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30 Tips for Today’s Financial Advisor: Tip 13

While rules at a company may have been created with the best intentions, over time, they can become outdated, restrictive, and futile.

A recent Inc. article provided some examples of “dumb” rules that seem to suggest a lack of trust among employees, such as rating performance on a bureaucratic five-point scale or creating too many checkpoints for approvals.

“If you don’t trust the people you hired, why did you hire them?” Inc. writes.

It’s important to constantly review the rules you have in place at your company. As Forbes notes, many times, the origin for the stupid rule is someone who is no longer with the company.

As Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson say in their book Rework, “Policies are organizational scar tissue. They are codified overreactions to situations that are unlikely to happen again. They are collective punishment for the misdeeds of an individual. This is how bureaucracies are born. No one sets out to create a bureaucracy. They sneak up on companies slowly. They are created one policy — one scar — at a time.”

 

Today’s Tip: Evaluate the Processes You Have in Place

Tip #13: Kill a stupid rule. When’s the last time you evaluated the processes you have in place? Eliminating an ineffective rule or habit can open you up to new ideas and new ways to add value to your client relationships.

Not sure where to start in reviewing your processes? Thinking Business provides these five steps, which come from Lisa Bodell’s book Kill the Company: End the Status Quo, Start an Innovation Revolution:

  1. Explain the “Kill a Stupid Rule” concept to your employees. Have them answer the following question: “If you could kill or change all the stupid rules that get in the way of doing your work or better serving our clients, what would they be, and how would you do it?”
  2. Collect all the ideas submitted. Sort them by themes.
  3. Meet with your business leadership team. Run through each idea submitted.
  4. Have the business leadership team pick the one rule they would like to see killed immediately. Do it right then before the meeting is over.
  5. Communicate the good news to your employees.

Let us know how it goes! We’ll be back on the blog Wednesday with another tip in our “30 Tips for Today’s Financial Advisor” blog series. Stay tuned.