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Creating a Shift-up for Challenge Culture

When planning to use the time you have got more effectively, the most important thing is that your use of time moves you on towards your own goals and objectives, as this is the ultimate litmus test of effectiveness.

Given that effectiveness is your ultimate aim, how can you better use that precious commodity of time and enjoy the experience too?

One solution that’s almost certainly is not an option, is to work harder, as it’s very likely that as an accountant, you already work as hard as your health and a balanced lifestyle allows.

For people in your firm to help with a change process, you will need their buy-in and support and one of the ways to achieve this is to create a ‘shift-up for challenge’ culture in your practice.

This is a culture where you promote and articulate a core belief in the firm that everyone is encouraged and expected to shift-up, including the partners and this then creates space for growth and change.

With this culture in place, your people are more likely to buy-in to supporting your plans to use your own time better, as it is unlikely you can simply do this on your own.

It’s a fundamental element of behavioral science that where peoples’ roles have authority and responsibility in balance they perform best.

Too much authority and not enough responsibility (sometimes true of partners) doesn’t work and neither does too much responsibility and not enough authority (frustration).

Therefore, if there is one change you need to facilitate your own better use of time, then buy-in by your people to an articulated plan is a sound objective.

In essence, this is your own Leverage Plan for better use of your time to enable growth that is supported by others.

How can you get maximum help from others? Of course, we are working on the assumption that you can’t GET anyone to do anything and therefore you need to use the very best buy-in and empowerment techniques.

I suggest you treat each person in your firm with the same respect as you would a brilliant prospective new client.

Meet with them, establish their wants and issues and you have to show them, “What’s in it for them” – perhaps irritating, because you are all in the same firm, but necessary.

This way you can find out any objections they might have and then deal with them and if they need evidence that for instance, advisory works, provide it as soon as you can.

Do all this in a structured and patient way, one step at a time and above all, don’t push or cajole people, as it simply doesn’t work and ends up being counterproductive.

However, sat over all this is a core belief and culture that supports and doesn’t tolerate alternatives to a shift up for challenge dynamic.