44 episodes

‘The Authentic Advisor’ interviews are packed with practical ideas, insights, and frank observations on what works (and what does not) when delivering high performance business advisory. Mindshop’s Managing Director, James Mason interviews senior independent and professional service firm business advisors from across the world. Exploring important advisory topics from creating leverage and building capability to marketing advisory services and how to be the best problem solver in the room, this podcast series is a ‘must listen’ for those who want to set themselves apart in a cluttered market.

The Authentic Advisor Mindshop

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 10 Ratings

‘The Authentic Advisor’ interviews are packed with practical ideas, insights, and frank observations on what works (and what does not) when delivering high performance business advisory. Mindshop’s Managing Director, James Mason interviews senior independent and professional service firm business advisors from across the world. Exploring important advisory topics from creating leverage and building capability to marketing advisory services and how to be the best problem solver in the room, this podcast series is a ‘must listen’ for those who want to set themselves apart in a cluttered market.

    Success on the pathway to partner – traits that drive high performers with Tony Szczepaniak, CEO, LEA Global

    Success on the pathway to partner – traits that drive high performers with Tony Szczepaniak, CEO, LEA Global

    In this episode of the Authentic Advisor, James Mason interviews Tony Szczepaniak, the global CEO of LEA Global, about the pathway to partner in accounting firms. They discuss the challenges faced by firms, the attributes of high-performing leaders, programs for developing future partners, building business advisory skills, and tips for building a strong pathway to partnership. 

     

    Takeaways 


    The biggest challenge for firms is attracting, developing, and retaining talent. 


    High-performing leaders focus on culture, visualization, and execution. 


    Firms should have clear career paths and development programs for employees. 


    Building business advisory skills is crucial for future partners. 


    A people-first culture and clear alignment with organizational goals are essential for a strong pathway to partnership. 



     

    Chapters 

    01:00 Introduction and Background 

    04:54 Challenges Faced by Firms 

    11:38 Attributes of High-Performing Leaders 

    13:07 Programs for Pathway to Partner 

    22:28 Building Business Advisory Skills 

    24:33 Tips for Building a Strong Pathway to Partnership 

    • 27 min
    Secrets to turning around underperforming businesses with Peter Lucas

    Secrets to turning around underperforming businesses with Peter Lucas

    In this episode of the Authentic Advisor, James Mason interviews Peter Lucas from Kestrel Solutions about turning around underperforming businesses. They discuss the challenges faced by business owners and managers, the early warning signs of a troubled business, and the use of technology for early identification.



    Peter shares his approach to starting the turnaround process, including conducting waste audits and involving the team. He also shares a case study of a successful turnaround in the timber windows and doors industry. The episode concludes with Peter offering final tips for advisors seeking to help their clients in similar situations. 



    Takeaways 


    Cash flow is the number one factor to focus on in turning around a business. 
    Advisors should have knowledge of insolvency laws and directors' duties. 
    Implementing waste audits and involving the team can help identify areas of improvement. 
    Constant involvement and evolution, along with constructive guidance, can prevent businesses from slipping back into bad habits. 
    Advisors should consider requesting upfront payment and avoiding time-based billing to maintain trust and accessibility.



    Chapters 

    01:10 Introduction and Background 

    03:20 Challenges for Business Owners and Managers 

    05:45 Early Warning Signs of a Troubled Business 

    10:22 Using Technology for Early Identification 

    12:23 Starting the Turnaround Process 

    16:00 Waste Audits and Involving the Team 

    21:01 Case Study 

    22:43 Constant Involvement and Evolution 

    25:58 Final Tips for Advisors 

    • 26 min
    Leveraging Business Health Checks to Drive Advisory Revenue Growth with Lisa Wilson, Morrows.

    Leveraging Business Health Checks to Drive Advisory Revenue Growth with Lisa Wilson, Morrows.

    Business Health Checks are a great foot-in-the-door business advisory offering for professional service firms wanting to add client value and bridge the gap between 'the numbers' and more intensive advisory services such as strategic planning workshops & implementation.  

