Managing All Kinds of Change

Written by Lisa Crafford

One of the sessions I will be participating in at this year’s Insiders Forum is titled “Managing Change.” After my experiences over the past few months, I certainly have plenty of material!

I completed graduate school last fall and, with a fresh passion and energy to apply my new knowledge, accepted a position as Relationship Manager with Pershing Advisor Solutions. Since then, I’ve changed just about everything about my professional life. I’ve gone from being the “go-to” person in my office for any kind of question—from IT to operations to HR to finance—to being the new kid on the block who had to ask where the tea is (which, to me, is a big deal!). I’ve gone from worrying about the SEC knocking on my door, to helping my clients prepare for when the SEC comes calling on them. And I no longer work in a small firm with one location. I’m part of a company with offices and operations all over the world.

Why Pershing Advisor Solutions? I get this question a lot. When I spoke with the leadership at Pershing Advisor Solutions, I was impressed with the service provided to RIA clients. I loved that they lead with practice management at a Relationship Manager level, which allows me to do what I love most of the time. I also see the value they bring in serving more complex clients, and the resources from Pershing, and BNY Mellon that they can leverage. I loved the makeup of the group of Relationship Managers and the true team environment that exists within the company. It’s exciting to be a part of the growth at Pershing Advisor Solutions!

Even before I underwent this giant personal and professional change, part of my role at the RIA where I worked was to manage change. So it should come as no surprise that I actually enjoy this upheaval that the past few months have brought. Here are a few lessons I have learned along the way:

  1. Think it out. Even if you’re OK with the change, others may not be and it’s important to be sensitive to what they may be going through.
  2. Map it out. I’m a visual person. I like to cover my walls with large sheets of paper and think through my ideas. It is more real when you see it on paper, and inviting others to see your thoughts will provide you with some helpful and challenging feedback.
  3. Spell. It. Out. You may have to share your plan more than once—even with the same person. That’s OK. I remember making some big changes to our online presence at my old firm. I dove into the first meeting all excited and totally jumped the gun. By the time it went live, I had shared the change I was introducing multiple times in various meetings and impromptu hallway conversations. You work on a team, so make sure the team completely buys into your ideas.

One great thing that has remained constant for me is participating in the planning and organization of Insiders Forum. Bob and Jean asked Shaun (of Sequoia Financial in Akron, OH) and me to help them a couple of years ago. Each year our role evolves a little but, as COO track coordinators, we can influence topics and speakers based on what our peers are looking for. As a Relationship Manager, I can consult with RIAs to help them grow and strengthen their business. I know what concerns you have as operations managers, I understand how you are winning new business and I hear what ideas you have for innovation. Combined with Shaun and his leadership of HIFON, we hear from many firms around the country, and it is our goal to bring that to life in the COO track. We hope you enjoy the lineup of speakers and topics this year and we want your suggestions for the next Insiders Forum!

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