Owners report experiencing these 9 pain points when working with advisors:
- Poorly defined destinations/outcomes
- Advisors providing competing recommendations and no way to reconcile them
- Myopic solution sets – the proverbial “hammer & nail”
- Competition for limited time and attention
- Draining capacity
- Quick fixes that have unintended consequences
- Advisor centric processes that are tedious and redundant
- Inadvertently pitting owners and/or family members against each other
- Money in motion creating divergent economic interests between the needs of the owner and the advisor’s bottom line
This situation exists through no fault of highly skilled and competent advisors (setting unscrupulous advisors aside) that want to serve owners well. Most advisors are skilled and economically incentivized at points where money is in motion at the point of transaction. Thus, the ecosystem creates forces driving owners to engage in decision-making before they have resolved critical “below the surface” issues of personal values, psychological needs, and organizational goals.
Orange Kiwi was equally guilty of contributing to the broken system… until we found the missing link… the secret to helping owners leverage their psychology and take control of their ecosystem.
An owner’s psychology (“wiring”) predisposes them to believe they can solve transition challenges at some point in the future when it becomes important. This wiring is an asset for starting and growing a business. But, it can present challenges once the owner gets the business to a certain scale. At some point nearly all owners fall victim to the human brain’s natural tendencies. The shift from “playing to win” to “playing to prevent losing” occurs almost imperceptibly causing owners to avoid risk taking and increasing their attempts to control their situation in a way that is counterproductive.
This dynamic is perhaps most pronounced at points of significant transition. The three most significant points of transition an owner faces include scaling a business through growth barriers, selling a business, and engaging in a family succession. An owner’s wiring becomes a challenge if they hit a growth plateau they cannot overcome or – more often than not – when they choose to engage in exit via sale or family succession. Many owners do not consider the issue until the business begins to decline or they decide to exit.
By delaying attention to these important issues owners play a reinforcing role in the current ecosystem. It is a case of their own psychology working against them. My deep desire is to change that trend so that owners understand their ecosystem and leverage their own psychology instead of having it used against them when it matters most.
While not immediately intuitive, advisors and owners face the same challenge – the proverbial “two sides of the same coin”. The solution begins by understanding the psychological process owners need to achieve a successful transition. To leverage the most fundamental contributor to their succes (their psychology) owner’s must build an approach that begins with robust exploratory process BEFORE moving to the strategic or execution phases.
That means we have to disrupt the current ecosystem. Owners choosing to do the hard yards of exploration earlier rather than later reap the rewards. Since the first step is the hardest, here are a few options to make it easier:
- Read Finish Big: How Great Entrepreneurs Exit on Top by Bo Burlingham
- Download our Power of Exploration white paper
- Contact us to learn more