     

    But where do you start? Sharing her playbook, Lisa Wilson talks about how professional service firm Morrows design, price, deliver, promote and resource business health checks and why using Mindshop diagnostics, the Now-Where-How methodology and one page plans are integral to their success. Touching on how to generate internal referrals, Lisa also talks about capacity issues, reveals the power of 'BAMFAM' and shares ideas on how to use business health checks as a springboard into further advisory work. 

     

     

    Time Codes 

    00:00:51 Lisa's background and business advisory journey 

    00:02:40 Morrow's business advisory service range 

    00:03:41 Maturity of client base wanting business advisory services 

    00:04:47 Who's delivering business advisory services at Morrows? 

    00:05:38 Types of Business Health Checks 

    00:06:15 Pricing Business Health Checks  

    00:08:13 Weaving in financial insights 

    00:09:27 Internal referrals & marketing 

    00:12:22 Getting further advisory work 

    00:15:38 Managing capacity 

    00:16:33 Emerging demand for advisory services 

    00:18:47 Final tips & thoughts 

    • 20 min
    Culture eats strategy for breakfast, myth or reality? With Jason Langford-Brown

    Culture eats strategy for breakfast, myth or reality? With Jason Langford-Brown

    Can a business get away with operational deficiencies if they're run by a passionate group of people? Jason Langford-Brown shares his experience as a senior business advisor and coach as to whether culture is a bigger contributor to success than a winning strategy (as the well-known aphorism suggests). 

    Do most organisations have an accidental culture? How is it businesses with seemingly toxic cultures still succeed? 

    Jason and James Mason discuss what problems arise if a business holds onto staff that don't align with core values and how culture can be fit for purpose, ultimately posing the question, 'can culture be too perfect?'  

     

    Time Codes 

    00:00:42 Jason's background and business advisory journey. 

    00:02:27 Is culture a bigger contributor to success than a winning strategy? 

    00:04:54 Can you succeed with an amazing culture but poor strategy? 

    00:06:17 Can having a deep passion for what you do compensate for a lack of execution? 

    00:07:24 What are the keys to a high performing culture? 

    00:10:26 Is culture the fashionable silver bullet? 

    00:12:13 Poor performance v bad behaviour. 

    00:13:22 What are the first steps an advisor should take with a client when addressing culture and strategy? 

    00:19:17 Aligning core values throughout an organisation. 

    00:20:32 Can a culture be too perfect? 

    00:23:22 Does culture eat strategy for breakfast? 

    • 24 min
    Is Growth Good? With Rod Willers

    Is Growth Good? With Rod Willers

    Should a business seek growth at any cost, or has there been a greater shift towards profitability and purpose in recent years?

    Independent advisor Rod Willers and Mindshop's James Mason debate the assumption that growth means more revenue, and profit. Talking about growth strategy from a business advisor's perspective, they discuss the impact of purpose, business values and economic sustainability on client growth strategies.

    What's the difference between high and low growth organisations?

    Is it okay to follow a strategy of consolidation?

    How does one balance operational efficiency with strategic evolution? And importantly,

    What tips does Rod have for advisors when helping clients sustain a passion for growth and change?  

    • 24 min
    Reduce waste & improve inefficiency by leveraging Mindshop tools in your firm with Lynsey Light, Kreston Reeves.

    Reduce waste & improve inefficiency by leveraging Mindshop tools in your firm with Lynsey Light, Kreston Reeves.

    How did a firm of 500+ staff go about identifying £1.5m of potential savings by finding opportunities to increase productivity and reduce waste? Lynsey Light of Kreston Reeves takes James Mason on a step-by-step journey through a far-reaching efficiency project using Mindshop tools & resources combined with business advisory know-how. Resulting in not only process efficiency, but also building credibility, skills and confidence to roll waste reduction services to clients over time. With Lynsey's top tips on communication, getting senior buy-in and staff ownership and engagement. 

    • 18 min

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