I see this all the time: Partners who are searching for a way to take their practice to the next level opt for a group coaching model that promises big, yet somehow fails to deliver. In my time, I even tried this approach myself.
Before we developed our own approach to growth, the economies of group coaching seemed attractive. Lower monthly fees, group learning environment with peers, vast resource libraries to access knowledge.
Are these the results you’re after for your Firm?
But too often I see results of that model that are not working:
- I see firms heading in the wrong direction, one that was never right for them in the first place.
- I see teams not successfully implementing strategies and therefore stalled with growth,
- I see firms accruing significant, unexpected costs due to making common mistakes, (see TA: Are you making these Pricing Mistakes?)
- I know that what works for one firm doesn’t necessarily work for another,
- I see FPA just not working – resulting in write offs and scope creep instead
- I see strategies stalled because they don’t know how to move forward from a specific situation or what to do next.
And all of this occurs because generally speaking, group coaching does not offer enough individual support for Partners who are facing fundamental issues in their Firms.
Why I think Group Coaching is wrong for Accountants
I’m going to come out and say it “I believe that a one size fits all approach is ultimately flawed for the majority of the Accounting industry”.
Group coaching simply doesn’t allow for several important aspects…
- Group coaching doesn’t address your personal demographics (this is crucial because Partners are individuals, not clones)
- Success is often attributable to one’s ability to interpret and implement, not follow and do as others (this is because individuals learn differently, and require different support to put plans into action)
- Successful implementation is about what works for you and your clients (not what works for other firms)
How coaching should work
Regardless of the coaching model you choose, it must be made to work for you, your team and your clients.
Specifically, it must:
- work for your practice : you and your team
- provide your clients with what they need
- be built by you, so you understand it (which makes it much easier for client to buy); and
- create a service that uses a tool (instead of a tool to sell as a service)
As an accountant, I looked for a solution that could demonstrate real results, and as a mentor I am focused on helping practices to achieve the same.
In the words of one of my clients, this is what worked for them:
“When Andrew advises about Accounting Practice strategy his advice is underpinned by real life experiences in working at all levels in an accounting firm from a trainee to a partner. So his advice on strategies is supported by what really works, why strategies will work in certain markets and not others, as opposed to relying on third party experiences of successful strategies. Andrew’s real experience on the ground influence the strategies that he recommends, the way they are presented and ensure the strategies are based around being business savvy, as opposed to being based around hype.”
– Garry Pinch, Accounting Professionals