This is podcast two of five of the ACCA strategy series.
What does an accountancy firm do to make strategy really come to life in their firm?
On this podcast, you'll hear Glen, Phil and Gareth, from two different accounting firms, talk about what has to happen in their firms so that their vision, their purpose, their values really come to life.
They’ve worked out how to make it mean something to the directors, the team and their clients.
It isn't 'corporate BS' - it’s actually happening in their firm!
They're living it.
I hope you enjoy the podcast.
"It makes my job as MD much easier to be able to consistently use the same terms and the same words - even the strategic goals can sit underneath them.
"So you've got vision, mission and strategic goals consistently with everyone talking about them. And that's a sign for me if my team are doing that, if my team are saying that, if my team are behaving in line with those strategic elements, I know that I've got that message across."
Connect with Gareth
Connect with Paul
Connect with Phil
Connect with Glyn
Resources relating to this podcast:
Click the images to access the resource
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Bitesize Business Breakthrough
Good Strategy For Your Firm
Bitesize Business Breakthrough
Lead Your Firm With Purpose
TRANSCRIPT - unedited
Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:00] This is podcast two of five of the ACA strategy series. Welcome to the humanized, the numbers podcast, series leaders, managers, and owners of ambitious accounting firms, sharing insights, successes, and issues that will challenge you and connect you and your firm to the ways and means of transforming your firms
Glyn Davison: [00:00:24] results with me.
It makes my job as MD, much easier to be able to consistently use the same terms and the same words. And, and even the strategic goals can sit underneath them. So you've got vision, mission, strategic goals, consistently, everyone talking about them. And that's a sign for me. If my team had doing that, if my team is saying that if my team are behaving in line with those, I know that I've got that message across.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:00:50] What does an accountancy firm do to make strategy really come to life in their firm? Well, on this podcast, you'll hear Glen felt and Gareth from two different accounting firms talk about instead of a marketing strapline for strategy, they've worked out what has to happen in their firms so that their vision, their purpose, their values really come to life.
So it means something, it isn't corporate BS. It's actually happening in their firm. They're
Glyn Davison: [00:01:22] living it. Hi our firm is Holland's accountants and my name is Glen Davidson. My role is managing director and I've been with the firm since 1992 which is a long plan. What I do now is run the firm and focus predominantly on strategy execution of our strategy, as well as have my own client portfolio into key sectors, really manufacturing and professional services.
And the big focus over the last few years has been all around our culture, which is a nice segue into Phil. Brilliant.
Phil Murray: [00:01:56] So my name's Phil Murray, I'm commercial and cultural director of Hollands. Our aim is to help build better businesses across the UK, by constantly evolving the role and perception of what accountants do.
And delighted to be able to talk a bit more about that today. My particular role is I have a bank of clients that I work with high growth businesses and work with them on strategy and, and taking control of their finances. But also my specific role in the business is implementing and developing our strategy in particular, linked to winning the right type of businesses and bring in the right type of people in, and, and that culture, vision and mission are critical to that piece.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:02:35] Brilliant. Thanks, Phil. And I'll want to dive into definition of culture shortly, because what the heck does that mean? It's a question that a lot of firms ask. So Gareth, please, if you would give us your background and a little bit about your firm.
Gareth Pinder: [00:02:49] Yep. My name is gala Pender and I'm the practice manager of Griffis and James accountants, which is based in conversion quivers.
And James is part of the Parker and co group, which is it's an expanding accountancy practice where we intend to, we've got another few practices like that to acquire within the next year. So my, my main role is to manage the Griffith and James fare. And it's also the. The transition between when we buy practices and bring them on board to try and align
Glyn Davison: [00:03:18] the whole group.
Gareth Pinder: [00:03:19] Yeah. As well as the day job is challenging, but that that's, that's my role in a nutshell.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:03:25] Well, it's interesting that it sounds like you've all got the day job, which is the D day job. Is it the culture piece or the you know, the strategy piece or is it the portfolio of clients and Gareth, you know, is it, you know, running Griffiths and James, or is it the transition piece?
So I'd like to start there. W w what's your definition of day job,
Gareth Pinder: [00:03:45] At the moment it's everything, to be honest. Yeah. So when we, when we acquired this practice there was three accountants working here, including the owner. But as soon as they, they hit that acquaintance heard that they were requiring it, they left.
So at the moment, it's just me. And like speaking to Glenn earlier, just about sort of trying to get. Staff members and at the moment, and hiring was a challenging, it's a challenging thing. But my, my role at the moment is, is the day job doing your cane, speaking to clients, but also ensuring that Griffith and James is becoming an in line with Parker and co and yeah, making sure all the processes and everything is the same and the, how we deal with clients and everything.
It's a stressful time.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:04:28] Exactly. It sounds like you've got your hands full. It does. But it's interesting. You signpost the, you know, there's that process management bit as well as the people management bit, there's the people development and the process development bit, and then there's the strategy that's laid on top of that.
Isn't it all underneath that, depending on how you wanna look at it, but let's just get to Phil. I'll come back to you in a second Gareth. So Phil day job, which one?
Phil Murray: [00:04:51] Yeah, flitting, probably like most people in practice, it varies, but the aim is to try and split it up between as best possible leadership management.
So supporting coaching the team in particular to get better and to deliver on the results. And then it's, you know, supporting clients to take control of the finances spot, good opportunities have really good conversations. And then similar to, to, to what we've talked about before, you know, then at the moment we're looking at bringing the right type of people in.
So talking to really good accountants advisors about potentially joining our firms so that we can grow. So it is varied. It's good, fun. It's challenging. And, and, and you've got to wear the different hats depending on kind of who you're talking to and the key aims of that conversation.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:05:39] And I know we're not yet talking about vision, but I do think there's the, you know, there's the practical implications.
The imp implementation that implication implementation of strategy is, you know, you've got to apply dedicated time. How, how do you actually break the time down? You know, if you look at a working week, is it just all mixed in fell or is it, you know, have you got blocks of time for blocks of work?
Phil Murray: [00:06:00] your approach? Yeah, I've tried where best possible. You know, I wouldn't say I've nailed it, Paul, but to have some dedicated time, depending on the day, I think that COVID. Forced me to do that if I'm completely honest with you. So Megan, sure. This dedicated time in for one-to-one with the team is, is a must for me.
That's first and first in my diary is making sure that I've got those. I know when they're going to be in, I can prepare then making sure there's dedicated time for existing clients and then any new client conversations as well. So where possible Paul having it scheduled? Yeah, my diary is really important to me and it tells me exactly what I'm doing personally and in business.
But also having some flex that's also been really important because we know that in practice you'll get sideswiped or there'll be some element of yeah. Yeah. We, we were really passionate about the seven habits. And Steven Kovey. Yeah, absolutely. You know, trying where possible to be in the top, right around planning, coaching, developing has been a real thing that, that Glenn's been trying to get us to do.
