There are two barriers stopping this happening. The first obstacle is easy, it is to overcome the negative connotation of the word shortcut and look to use them more often. We all use shortcuts everyday, from direct debits to pay our bills, to search engines, the apps on our smartphones and even the acronyms I used in the previous paragraph. Shortcuts are about embracing patterns and processes that can be repeated easily to save you time, or reusing someone else's learned experience to make sure you don't repeat the same mistakes or can progress through the basics quicker, they are one of the foundations of efficiency.
The second obstacle is much more difficult, because it involves getting out of our own way! In 1990 Harvard Business Review magazine published an article (which I found via a shortcut, thanks Google) titled 'Reengineering work: Don't automate, Obliterate' in which it suggested that established firms were leaving existing processes intact and simply using computers to speed them up. 30 years later and this approach is still evident through the phrase 'this is the way we've always done it' and through observation of some wealth management firms who are still struggling to make material efficiency gains even after the adoption of new technologies. After three decades of technology making old ways of working faster it's time to change, obliterate the obstacles and shortcut to the future of wealth management.
Thinking, making, doing
I dipped back into the podcast with Du Sautoy for inspiration on which activities would benefit most from shortcuts and was delighted by a reference to Aristotle and in particular two of the three basic activities of man: Poiesis and Praxis. Poiesis being the performance of tasks that you need to perform - that are a means to an end, and Praxis the performance of tasks that allow one to display excellence. Bringing the third of Aristotle's basic activities into consideration allowed me to draw a parallel with the core activities in wealth management.
The third basic activity of man is Theoria, the act of learning, research and theory. We might translate this to 'problem solving' which is undoubtedly considered a mainstay for wealth management professionals such as analysts, advisers, investment managers and other technical specialists. Poiesis would naturally cover activities such as administration, paperwork, reporting and implementation with Praxis being the opportunity to articulate the value of work done, be that a research note for internal teams, a portfolio's performance or a financial plan.
IRESS Limited published this content on 07 December 2021 and is solely responsible for the information contained therein. Distributed by Public, unedited and unaltered, on 08 December 2021 10:31:01 UTC.