“What do you want to achieve or avoid? The answers to this question are objectives. How will you go about achieving your desire results? The answer to this you can call strategy.” ― William E. Rothschild
Over the past few years, there’s been significant focus on the profession of financial planning. Regulators, associations, product providers, consumer advocates and the media have all pontificated on their ideal “financial planning professional”.
Not that there’s anything wrong with such conversations; all professions need to continually challenge themselves to improve. However, in my opinion, the real return on investment (i.e. significant benefit for the clients of financial advisers) for all this effort will be small and perhaps even negative.
My reason for this assertion is that while the professional intelligence of financial advisers (product knowledge, tax, strategy, etc) is important. Our business intelligence provides significantly more benefit to our own business and, ultimately, our clients. And unfortunately, there’s been very little focus in this area.
What is business intelligence?
The term Business Intelligence is usually used to refer to the collection and presentation of business data.
For this discussion, however, I’m referring to the ability to identify and move toward a set of clear objectives, by applying experience and skill in the combined areas of financial, human, project and risk management.
Unfortunately, many professionals (not just financial planners) go through their entire career without spending time/resources on developing their business intelligence. Business intelligence is not something that can be regulated or taught. It must be sought and acquired through hands on experience & guidance from others with experience.