And he's trying to do personally, and that I've taken as a real responsibility for myself to make sure that the managers that are trying to do the same and we're not experts. And we're not saying we've nailed it, Paul, but we talk about it a lot,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:07:14] but I guess for like, if he actually applying time to it as well, you re you doing stuff about it as well, then what, you know, what's your day job versus strategy job, which, you know, w w w where does it live for you?
Glyn Davison: [00:07:28] Again, a seminar, I think having worked in professional services in, in the firm and progressed to, to ruin it for a number of years, as well as having a number of clients in this sector. I do think professional services is a little unique because it is client time with senior people. That is a lot of the bills.
So, yeah. Being realistic. Trying to move. Those relationships has been the toughest challenge for, for us as a firm where Gareth is now is once you have done someone's accounts and engage with them around it, it's really hard, especially if you're good to pass that onto someone else, because they actually want to deal with you.
Rather than anyone else, or to be found it relatively easy then Glenn. No, also that was me being glib and funny.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:08:14] Half of my jokes.
Glyn Davison: [00:08:17] The biggest problem is I actually love that part of my job. And again yeah, whether I see that as a problem or not, I don't see it as a problem. Maybe it did in the past. I don't know.
I actually want to do what I love because it comes natural. Yeah. The challenge is therefore how much time can you make sure every week you're putting in to the role that is the most important for the firms of Hawk. And there's a few things along the years that have really stuck in my mind. If you don't do those things as managing director, then who else is going to do them?
The answer is no one. You have to divorce time. And the way I do that as priorities, I always prioritize every week and I will mix those priorities. I will have some client ones and there will be some weeks where majority of my priorities are client led, but there will always be some managing director type tasks that I'm working on in a week.
And I'll prioritize, prioritize those every week and also have looked at how that factors monthly, quarterly in terms of where we're heading. And probably one thing in that, that we did that has been successful is set some clear strategic goals that we stick towards. That gives you a basis of what your tasks are around driving towards those and trying to get some movement every week towards them would be very clear on that and much better on that over the last two or three years.
And it's worked well. So it gives the guys some framework to work and be clear about what is it that those that you like, the question you asked, what are those things you do every week? That actually are about strategy and culture and all those leadership bits. They're hard to define. So you've got to break down and those goals have been fairly influential.
So they're a big part of my thinking and my priorities every week, as well as accepting and enjoy in the client rule that I've got and looking to move those relationships on to capable people over a period of time. That's, that's how it sits at the moment and that, and that
Paul Shrimpling: [00:10:01] it is a time piece is now I work with firms who have got, you know, senior, senior partner, senior owners who are, you know, two or three years away from retiring.
And if they've got two or three years, you can transition a relationship reasonably successfully to someone else. As long as that person is of a reasonable caliber and has got the right processes and frameworks that they're working to. If you leave it to, if you want to do it in six months, then you're making a, a rub for your own back, which will backfire in terms of loss, loss clients, ultimately.
So the timing piece, but what I love about what you just said there in, in, in terms of the nitty gritty detail, Glen is this weekly approach. There's some time every week without fail, that's applied to the managing director, strategic or cultural. If it's your perspective fell Gareth, have you, have you got that sense so that you add allocating dedicated time to the strategy stuff, to the vision stuff, to the incorporating this firm into the into the bigger firm?
Gareth Pinder: [00:10:56] Yeah, it's, it's, it's difficult to do as something that I'm very aware of that needs to be done, to be honest, every the thing is the strategy for me, it has to change all the time because if you want to keep on board with, with how the clients are, especially, especially in this sort of practice where.
In, in terms of like, by acquiring a practice in a pandemic, it's probably not the best time to be doing it. And it's been real difficult, well sort of situation to sort of get clients on board, to be honest, to, to buying to the whole ethos of the Parker and co cause that's what I'm trying to deliver, to be honest.
So the strategy for me, it was on a client basis has to, has to change because I've changed a few times to be honest, Hey, I think I'm going to approach clients and clients in Newport, which is where the practices for. In Newport is different to combine completely. Like I just saw, I mean, this is a new sort of position for me and maybe in a naive, it's say again
Glyn Davison: [00:11:54] and in your feet a little by the sound.
Gareth Pinder: [00:11:56] Yeah. I find it my feet, definitely. And maybe a little bit of naivety, sort of assuming that what it was like a one you could use one trick for all sort of thing, but it's not those like that. Yeah. Like I have to dedicate time every, every week definitely to the strategy and how we're moving forward. And we've changed things around so much in here all the time.
And trying to sometimes when you're working with like a managing director the vision, the vision that I may have might not be that what they're expecting and it's a challenging conversation. You have thrive, isn't it. But
Paul Shrimpling: [00:12:27] absolutely. And if it's a moving target as well, Gareth, and that, that can now undermine the, the, the, the, the motivation and drive of the of the team, including your good self.
So. Glen, let's go to, and I just cause gas to tee that up. Lovely is you know, and you mentioned goals of your team goals of your people, but the goals of the term that we would class that as the vision of the firm, how clear is that to you and your team?
Glyn Davison: [00:12:53] Yeah, it's, it's been a big part of the last three, four years in reality, because your point Gareth is violent.
If you are not clear on exactly as the managing director, if you cannot articulate where we're going very quickly and very concisely and get that down to everyone, who's got a job of moving it forward, then they don't know what they're moving forward to. What? So it's a real change once we've and again, vision and mission are hard because what you want is something simple.
But actually you've got to go through the detail and a real soul search into actually create for the firm. What it's, why, why do you stand for what is important? What's what are you doing? What, where are you going? That isn't as easy as it sounds. And a lot of people talk about that. And that took me personally, as well as us as a team, a long time to drill down or something.
And again, a few people said to me, stuff that sticks, so you want it to be there forever. And that I felt at first I was quite a lot of pressure, but it's bang on because you have to get it right. So that doesn't change. If your vision and mission change every year, you've got no chance. You will flounder.
You will move all over the place. So you've got to nail those things. It was really hard. It's not simple. It's got to actually resonate and what we have now, when it it's a big, big, it sits really well with me. It makes my job as MD, much easier to be able to consistently use the same terms and the same words.
And, and even the strategic goals can sit underneath them. So you've got vision, mission, strategic goals, consistently, everyone talking about them. And that's a sign for me and my team at doing that. If my team is saying that if my team are behaving in line with those, I know that I've got that message across, but that's only come over the last three or four years prior to that.
Sometimes you'd have back or what the hell we were doing. I don't even know what I was doing, but again, because it causes confusion. And exactly what you're saying is that you don't realize that at the time, how important it is. And you do have people like Paul and you really need to nail this and you go, yes, I know Paul, but I've got the bandwidth to do.
