over time – taking into account the different personalities, styles, values, experiences, strengths and preferences of individual team members, as well as supporting the team ambience you’re seeking to create.


Coaching Questions from this article:

  1. What are your team’s top ten rules and structures that serve you well?
  2. What current rules and structures don’t serve you well and should be reviewed and/or reconsidered?
  3. Go have a conversation with your team about the rules and structures you’ve informally co-created and adopted. Strive to formalize those rules and structures in writing.


Developing A High Performance Team

Topics: Communication Team Development partnership,

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