I’ve just come back from two weeks away on my bike with a group of mates. We went from Wollongong to Phillip island (vic) for the MotoGP, then a good mate and I travelled the great ocean road and ended up in Mt Gambia (SA). Making our way back, we called into Swan Hill and travelled along the Murray River to land in my old town of Wagga and back to Sydney for the weekend, 4500 kms in all…
The finale to our trip was watching the Melbourne MotoGP, an experience I recommend to all, including non-bikers.
On the two hour ride home from Sydney on Monday morning, I got to thinking on race tactics. It occurred to me that it’s not unlike the tasks faced by accountants.
In the GP Motorbikes, the opportunity for any of the lead eight bikes to go from first to eighth can be instant, with opportunities arising in any one lap. The top eight bikes are within hundreds of seconds of each other, so it comes down to the rider’s ability to produce consistent lap times. To be the leader, and to ensure you keep the lead, means making consistent decisions about speed, gear changes, braking and ensuring you outperform all other rides, over each and every lap.
It’s easy to relate racing to Accountants – race conditions are very much like strategic thinking during busy time. As the leader of your team you must:
- covering the basics each and every week; and
- ensuring your team are performing to the best of their ability and
- watching out for what’s happening next week.
During superbike races, a few hundredths of a second can mean losing your place, and in a non-stop performance, 29 laps over 40 minutes, you must make sure that a single mistake doesn’t end your race.
On the weekend, the MotoGP the lead rider, was consistently quicker on every lap than the others, giving him 3.5 second lead, due to his:
- Consistent performance; and
- consistent decision-making ability.
For any avid followers, we all know that one mistake cost Marquez the race, my point is not his mistake but how his consistency has won him more races than anyone else this year. He is a clear leader. Obviously he must have a great team that keeps the bike at high performance levels but on that track it’s all up to him. (Behind-the-scenes bike crews and personnel can be related to my Premium Practice Foundations)
How (winning) Accounting is all about Consistency too
In my experience, the best growth opportunities for Accountants come from your existing clients.
Therefore, it is consistent performance over time that gives you the capacity to do value add work. This is because you need to systemise and tweak the delivery process of your service offering (packages and products) in order to make sure its delivered consistently and with quicker turnaround times (productivity). This is management of practice performance at its best.
Focusing on better delivery times and better ways to do that creates additional capacity, by providing the necessary time to spend looking for more opportunities within your clients. The alternative is to continue to do the same things in the same way, which just results in busy-ness and no time to value add.
Performance Management Checklist to achieve consistency in your firm:
Use these questions to assess your practice performance across these three key areas:
- Capacity – Is the service delivery process producing the fastest possible turnaround time?
- Productivity – Are your team performing at their optimal levels? Are they doing the right tasks, well-trained, as well as energised & motivated?
- Effectiveness of systems – When did you last review the effectiveness of the system? Do new tools need to be employed?
Practice Performance is just one area of a Premium Practice.