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David Armstrong

How the ClientWise Team Insights 3-6-0™

helped his practice re-invent themselves

Business: Monument Wealth Management 
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Website: http://monumentwealthmanagement.com/ 

For Monument Wealth Management President and Co-Founder Dave Armstrong, he realized a lack of synchronization amongst their team. He engaged ClientWise to conduct a Team Insights 3-6-0™ analysis to help peel back the layers of his practice and better understand the dynamics that were impeding the growth of his business.   

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How ClientWise Team Insights 3-6-0™ Helped One Practice Re-Invent Themselves

David Armstrong, President and Co-Founder of Monument Wealth Management, came to the realization that his team was having synchronization problems.

It was this realization that propelled him to engage ClientWise to conduct a Team Insights 3-6-0™ analysis to help peel back the layers of his practice and better understand the dynamics that were impeding the growth of his business.

More than eight years ago, the four founding partners were working at a major wirehouse and reached a critical turning point.

“Under the stifling strictures of a large firm’s compliance department, we no longer had the confidence we could offer clients the type of planning, effort and analysis they truly needed,” recounts Armstrong. “We felt we needed to seek out and find a better way – to build a practice with clients who genuinely bought into the idea that investment strategies must be a function of a complete and comprehensive private wealth plan.”

Change starts at the top

Fueled by his growth ambitions and desire to achieve greater team interdependence, Dave reached out to Ray Sclafani at ClientWise who pointed out that perhaps what appeared to be key impediments to team success were actually symptoms of deeper, underlying issues. 

As anticipated, ClientWise identified a host of issues that were impeding the team’s optimal functioning.

Armstrong realized, “I add the most value to the team when I am out representing the brand and messaging our value proposition so I need an interdependent team to be able to support that and keep me from getting bogged down in other administrative issues.”

What wasn’t expected, however, was the realization that soon took hold when the partners sat down to prioritize which challenges they would tackle first. Twenty minutes into that conversation, it was clear to all that one of the partners was about to be voted off the island.

“A lot of people who SAY they want to be business owners don’t really want to put in the necessary EFFORT to be business owners,” explains Armstrong. “One person wanted to be an owner of a mature business, while the other three wanted to be entrepreneurs.”


Understanding the roots of the problem

Once the elephant in the room had been addressed, the remaining principals set to work on tackling the other issues unearthed as a result of the Team Insights 3-6-0™. The biggest challenge Dave wanted to address was solving the staffing questions that had been plaguing him for a long time:

Why did it seem as though some of the team members were suffering from entitlement and laziness problems? Why were they apparently so disinterested in sharing his vision for growing the firm? What was it about Monument’s culture that made team members resentful of doing the job they were hired to do?

Through the 3-6-0 process, the partners came to understand that essentially they were doing a poor job of interviewing and hiring people – gravitating towards candidates who were identical rather than complementary to their personality types.

According to Armstrong“I’ve got a serious Type A personality. I tend to be authoritative and in control.” It turns out that Dave was hiring people with those exact same personality traits – new employees who were completely capable and competent to do the job they were hired to do, but quickly becoming bored and dissatisfied because what they really wanted to do was his job.

Together with ClientWise, they devised a way to objectively and analytically look at candidates using personality tests to identify prospective employees who would be more supportive and compliant, but still show initiative. Within eighteen months, the partners had wholesale replaced every individual on the team. Turnover since then has practically dropped to zero.






Essentially, as a result of the first Team Insights 3-6-0™, Monument Wealth had built a whole new practice. Growth was ramping up and team functioning had dramatically improved. Where previously there were problems to be identified and resolved, Dave now saw opportunities for team refinement and improved interdependence. To get a better handle on those opportunities, he decided to engage ClientWise to conduct another Team Insights 3-6-0™ assessment of his new team.

“As a repeatable and scalable process, the assessment outcome was robust. We learned that while we had assembled a terrific team of dependable, smart and hard-working people, most of them felt as though they were individual gears rather than gears in a machine. We hadn’t done an effective enough job showing the team where and how they all mesh together, so we worked with ClientWise to empower the team to identify where there were opportunities for collaboration or handoffs between team members. We encouraged them to take the initiative to work more closely together, and ultimately created a culture where everyone feels empowered to do what’s necessary to deliver on our client promise.”


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