I struggle with understanding why more collaboration doesn’t happen with advisors. A significant amount of the work that we do would be better if the various advisors working together would collaborate with the client and each other.
I think most of the time we don’t collaborate with other professionals because it’s inconvenient. Today’s world is busy. Taking time to collaborate with our peers often takes time that we don’t have. Between voice mail, email and just plain old messages finding a time to talk with other professionals doesn’t seem worth the effort.
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Besides it being difficult to find time to talk with other professionals it’s often possible for us to do our jobs without having a conversation with others. We do our work from our point of view and often tell our clients this is the ”best” solution for them. It may not be the best solution, but because we haven’t been able to find time to talk with other people who could add value to the project, it appears to be the best from our point of view.
A second reason collaboration often doesn’t work is because it’s expensive for the client. It’s not hard for a client to start spending $1,000 hours or more when three or more professionals work on their problems at the same time.
I know that clients balk at high hourly fees. That is unless the solution to the problem has a very high payoff. I’ve come to learn that if the reward for the client is high, the client becomes less fee adverse. I’ve also noticed there a few times in a client relationship where the payoff is high enough for professionals to collaborate with each other.
So far the only thing I’ve talked about is why collaboration doesn’t work. Let’s change gears.
Collaboration can work at least with one person or group of people….the clients. If we work with our clients collaboratively we can help them discover what the outcome is they want to accomplish. Achieving clarity around what the outcome is clients are trying to solve allows us to help our clients efficiently achieve a solution even if it includes using other professionals.
Including other professionals is easy and cost effective once we know what we’re trying to accomplish. We can ask our clients to make sure they stay in charge of the engagement and make sure they remain the leader.
Do you have people you work with collaboratively with? If so, I would love to hear your stories. Please contact me at Jpatrick@stage2planning.com or click here to set a time for us to speak.