And then that's the point. So how he nailed your vision and mission? I can't answer that question and, but we've done it. And it's been a fundamental building block in terms of moving forward. I know all, we can take the firm further now that we have this, and I know those things won't change.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:15:10] So you're making it sound very hard for anyone listening to this going out.
It just sounds like that's way, way too much like hard work for me. But what, so what, what's the payoff, Phil? How would you respond to that? I'm conscious because you connected with the culture piece. That's why I'm, I'm looking for a, you know, a piece here. What, where's the payoff for getting clarity on vision?
Phil Murray: [00:15:31] It's massive. Paul and I we've talked a little bit about the kind of that journey that we've been on. So we did a buyout 10, 11 years ago. A couple of years after we were, we're kind of like, right, we're ready to go and win some, some, some clients let's go and market come on. And then we were stopped in our tracks actually and said, well, what's your why?
You know, what's your brand about? And we went, well, we've got a logo. Thanks very much. And, and, and a strap line that said achieving your goals. And then again, we were stopped. But what about your, why w you know who you're looking for? What's the key parts here. And we were taken on a really good journey about vision, mission, core values, which as blends alluded to as being massive because it gives clarity on two key parts, one.
You know, from a, from a team point of view and culture, it helps you align your core values, where you're looking to go with your team. And if that fits fantastic, they come along and they can be part of some of the words and some of the way in which you're kind of developing the culture, which has big feel, them feeling accountable and responsible and feel a real purpose around what they're doing and building a better business was a, was, was a big thing for us, you know, that, that everyone really resonated well, cause it's something that we do every day.
So from a people point of view, that was great with existing people, but also as importantly, with anybody new coming in to be how, you know, how do you differentiate in, in a, in a professional services business? Well, that was big for us been able to actually articulate our culture and someone been able to resonate that that's a culture that they believe in about building businesses and evolving the role of what accountants do has meant that actually we're having.
Fantastic conversations with people that let's be clear. We probably wouldn't been able to have with before they wouldn't have known about it. So, and if they did that, I've looked and gone. Oh, well, there are, there are from up in county Durham and okay. Lovely people, but not sure if that fits for me. So more recently we've, we've been able to bring in some absolutely awesome people that we would have I'm clear on this.
We would never have been able to, without this culture and the vision and the mission and with creating limits, are you
Paul Shrimpling: [00:17:34] talking clients that
Phil Murray: [00:17:36] I'm talking both talking right. Team members. And then at the same time point, Paul, for my, with my commercial hat on. Originally it was Jack of all trades. Let's go and kind of weigh in on whatever business we want to and let's win.
But actually what's happened is we found a couple of years after we were really clear on our vision mission, purpose, and the strategy that actually the people that were coming through our door from a client perspective were more of the right type of clients. So the payoff of that was we were having much better conversations with businesses that definitely we could help.
And then also the payoff from that was that the average client value grew substantially because actually we were able to actually win clients who needed our services, not just compliance but advisory, which is where we were looking to drive. So the two key payoffs for us were both in terms of people and getting buy in from existing and bringing some quality in and working with some absolutely awesome clients.
That, again, I don't think we would have been able to, without a really clear vision, mission and strategy.
Glyn Davison: [00:18:39] Can I just, I don't know, can, I don't know, just referenced and fills two points there. So on people we built and revisited our recruitment process over the last 18 months, and we were able to do that using our core values, what we stand for our vision and mission.
I don't need to be involved in that in any massive detail because I know the framework is set. So the questions we ask, the process we follow the system for recruitment is tied into what we stand for. That's why we've been able to bring in people that match what we want culturally moving forward. And on the client's side, it's the same.
Our sales process can be built off the back of those building blocks of vision, mission, core values. So we build systems off the back of those building blocks. But if you haven't got those building blocks, clear enough, you get decent systems, but they don't necessarily all follow the same principles at the top.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:19:35] where you want to
Glyn Davison: [00:19:35] go. Yeah. Oh, they do. But not as far as if you've got those building blocks nailed on or is faster, faster.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:19:42] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I think I'm just wondering if there's a bit that's missing there, gents, which is this piece about when you've got clarity on, as you call, you know, values, vision, and mission and sense of purpose it enables you to work out clearly who you don't want to work with.
Isn't it? It's, that's the, it's the decisions about who you choose not to work with that almost matter more than the ones that you choose to work with, isn't it or not?
Glyn Davison: [00:20:08] No, you're right. We, we, we created, again, we like terminology when I do, because then I can see that if people are using it, you understand?
So we used a red flag system. So we red flag clients that don't take advisory services from us. That's what we did. We went through the client base and said, right. Are there any clients that don't pay for. And advisory service line. We defied what define what advisory service lines were. And we identified a number of clients that don't take advisory services.
We went to them and said, moving forward this year, you, this is the new package. The minimum package that we offer is this, which we delighted. If you join, joined up to, if that's not for you, we'll find you another accountant who will fit what you want, because we are about advisory. So
Paul Shrimpling: [00:20:53] you've not actually built it.
We assess for exiting clients that don't fit your vision, your values, your purpose, your mission. Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Glyn Davison: [00:21:01] Brilliant. Can the government to the team really liked that because they felt that that was a way of those clients that are been around a long time, but not really great to deal with. You end up dealing with us too, which is, can
Gareth Pinder: [00:21:15] I ask you guys a question?
Yeah. Go for it guys. So you guys, you seem like you're, you obviously. Invested quite heavily in the whole vision and and, and the firm. And I think, I think where we are as a practice, we're very much at the earliest stage and making sure we, we like cement the foundation of the vision and that, and I like to draw, I mean, you guys, you sound like you're way ahead and like, it's, it's, it's nice to hear, to talk, hear you talking about it, to be honest.
What sort of challenges did you have like with staff members and that, cause you mentioned that you acquired a practice, didn't you? What was sort of like when you integrated the two of them together, what sort of challenges did you come up with and how did you overcome them? Like, cause it's something we I'm finding at the moment and it's like it's something good to get somebody else's viewpoints on it, to be honest.
And how you overcome the challenges.
Glyn Davison: [00:22:02] I'll pick one off first, then I'll let Phil. So for me, people not just on integration, but people in general, the further up the organization, the more important you've got to get real depth on how those individuals behave, how they're built. That would be my real advice.
That's a real challenge. And for myself, I'm quite a, I tend to see the best in people. And again, understanding yourself as important, which I, I adore that about myself, but it can mask where something may not be right. You want to see the best. You don't want to see the bits that maybe aren't right. So I would say go down that route, make sure that you, if for me, it was building a team and one of the key changes with putting fail, who into a more people facing rules so that I could get better clarity on our people to be able to make the right decisions, because if you're going to grow and move forward, those at the top of the ones who are going to do it.
