OpinionJul 26 2021

Little changes can make a huge difference

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As the Olympics are upon us I am reminded of an after dinner speech I heard back in my corporate days from one of the gold medal winning eight from Sydney.

The whole of the rowing group had a mantra they applied to everything they tried to do: "Does it make the boat go faster?"

If the answer was yes, they did it. Anything to be faster and one step closer to a medal; any small gain, any small efficiency, anything different in training or technique – if it shaved time, it was done.

Do we apply the same to our businesses or do we become complacent about the systems and processes we have in place because they are comfortable and it all kind of works?

I recently saw some information costing out the total technology stack to a business per adviser. Frankly it was far more than I pay, so either I was doing something very right, or very wrong. Had I become complacent with my tech? Was I missing something? Were there more efficient options with better integration? Could I make my business go faster?

I wish I could reveal the answer, but I don’t know yet. I am still working through it and identifying any possible weaknesses and how I might be able to fix them. I can tell you though, that there is still, right here in 2021, a real lack of integration between providers and different systems.

Don’t get me wrong, it is far better than it was a few years ago but, my word. It still leaves a lot to be desired.

I recently started using a new platform – Fundment since you asked – and their user interface is light-years ahead.

This is a result of them controlling their own system I suspect, rather than being beholden to the behemoth that is FNZ. It also means they are able to create integrations with other systems, and they actually want to do that.

CashCalc are the same, a new start business, well newish now, but built from the ground up on their own technology and built to integrate with other systems from day one.

That rowing eight were not expected to win a medal, let alone the gold. To do that they decided to do something different; they rowed the race in a very different way to how everyone else – including themselves – had done for years, and it worked.

Maybe the same will be true in adviser tech and those doing something different and making the boat go faster will ultimately win the gold medals.

Darren Cooke is a chartered financial planner of Red Circle Financial Planning