What Does the Fox Do? The Benefits of Procedures

Posted By on Dec 24, 2013|0 comments


By now you know what the fox says, “Ring-ding-ding-ding-ding-ding!”

When I was in second grade, my favorite teacher, Mrs. McGinnis took us to the Bronx Zoo. We each had to write a report about our favorite animal. I chose the fox because it was smart, sly and crafty. They are not empowering animals, but what they lack in breadth, they make up for in smarts.

Ylvis, the Norwegian comedian group, has made a spoof on YouTube called “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say)”. It was uploaded on September 3, 2013. As of this writing on November 14, 2013, it has amassed more than 219 million views. It is a complete joke, but highly entertaining.

Given the knowledge I gleaned from the report I wrote in second grade, today I am less concerned about what the fox says and more concerned about what the fox would do to run a business. I am sure this crafty animal would have processes and procedures. Don’t believe me? I will tell you why.

I recently hired a customer service assistant for our firm who started just a few weeks back. The first week she was in training each day. By the second week, she was working on some projects.

It is now the third week and her immediate boss is away on vacation. I have assigned her two things: 1. Move a client’s investment from one allocation to another and retrieve; and 2. Send a client his RMD notification. Each of these requires using our CRM Salesforce.com, the custodian platform Foliofn and communicating with the client.

Neither of these tasks she has done before, but when I asked if she needed help, she responded with “No, I know where these instructions are in the procedures.”

Three weeks in and she does not need to utilize my time to complete these tasks. Can you say the same thing about an employee that started with you three weeks ago?

Consequently there are three benefits:

  1. By having well-defined procedures, you spend less time training and more time being profitable.
  2. Your employee learns to be self-sufficient much quicker.
  3. You have a much more productive employee.

This is why I am so emphatic about establishing procedures. They create a competitive advantage for your company and enable your firm to be more efficient and productive.  As a result, you are able to create more profits.

This reminds me of a story I read in the Monterey California Herald, about a fox that was cagey. When four golfers went to go putt, the fox came and grabbed the sandwiches from their golf cart. The fox adapts to its environment and benefits where it can take the chance. It has a process to its approach – wait, observe, plot, attack. Just like the fox is observant and ready to take advantage when the opportunity strikes, so can financial advisors … if you have procedures in place.

Creating procedures doesn’t take a degree in process management, but it does take a routine. The first step is to think about what kind of outcome you want from the procedure. The second step is to write down the entire process beginning with the outcome you want. Once you have that in place, follow through and test the instructions. What did you miss?

If you would like help creating procedures, please contact us.

Creating procedures is extremely effective. Begin accelerating your business and do what the fox does.

One last thing, it also helps to have a great new employee. Way to go, Lindsay!

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