So you're going to integrate and bring a practice on board. Who's the senior people get inside the Northern, are they aligned with where you're going? Are there the type of people who really want to do that for their own reasons? Not for yours, for theirs. So that's a big challenge and still is. And still is.
I've made hundreds of mistakes in terms of people. And I still will, which is why we spent two years revisiting every single part of the people's side of the business. Cause I can't hide 15, 20 people to this business, unless I know that they're going to behave in a way that is aligned with our values.
And we couldn't do that until we got much more depth on what does that mean? How does our systems evolve to be able to do that? And in the HR and the people's side, it's a huge, huge area. It's totally underestimated. And I always felt do things early while you're a smaller, if I do them now, I know we can add 20, 30 people and I'll get much more consistent behavior if I wait and get the 50 people and then start, it's a nightmare.
It's impossible. Yeah.
Gareth Pinder: [00:23:58] How did you ensure the, the, the, the, these people sort of invested into your culture because they come in and so it was just like, different cultures, isn't it? That they need to, yeah,
Glyn Davison: [00:24:08] brilliant should observe them closely. And I don't mean like follow them around in the store. Maybe that would be weird human behavior.
We'll give that away all day long. One, use some sort of personality profile and again, for your senior people. So you and Elaine, now we did some work with what was it called or PQ? Yeah, so we use a fairly bespoke one, but it's the HR guys that we use. But we then put the, your PQ analysis together in a team format.
So we could see which skills that we were really strong in which ones we weren't one develop those skills and also any changes to that team, make sure you're bringing in skill skillset that fills the gaps. So I would say, and by that, I mean, observation, just, just be closer to exactly how people are built and watch behavior, watch language, which what they do not watch.
They were not what they say. Yeah. And build a team of people who were open to be able to challenge each other on that, which is not easy or no. Yeah.
Gareth Pinder: [00:25:02] We've we find difficult difficulties between the two offices because this office, I think we're quite open and honest about a few discussions with people about chain's not, but in any other offices a little bit more quiet, so of eggshells or worried about standing on eggshells and stuff.
So it's interesting to find them try and from your guys' sorry, from your point of view, how you manage that.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:25:23] It's I, I'm working with a couple of firms at the minute who are trying to integrate firms and you know, being crystal clear on the, and, and I know this podcast Mitsubishi vision, and all of a sudden we're in that, how we do stuff, value space, but they're, they're all so connected at the hip aren't they?
Anyway, but it's that, to being clear on what the values of your firm are, and then do you observe the language of skill and, and the way people actually behave dictates whether they fit the values or not. It's, if you're buying a firm, you it's almost as if you haven't got any choice over the people you've come in with the firm and then we've got to work with some or all of them to get them to reflect your values, not an easy, not an easy job that,
Phil Murray: [00:26:04] is it, Phil Portland and answering in one of your questions that our biggest challenge and probably is our our biggest regret is not kind of not challenging that behavior, that didn't fit.
With our vision, mission and values earlier, you know, actually like if, if we're really true to ourselves, we were really clear on vision, mission and purpose, but like Glenn's alluded to, we probably gave people second, third, fourth, fifth chances that they could change. And by not tackling that earlier, it's meant that our ability to move on and move faster as being tainted.
So I think being, being really true to yourself about if it's looking like that, someone's someone doesn't align that's okay. And being open and honest and transparent upfront is better. That's something that we've learned the last few years I've been still
Glyn Davison: [00:26:54] don't
Phil Murray: [00:26:58] speak so true and especially further, further up the business because in particular. You know, you're going out and marketing this fantastic vision, mission and core values. If then actually you're not living and breathing it every day. Then what's the point, you know, you're at risk of, of massively taping kind of your brands, which you've spent so much time doing it.
And then you bring in some brilliant people, whether it's clients or people and they go, well, that's not what I was sold. Thanks very much. And you've done spent so much time doing it and then tackling those behaviors. And like Glenn's alluded to, you know, observing not kind of really looking at what people are doing rather than what people are saying with one-to-one, you know, regular one-to-one that really kind of ask good questions, listening to the team, doing 360 reviews, those things it's not just fluff.
It actually makes a massive difference. Put a tell what it bloody. It takes time. And you've got to dedicate that time and believe that that time is going to get you where you want to, which is where we've had some battles in fairness. Yeah. And I,
Paul Shrimpling: [00:27:58] you know, what, what I'm hearing from both you Gareth in terms of your perspective, as well as, you know, Glen and Phil's is that this strategies piece, isn't something that, oh yeah, we'll deal with that.
And then, you know, 13 weeks later, it's sorted. That's, that's, that's not how it works. What I'm also hearing there also is that, you know, having worked in the profession for the last 18 years is everyone's really nice. And that accountability to the behavioral standards and values that you're setting is actually a real challenge.
But what you say in there, Phil, is it pays off. And it would pay off quicker if we were better at actually applying that accountability piece. And
Phil Murray: [00:28:35] actually, Paul, what we found is when, you know, we've built up this factor of going, I need to, I'm going to have to have a really tough conversation with someone about behaviors and those bits.
And actually once you've had it one, you feel great because you've gone well that, you know, it was based on values and a baseline of what we're trying to do. And actually the team members that you're talking to fully appreciate it. Cause you've been open and honest and upfront, and that either that leads to potentially someone going that's great.
I'm not actually the right fit here and we'll work together. Awesome. On NGOs app. I'm clear now you've not kind of danced around the handbags. You've been really, really clear with it. It's so for both bits, but again, the thought process of doing that and challenging somebody on behavior is alien to us, especially as in the UK, you know, we're nice.
And we don't like to have those, but actually having them, let me see
Paul Shrimpling: [00:29:23] another countries. I got to fail.
Phil Murray: [00:29:27] I meant it seems if that bit, we just find those, you know, we, don't like to be a bit more kind of frontal up about kind of challenging situations. Cause we, we think that conflict is a bad thing, but actually in the right way with a really good framework, like Glen's alluded to it, doesn't then become personal or you can make sure it's not personal.
Glyn Davison: [00:29:46] Janet Martin fact-based conversations is something we've worked hard on. We want to be talking about facts, not judgment, judgements don't work. So again, back to systems, once you have some core values and you can define them and that isn't easy. Again, something useful Gareth to think about is facilitating some of the hardest offs or strategic goals and values.
We facilitated those sessions that we bring people in to help facilitate that. And that's one way I've learned, I'll do that stuff. So if I've got a facilitator in, that's going to cost us some money, we've got some time set aside, they're going to help with the agenda. They're going to follow up the notes.
Then it happens. If it's left to me to organize that, then I've got 17 clients ringing the foreign Gordon. I need you for this and I'll break down. So at that first, then it doesn't happen. So facilitate key things like that. And then once you've got those things in place, it just makes it easier to, to build systems off the back of it.
