By Chris Rivers, CFP®
Recently, our firm conducted a time management workshop with the help of an outside practice management consultant. Our entire company from principals to interns gathered and went through a full day’s worth of exercises, group discussions, breakout sessions, and individual tasks. Each of us took away one action item to track (with the help of a partner) over the next 21 days, in an effort to change one bad habit for each of us.
Clearly we each took away something concrete from the day. However, equally as important was the time we spent together, the interaction in the room, and the opportunity for collaboration by employees would not typically work together on a project. Too often we fall into the trap of focusing on the task at hand, or feeling that we are “too busy” to get away from our desks; or almost equally as important, take our staff away from their desks.
It can be hard to give up productive hours from our staff in order to have them attend a training session or conference. If they do not hold a license or designation, or there are no CE credits involved, there is even less motivation to pay them to be out of the office for half a day or a full day.
I thought about this as I looked at the FPA NCA schedule for this fall. On September 12th at Bethesda Country Club, we have a luncheon program by Dan Finley on “Five Core Principles for Mastering Interpersonal Relations.” Two weeks later on September 24th we have a networking happy hour at Chima Steakhouse in Tysons Corner, which is a joint event held by FPA NCA and FPA NexGen. (What is NexGen? See Laurie Belew’s posts here and here.) On October 10th, we have a luncheon program at Maggiano’s in Tysons Corner on “The Case for Succession Planning.” And then in November (back at Bethesda) we have a Professional Development Program.
As you can see, this fall’s program schedule offers a wealth of valuable content, and should be particularly helpful for those in the early or middle stages of their career path. Aside from the concrete material presented, there will be great value in being in the room, networking and interacting with peers and successful planners, and simply being a part of the community experience that is FPA NCA.
When planning the time management workshop above, it was difficult to “give up” a full day’s worth of work, but the positive effects of the day will be felt long after we have caught up on any work that sat idle for a few hours. So…if you have support staff, paraplanners, new hires, or career changers in your office, please consider bringing them out to an event this fall. You may be surprised how valuable the experience is for everyone.