Implementing structured advisory requires considered change management for the partners and the team. This article provides an overview of how to support your whole team to maximise outcomes for your firm. The change management and implementation process identified in this article is best practice, however, your firm may want to tailor the process based on firm size, current processes, and service offering.
By implementing good change management practices, you'll also be able to help your clients manage change in their businesses.
The importance of managing change
Regardless of your firm's current processes and service offering, there will be a degree of change to manage when implementing The Gap. It's important to take a systematic approach to implement a new product like The Gap, and it's critical to bring your team along on the journey. This ensures the whole team is clear on your goals and objectives and how it may impact their roles, which will maximise buy-in.
It's essential that your team is supported during implementation. Provide clarity for how roles will evolve and support individuals to set goals that align with your firm's advisory goals.
The ADKAR Model
This model, created by Jeff Hiatt, outlines five building blocks that are required for successful change management. By supporting your team to move through each of the steps, you'll set your firm up for success and minimise the disruption caused by implementing a new way of working.
The Emotional Cycle of Change Mindset
This mindset is helpful to understand the emotional rollercoaster we can find ourselves on when implementing change. We start off feeling excited and raring to go, then when we see the amount of change required, we can feel overwhelmed and end up in the valley of despair. This is where most people quit and go back to business as usual. By understanding that these feelings are normal and to be expected, we can push through this valley and successfully implement change. The feeling of success and fulfilment at the end increases our emotional state so we're happier than before implementing the change.
To view the Emotional Cycle of Change Mindset Card
in The Gap, navigate to Main menu
> Mindset Tools
> Mindset Catalogue
, or use the Search
Your implementation team
Your implementation team will be your 'pilot team' who will initially begin the marketing and delivery of Gap services, before expanding to include more team members. You'll determine who will be on your firm's implementation team during the leadership presentation. This should include a Gap Champion, a partner, a senior team member, and a representative each from admin and marketing.
Your Gap Champion
We recommend nominating a 'Gap Champion' in your firm to aid implementation and change management. They will be the key contact person with your Gap Member Success Specialist and will provide important support and accountability for your team. Nominating a Gap Champion will fast-track your ROI from The Gap.
The role of your Gap Champion is to:
- Oversee the implementation of The Gap in your firm
- Support the leadership team to set goals and expectations for utilising The Gap
- Introduce the rest of the team to The Gap, providing support where needed
- Utilise our Gap Champion resources to manage change and progress
- Provide accountability to meet your firm's advisory goals
- Track and report outcomes for delivery of advisory services
- Work with our Member Success team to get the support required
It's likely your Gap Champion will be a partner or practice manager.
Gap Champion resources
We've created several resources to help the Gap Champion, including email templates to announce your Gap membership and PowerPoint presentations that demystify what The Gap is and how you can get an ROI from it while providing your clients with better business support. To access this content, navigate to the Main menu > > Leadership > Gap Champion Resources .
It's important the leadership team is aligned and onboard before rolling out The Gap with the rest of the team.
While the below is best practice, you might want to tailor your implementation process to suit your firm's needs. At the minimum, send an email to the whole team to introduce them to The Gap - even if they're not going to be directly involved, it's important they aren't completely in the dark.
Gap Champion Guide
A supporting guide for your Gap Champion to utilise the Gap Champion resources available.
The Gap Intro Email Templates
A simple email covering the what, why and next steps for implementing advisory with The Gap - a crucial step in providing awareness and getting buy-in. We've provided three slightly different versions (for your leadership team, implementation team, and then the rest of your team). Each template contains a link to a short video about The Gap.
To demonstrate the potential ROI your firm could gain by rolling out Gap services.
Gap Champion PowerPoint Template - Leadership Presentation
This is a one-hour presentation to introduce the leadership team to The Gap, formulate your implementation plan, and determine your implementation team.
Your implementation plan
We've provided a slide in the Gap Champion PowerPoint Template - Leadership Presentation
which outlines a potential implementation plan. This is a guide only and should be used as a starting point to determine your firm's implementation plan. Your Member Support person at The Gap can help you choose which of the six pathways
is most suited to your firm and assist you with your plan.