Which is what Phil's talking about. Their performance reviews, wonder ones, the conversations have a consistency to them about how are you behaving in line with our core values? And if you aren't, what are those examples? How can we bring an example to the party to say, right? You handle this this way.
Yeah. How do you think we could have handled that much more in line with our values and people get us, it's a budget better. It's not a confrontational conversation. It's a fact-based conversation and it nudges people more towards the kind of behavior and they understand, right. That's the type of behavior they're looking for.
It just not just behavior. It doesn't change it overnight. Yeah.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:31:15] How do you, how do you resolve the, I'm going to refer to Michael Gerber. You mean through, he visited where he goes, this, you know, there's a system failure, not a people failure, but what you're actually talking about there, Glenn is there are people failures, and actually we need to be open and candid and have constructive conflict conversations.
Not, not, not Rouse, not fisticuffs. How do you square that circle? That actually GOBA would say, well, there isn't a, there isn't a people fairly. There's just system failures. Yeah. I think there's
Glyn Davison: [00:31:44] a bit in the middle. I think one, you do have to have systems and without doubt, Gerber's ethos changed my life.
It's it's. Yeah, I, I, I'm a logical person to immediately my head goes, this makes complete sense. However, still a person has to interpret that system. Doesn't mind how deal it is. A person has to interpret it. So how that person's built will dictate and also their, their background and, and, and how they, how they kind of come together will determine how they execute that system.
So I think observation just watching and talking, once something happened, sit down, have a conversation. You'll learn a lot from that as will the person, if it's all about you understanding. So Y Y if we asked 10 people to execute that system a guarantee, it doesn't matter how ill the system is. They will be different in how they executed.
Y. What are those differences? And if what we want is more consistent behavior, but we want people to use their own personality. We don't want them to be robots. Then you have to encourage your leadership team to go there, have those conversations, listen and encourage people to behave the way they do. But if it isn't in line with our values or understand, why do they understand that they clearly understand that we stop?
That happens, that hasn't happened before. So encourage more conversations about the behaviors you're looking for. And those behaviors sit underneath our core values and it starts with a good piece of work to be very clear on what values are, which again comes from, what are we trying to achieve?
Paul Shrimpling: [00:33:12] Well, I mean, I'm going to ask specifically what that is for Harlond's in a second, but I just want to turn it to, to Gareth Gath.
How clear to you is the vision of the business that you're working at?
Gareth Pinder: [00:33:26] So the Parker core vision is pretty clear. What is it? I mean, it's, it's pardon? What is it? This, the, the whole, the whole, the whole ethos is the adventure in business. Isn't it? Which you've probably seen through the website the actual, the full vision.
And in terms of the strategy, I say it's clear and it's, it's a difficult one, really, because I'm, cause I'm not in the Parker and co is I very much here trying to mold everything into it is I am soon as I'm out of it really. And maybe it's brought to the front that the vision meeting actually might, might need to be a bit.
Well, let me
Paul Shrimpling: [00:34:08] ask a better question again. Let me ask a better question. Cause you've got, you've got a team that you've got you. You're the leader of. Yeah. What's your vision for that team for that office? So
Gareth Pinder: [00:34:17] my, my vision for this team is basically we, we want to ensure that we provide the clients with the best service they can, they can get to be honest that, that that's, that that's my vision for this firm trying to mold the clients.
So if I say modems, bring them in line with the park and co ethos was essential, which is the whole sort of adventure in business. We want to make sure that the clients are completely happy that that's what I need to do at the moment. To be honest, I haven't really had time to look at the, the future vision.
Cause we're in the middle of a pandemic. This is difficult and not having it's slightly strange, not having face to face contacts with clients because it's a, you're a face service. Aren't you, you see clients face-to-face, that's where you're like to go meetings and stuff. And I think. On Tuesday. And actually I've got my, maybe my second meeting with the client which is w so it is very difficult and it's something we need to cement in a bit more detail, I think as the whole vision, what
Paul Shrimpling: [00:35:18] you flag up brilliantly there, Gareth is there's.
There, there are really lumpy issues, difficulties that we face in, you know, COVID pandemic, you know new, new office, new team come in. There's those, those things are happening about, I would argue and I'd like, Phil's views on this, that it doesn't matter. What moment in time you choose. There's always going to be some, what looks like to use your reference Gareth or a mountain in the way of you getting absolute clarity over your vision, your values, your mission Phil, what, what and I'm trying to get filter, read into what God has just shared there.
What are your thoughts?
Phil Murray: [00:35:54] Yeah. You know that if we go back to when we were originally pressed on vision and mission, like the thought of having to wait. A period of time before we were going to go and market the hell out of our business and win more clients, which is alien to me, you know what? I'm going to miss some opportunities, but actually going back to it, it is, it is critical in particular, even more so over the last year in COVID having a clear purpose and vision and mission made it much easier for us to articulate to our team and our clients, what we're trying to achieve.
And it might be that actually yet in this, in this next kind of 12 months, It's less about, you know, kind of growing and kind of driving cause nobody knows, but actually it's still about building better businesses. It just might mean that that's not necessarily for every business growing turnover and profit, it might becoming more agile, you know, and in terms of evolving the role and perception of accountants right now, that is different to where it was last year and the year before.
But Glenn's alluded to it, you know, your vision and mission won't change your tactics and potentially what those key objectives and goals are, will, because that will depend on where you're at as a business and where you're going. But yeah, I think it's something that we also talk to other clients about is that it's always, whether we like it or not strategy people development is it's usually the thing that goes to the bottom of the list.
Well, actually I tell a lie for clients actually it's sometimes it's a lot of the time it's finance control of course as well. But that's why we're in business, but it usually it's the stuff that happens last because we think it's less important, but actually it needs to be turned on its head. It's the stuff that.
Has to happen. That should be first on your priorities, because if not, you'll be setting off on a journey without any idea on where you're going and you might get there. Great. But actually, if you set off with a clear map, a clear indication of where you're going, you've got a much better chance of getting there.
It won't be that easy. It will be ups and downs, but actually that is, that is massive to me in my role. And to be able to articulate to my team, it makes it easier for me to do my job, I believe.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:37:55] Yeah. Yeah. You don't, you don't set off to wander up and around a mountain, you know exactly where the top of the mountain is in terms of the map and you choose your tactics to get up the map
Phil Murray: [00:38:06] that makes it yeah.
And you've checked the weather beforehand and you've kind of made sure that in your backpack, you always, that that's the whole bit, but actually go and we know we're going to get there, how we'd like to get there would be having fun and with your friends and stuff. That's and that's where the vision and mission comes and then the tactical India.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:38:21] Absolutely. Yeah. So where's Harland go and then Glen.
Glyn Davison: [00:38:25] Again, our vision and mission won't change at the end of the day. We, we to drill those down again, there is a bit of Brandon where, what Phil's touched on here, I would suggest that Garrity thinking about, and any firm looking to pin down vision and mission.
Given that one of my skill sets is very logical and that's why I'm good at being an accountant, the creative aspect, I have to work hard on to bring others in to do that. So our vision and mission won't change and it, it, it, it drives everything. We do, how we apply it, where we go, it will change. But in terms of in terms of vision, helping clients everywhere, build a bit of business, every single word of that in my mind means.
And the one that I'm focused on the movement is everywhere. So we were a local firm. Most of our clients were built up locally around the Northeast. But everywhere takes us into a different ballgame. And we've been, been working on this over the last couple of years. I see that as a, as an extension. So how do we build everything around servicing a client, advising a client so that we don't have to be physically on site so that we have a team that's wherever.
It brings all of those things in and constantly evolve in the role and perception of accountant, which is our mission at the moment. Again, that there you go, the COVID has brought in this flexible work. And for me, that flexible work in means that we, and we can work from anywhere the office environment.
And where does that start to feature? And also what do we do for our clients over the last year? I've had more conversations than I ever have had that are not anything about business. Nothing leader of a business wants to talk to me. And I also want to talk to them about how they're handling things. How are you what's what are you feeling?
So I see that as a feature over the next couple of years, How do you plan that in what you're going to put in your time sheet? If you're still measuring time sheets, they're irrelevant. It's how do we train our team, build our team to be able to deal and make revenue from that and get rid of well, good feedback from those clients and help them build a better business that, that help and build a better business.
You have a conversation and I've had many for half an hour with someone who mentions nothing about what we do for them. All they want to, one is someone they trust and respect to be able to go and they feel better and they're more effective to be able to go run their business. So I see that as a feature over the next couple of years and not just for me, for my whole team, I'd want to be able to build skills and our team and our, particularly in our advisory team where that becomes the norm.
That's what we do. We're comfortable with it.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:40:56] Yeah. Yeah, so Glenn, I've got one of my challenges in and around this vision piece is like, I get the, you know, core purpose or mission, and we can, we can argue over the semantic labels, but you know, build a bit of business. But for me, vision has got numbers attached to it, as well as, you know, in terms of, you know, How many offices, how many clients, how many team members, you know fees or profit per full-time employee and so forth.
How have you built that out? Because where I want to take this conversation is to, cause then what we want to do is every quarter, everything, 13 weeks have a, you know, a significant strategic win. Because we hit a particular milestone in a 13 week period, which is sort of what Google and Intel do around their concept called OKR objectives and key results every quarter.
So what about the numbers? Cause we're you guys are accountants going to have a vision which has got numbers attached to it, then we,
Glyn Davison: [00:41:43] yep, we do. So the key numbers and the key drivers for us and one of the strategic goals we set was in terms of turn or vessel being the largest independent firm in the Northeast by turnover.
So we do measure turnover fairly well. Also gross profit. We want to be in top 25 nationally. So benchmark against other accounting firms to make sure our GP is top water. So those themselves strategically won't change how we do that and how we make that up. There's a whole lot of other metrics underneath that.
And the other key one. So if we want to help build better businesses, how do you measure that? We measure it count in GVA, gross value add. So if you actually look at our client base out their GVA, And then monitor the growth in that year on year. So every time we drop a set a year and it came, then we add a metric, which means we can work.
We can work out what their GVA growth is, what ours client base is. We have to be above local and national averages because then we can see we're doing that. We're helping you build a better business, and this is how we're measuring it. We're using GVA. So those for yeah, key as well as to less quantitative, but feedback led customer service led, how do your clients feel?
So we use net promoter and we used a net promoter for how our team feel. There was main metrics that we measure on a regular basis. And Phil delivers a a debrief and a communication of those KPIs every month. So we share them more with the team. We go through them with the team and we help them understand what are those mean when we haven't done so well, we talk about why, where we've done brilliantly.
We give some examples. So that's, that's what underpins them. And again, we chose the metrics too, off the back of having the building blocks of the, the, the vision and the mission in place and some strategic goals, which I've referenced. So it does cascade
Paul Shrimpling: [00:43:24] through. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Gareth, I'm just wondering if you've got a question for Phil or Glen around what they just shared on those numbers.
Gareth Pinder: [00:43:34] It's difficult because like you guys you're, you, you, you, you're obviously very, very led into the strategy of the PR of your practice, which is, you know, just from my point of view, it's amazing to hear, to be honest. And this is I've taken good to take away a lot from this. So how, how long has it taken you guys to.
To solidify this into your, like your management structure, because like, this is something which like, you know, I'm listening to, and I'm thinking, God, these guys actually, they've done a lot of work into this and I'm literally, I don't even think I'm on the first run, to be honest, that's the way you are.
But, but it's how long does it have you, you obviously invested a lot of time, but Hey, how, how long did it take you to sort of get to the point and think, yeah. W w we're at a good place now? Wait. We're we're here. Can I
Paul Shrimpling: [00:44:19] change that question? Very slightly? Phil answer, answer the question, but also answer the question.
Not just how long has it taken, but how much time and effort every week or every month does it take? Hmm.
Phil Murray: [00:44:30] Yeah. So it's still happening now, you know, we're still, we're still there. We, we, we sometimes were excellent and therefore, the biggest challenge for us is consistency. You know, and making sure, as you've alluded to that, the management team, I continued to do the things that we, we want them to do, and they want to do to ensure that that's kind of just front and center.
So to give you an idea from a timescale point of view, though, so we bought the business 10 years ago, we then did a rebrand of it two years after that. That helped more from a commercial point of view, if I'm honest at that particular time. Then we had another few years of kind of commercially starting to enact that plan.
Then Glenn's alluded to about two or three years ago. The, the big aha moment around the vision and mission and integrating with our business was our people plan. And that's taken probably a couple of years, two and a bit years for it to fully be implemented. And what I mean by that we've done lots of work around processes and bringing in then making sure that the, the management team believe in it and integrate it is our biggest challenge in all honesty.
You know, it's all right saying it and it's that, you know, and it's, but it's believing it. And it's making sure that the managers that you've got believe in it and the managers you're bringing in believe that it's the right thing to do. And in terms of. How much time on a, on a day by day or week by week basis to give you an indication of the type of stuff that we're doing.
So Glen's alluded to it, monthly, monthly KPIs, sharing that with the team. We also have as a leadership team, as well as individual teams, regular huddles. So you're talking like a couple of a couple of times a week dropping in huddles, talking about KPIs, talking about the key things. Again, I'm not saying we've aced it.