Gap Champion PowerPoint Template - Team Presentation
This is another one-hour presentation to your entire team to ensure they understand what The Gap is, why you've joined, and their roles during and beyond implementation. It's important the whole team understands the value of your new services so they can position these in relevant client conversations. This is a great opportunity to gauge your team's interest and identify some 'Young Guns' who are well suited to grow in the advisory space. This should be presented after the Leadership Team presentation, Services & Pricing Strategy session, and Business Planning session as you'll update the slides with decisions made during these meetings.
Effective communication is critical to getting your team engaged in the process of marketing and delivering new services.
Team Member Achiever Matrix
A worksheet for team members to use to identify tasks they can give up or delegate to free up their time to support the implementation of The Gap or focus on quality tasks.
Getting your house in order
It's likely you'll need to review your internal processes and resources as part of getting your house in order to scale up your advisory services with The Gap.
Freeing up capacity
Perceived lack of time is often a barrier to implementing Business Advisory and getting runs on the board with The Gap. It's important to identify tasks that can be delegated; to whom and how.
Identifying delegation opportunities
Watch the recordings of our Time Freedom
and Reclaiming Your Time
training sprints recording by navigating to Main menu
> Training Videos
> Training Sprint Catalogue
for valuable information on how to free up your time by delegating to your team or outsourcing. We recommend delegating the Annual Accounts Review Meeting
and Management Reporting
service to senior accounting team members.
Redefining your organisation chart and job descriptions
If you haven't reviewed your firm's organisation chart recently, now is a great time to do so. Use the templates available in Main menu
> Modern Firm Organisational Structures
to create your firm's updated structure (check out the Delivery Notes in the Organisational Review bridge
for more information about the process of developing an organisation chart). Then, update your team's job descriptions, where relevant, to reflect new responsibilities, tasks and KPIs resulting from the implementation of The Gap. Ensure you work in consultation with your team and engage an HR consultant as required.
In addition to the Emotional Cycle of Change mindset, we recommend also reviewing the below mindsets available in Main menu > > Mindset Tools > Mindset Catalogue :
- Be Do Have
- The Achiever Matrix
- The Four Leadership Quadrants
- The Pathway to Empowerment
We have over 50 Mindset Cards in our catalogue designed for you to utilise internally or with your clients as part of providing accountability coaching.
What to expect in your first year
We've identified a suggested customer journey based on the experiences of our members. Each firm will have a different journey depending on its size, current service offering, and implementation plan.
Use the below journey as a guide and amend it to suit your firm.
Month 1 - Getting started:
- Complete basic portal set up including Customising your firm settings and Customising your user settings
- Explore the Knowledge Base (you made it!)
- Watch training sprint recordings relevant to your implementation plan and chosen pathways
- Attend an initial meeting with your Member Success Specialist
- Join our Facebook community group
- Block out time each month to attend live training sprints
Month 2 - Laying foundations:
- Introduce The Gap to the leadership team
- Finalise role and responsibilities of Gap Champion
- Determine implementation team
- Agree and set up services and pricing in the portal
- Develop firm's Business Plan following The Gap's process
Month 3 - Aligning focus
- Introduce The Gap to the rest of the team
- Complete simple marketing tasks to promote your new offering - check out our Utilising Gap resources article for more info
- Implement Proactive Onboarding processes
- Review your firm's organisational structure and capacity
Month 4 - Making it happen
- Identify clients to position and deliver the Business Development Trifecta
- Deliver streamlined Annual Accounts Reviews / Complimentary Client Reviews
- Refine coaching skills utilising Gap coaching resources
- Market and deliver a Gap Webinar
Month 5 - Building traction
- Determine niche and needs-based advisory services offering (services outside of essential advisory)
- Revise and update services and pricing
- Establish client selection criteria for Business Advisory services
- Undertake internal and external marketing of new services
- Continue marketing and delivering regular webinars to nurture existing and attract new clients
- Review and update Business Plan quarterly goals
Months 6 to 12+ - Scaling Up
- Utilise key Gap bridges internally to extend confidence and process awareness
- Create your own Marketing Plan
- Consider hosting in-person client events, e.g. seminars
- Continue to focus on the Trifecta and expand this across more of your client base
- Expand team using The Gap to free up more capacity and build capability
Your membership includes individual support with our Member Success team. Reach out to the team
to ensure you receive the support your firm needs to successfully implement The Gap.