You know, it's consistently, we need to get better at it. And fortnightly one-to-one fortnightly, or the very, very least monthly one-to-one is where you're talking about people development. And you're not talking about client related stuff. You're talking about what matters to that individual, where are they moving towards where's where's their development moving and really focusing on the KPIs on those bits.
Is that something
Gareth Pinder: [00:46:38] you do on Ivy? Have you meant then is that you have a, like a, have you meet with your employees every week? And I see that regularly and because I'm used to having like a six month meet or something like that, but you're, you guys are really, really on top of it though, with your employees.
Glyn Davison: [00:46:51] So for me, I want to see momentum more regularly. If I, if it's every six months that that happened, what happens if in that six months periods nothing's happened, you get there and say, oh, I've had about six months. You've lost six months, or I want to eat it. We're moving those things forward regularly as a team.
And it does depend on the size of your team because we still have a relatively small management team and that's been the issue. We've had managers, who've said we're doing this, but they don't really understand how to carry out a one, one conversation to move a TNA forward. How, how would they, if they're inexperienced managers, so we've, we've had to evolve and we're still evolving.
Phil Murray: [00:47:26] And if I can add a little bit around that pool of gum, if it's around the Gallup 12 there's 12 questions effectively around, you know, having an engaged team and all the stats tell us that an engaged team tells us that like profitability productivity improves, but there's a core number. There's a core number of questions.
And one is around, you know, where your role fits. So role portraits, KPIs are critical to that. And regular positive interaction and recognition weekly. It says, which is crazy. When you think about it, like, well, you know, when, when you're talking about like six, you know, six monthly performance reviews, you know, it's the traditional stuff.
All the stats say that you should be having positive recognition and regular conversations with your team about what's worked really well. And not just, you've done a good job this week. It'd be really specific, specific, not report. Yeah, I'm fantastic. Because, because, because, and if you do that, Builds a fantastically engaged team.
And again, one of the other core ones is that having a manager that cares about me and my business, you can't do that. If you're just talking to them about that personal development, every six months, that's just crazy. You know, it has to be regular and it doesn't have to be too formal either. That's the thing that people fall down on you over a checklist and I've got to do it.
You've got to capture key actions. Don't get me wrong. But giving a damn about your team is like, it's just listening. It's about asking good questions and stepping back to say, why am I listening? And again, I sound like a w we're awesome at this. We're trying, and we're doing our best. It's a consistency bit now.
And doing it regularly as where we are, he gets it. Yeah.
Glyn Davison: [00:48:59] That'd be the chart people don't say, they're going to do that. And then when you get down to, and again, that's observation from me learning how important observation is. We've only got 20 odd people. So it's not that hard to actually have a conversation with somebody who's had some one-to-one and has a TNA just to kind of pick up.
Is that being handled right? Are they moving in the right direction? And that's what I've got better at it, because everyone's saying they're doing these things. I can see them happening, but now we're not, not moving where we should do. So what's going wrong. Getting some upward comms and trust.
Psychological safety is another aspect that people need to feel safe, that they can say stuff. And that's where we've had from troubles in. And then, you know, it's right. When I know where the challenges are, it's our management there. The people on safety set the warrant or they'll see some stuff later.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:49:49] That's, that's brilliant because if, if you're having, even if it was quarterly appraisals, you're not going to get that, you know, sense of psychological safety being open. But if you're having weekly or by fortnightly one, once a ones that they'll get that you're serious about having an open, candid conflict conversation that actually helps them drive forward.
That's been the key for
Glyn Davison: [00:50:09] everyone knows that west. Cause you can set these things out and people do see, I used to being stickers and whatever you want on the wall, it's your actions. That everyone will watch. Yeah. So if you don't follow that through every single day and that's where we haven't been strong enough, Phil and I, and that's where back at the client stuff.
Yeah, in your own mind. Well, I can't, I can't do all that kind of stuff and all that. If you're in that manager director role, then you have to talk after
Paul Shrimpling: [00:50:34] too blocks of time for blocks where work has got it. And what's lovely from this conversation is every week without fail, there's a block of time that gets applied to whether it be a vision piece or a values piece or whatever it is strategically, you know, we're talking vision and, you know, quarterly priorities here.
And, and I, I just want to flag up the, you know, objectives and key results is you know, John Doerr piece from his lessons at Intel, which made, was massive contributor to Intel being brilliantly successful. And then he walked into Google shared it with Google. They said, oh yeah, we'll run with that.
And so John Doerr bought 11% of Google stock when there was only 30 people in Google on the back of them saying, yes, let's do this. I think he probably did rather well out of that. And it's it's, I I'm I'm, I've got two last
Phil Murray: [00:51:21] questions.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:51:22] Can you have two last questions? That's an oxymoron. And I can't do that.
That's just, anyway, I've got two more questions. What's the strategic focus, the singular priority for your two respective firms at this moment. If there was one thing without fail you are going to do within this quarter, this 13 week window, what is it? How clear is it? And if you haven't gotten, it's not clear, then let's have that conversation.
Glyn Davison: [00:51:48] We're in where we're building a new five-year strategic plan from 2022 to 2027. So that, that is in the pipeline. So making sure that we've got that in focus would be where I am. But if you ask me for in the next three months, what's the most important thing to progress. I would go back to what I've just referenced to the team, get the team all on one page.
You've got some people come back that the office, some working remotely, we need engagement. We need to be close to them. We need to be sure that everyone's clear what's happening because a lot of change going on in our organization and new people are going to be coming in. So we need to be very, very close, right.
Again, make sure all of that. What we just talked about one-to-one that's happening genuinely. I mean, that's my, that's my focus over the next week. So
Paul Shrimpling: [00:52:30] we're very elegantly. What you said is that we've got a strategic priority, which is build the 22 to 27 plan and then tactically let's make sure all our team are fully engaged with the way the business now going to work going forward.
And we've got to get that working from home, working from the office balance and blend work in brilliantly Gareth what's your without fail singular strategic focus for this quarter. It's a swine of all question.
Gareth Pinder: [00:52:53] No, no, no. It's for the, for this quarter, it's literally, we've had a lot of changes in terms of.
Like the, the practice that we was acquired, plus the it infrastructure has completely changed. Like, excuse me. The Newport office has literally just gone paperless to be honest. So like they're literally really behind so our strategic sort of goal at the moment, it's to making sure that we are, we are one office.
Ultimately we went office. We are we ready to move on and start, start getting to the place where Paul and fill out to be honest to build upon, we need to send Samantha foundations before we start moving on, to be honest, that's that's our next call to go on. And then we're going to look, we'll look forward to it.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:53:30] Yeah. Cause there's a priority is a singular reference. You know, people I've got three priorities. No, no, no. What's your one without fail priorities. A really good question. So last question to you, Glenn people are listening to this guy. Yeah. I get this strategic stuff. Vision. Yes. Values. Yes.
Purpose mission. Yes. A team engagement. Yes. You've already acknowledged you made lots of mistakes. If you were to do it again, where would you start? What, what's the, you know, the step one, step two, maybe step three, starting points based on the, all the if I can colloquially call them cockups yeah.
Glyn Davison: [00:54:03] Yeah. I would say pinning down the mission and vision earlier, I could have done that. That that would have been, we would have been further on if we done that. How
Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:16] do you know that they've failed? Sorry, Glenn, how do you
Glyn Davison: [00:54:18] know that? Because we're now after the event. So there was no reason why I couldn't have done that earlier.
If I'd made the time and brought the right people in to facilitate that we would have, I know that we would have moved faster than we have.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:54:32] So what stopped you seeing that as the priority at that time, because that's where people who are listening into this are going to be focused. It stopped you seeing
Glyn Davison: [00:54:38] it.
We, we bought the practice in 2011. We had to keep all the clients, some of the relationships weren't with us. We had to build those relationships. We had debt, we had it's a business to run. You've got to keep a client. So that's the honesty. And, but we did that for a couple of years. And at that point is when we should have nailed the mission and vision and we didn't, we left it a bit longer and we stumbled across it through brand and looking back.
If a is sometimes it's the big things. It's the calls you make. And when you make them, I don't regret anything we've done at all, because we've learned a lot. But if I'd done that earlier, we definitely could have grown faster.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:55:14] Glenn, do you think you could really have invested half a day, a week in the mission vision earlier?
You know what last
Glyn Davison: [00:55:21] really I could, I could have, I could have seen that yet. I'm a big believer in a time and a player. Sometimes you're not ready and it was just, I wasn't quite ready, but that's just me. If a different leader and different person had been in this business and they'd done that, then, then this business would have, would have grown faster.
I know that. So, but you learn, you don't, I don't, I don't beat myself up or right. You're just, I also understand that where I am now, I only know. Very little. So just try and watch for those big things that are maybe a might not be missing and get other input on that. I do that all the time and look at bigger firms that have gone through this and talk to people who've been there and done it.
I'm a big fan of that. Keep them around the business. Definitely talk to people who've been there and done it. They will, they will help.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:56:04] Yeah. They're faster. Learn from others, which is the guests. There's the purpose of this podcast series as well. Isn't it? So last question, definitely to all three of you, what's been of most value in this conversation today.
What is it that you look at it and go, oh right. That's stood out for me. That's going to help me go with what, how would you and
Gareth Pinder: [00:56:19] so there are my. For me, it's just listening to filling Glen and listening, listening to, they obviously have gone through it all before. And I'm really, really glad that I've gone to this podcast because it's been such a valuable expert experience for me, like listening to you guys along with the literally, like I'd been making notes as one on the side, if you haven't noticed anything.
So I'm going to take a lot away from you guys. So thank you very
Paul Shrimpling: [00:56:43] much, but I'm going to push you on that. So if there was one thing you physically going to do as a consequence of what you've discovered today, GAF, what is it? Vision,
Gareth Pinder: [00:56:52] build the vision, build a bit built the purpose of where we're going and stuff.
Definitely. Cause I think that's from what you just said, Glen, that is the main focus of what you would have done earlier. Isn't it? And to be honest, I think that's something that we need to do definitely to make sure that we can move forward. How much
Paul Shrimpling: [00:57:05] of your time are you going to allocate to that? And then
Gareth Pinder: [00:57:06] Gareth.
As much as I can at the moment at least half a day. It's just mentioned, like you say, there was difficult, isn't it like you you've, you've got to build these relationships and I haven't met some of these clients, so like no name moving forward out the pandemic. I'm gonna have a lot more meetings, but I definitely gonna, at least at least half a day, a week, I think is what, what I'm going to need to, I'm going to invest in their, invest in the employees as well in the people as well.
Definitely more. Cause it's like, I see the benefits for sure.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:57:35] Well, you know, even if it was an hour a week guaranteed, You'll get something out of that. And sometimes we can go wrong, but it makes sense. Doesn't it investing half a day, but when you're spending so many plates juggling, so many balls is one high-quality hour, a week can then earn you the place where you've got to two hours a week now earns you to the place where you've got half a day, a week.
And so you might want to you know, manage your expectations a little bit, which if you think I'm dumping you down, then just ignore me completely. But it's it makes a difference. Felt what stood out have been of most value to you. Do you think in this
Phil Murray: [00:58:04] conversation, reflecting, actually, it's always, it's always good to reflect on where you've come and but also the big thing for me is that.
Our ability to deliver consistently, we've got a big hundred days ahead with new people coming in. And it's just made me think about how even more important than just revisiting our systems on our induction processes of new people coming in to make sure that everything that I'm saying verbally is in there and that we're going to drill our new team members, the most awesome experience when they start.
Cause it's where it is, where it's let us down in the past that that's the element we sell ourselves incredibly well, but you'll have heard Garath, you know, we talk really passionately about it, doing it consistently, both in terms of people coming into our business and clients is, is something that I need to get my my teeth into these next, the next next couple of months.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:58:56] Ben, what stood out, being the value for you today?
Glyn Davison: [00:58:59] Like those part about reflection? I was thinking that we're just talking through what we've been through and how we've been through it. And some of the key things has really been really useful from a confidence point of view. But the one thing I'll pin pin down is all chaos.
KPIs were a little bit off where I would like us to be. Haven't thought about that. And you pushing us on those things. We've probably drifted on that because of there we're focused on people which is being good. We just need to not take our eye off those balls. Especially if we're transitioning into a new period of growth we need to meet.
Well, we're still sharp on the stuff that we said we were going to do in those results. So that's the thing I'll take away and just think about right. How are we going to sharpen those open? Make sure we've got them as we want them to be.
Paul Shrimpling: [00:59:37] Yeah, brilliant. Brilliant. For me, it's been, this is a podcast about strategy, vision.
Okay. Ours and yes, but purpose, mission values always shows you can't, you can't separate them all out. We've got to get clarity on all of them, but actually we've talked about weekly implementation. What do we do a little bit every week without fail in and around the strategic stuff, as well as the client care stuff and the team care stuff and so on there's we can do a little bit on strategy every week without fail and we will build a momentum around that.
That's what stood out for me, brilliantly gentlemen. I really, really appreciate you investing your time and your energy today. And it's been a real joy for me and I thank you very,
Glyn Davison: [01:00:16] very, very much. No problem.
Paul Shrimpling: [01:00:23] You'll find more valuable discussions with the leaders of ambitious accounting firms at humanized, the numbers.online. Go to the show notes for this podcast and click the link to get access to the full series on strategy for accountants, you can also sign up to be notified each time a new podcast is made available.
Get clear on your vision
Consistently working on vision
What is your singular focus?
If you could do it all again...
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