At the American Academy we talk a lot about the importance of systems but in order for it to really work, a few things must happen:
The first is that you need to understand why you’re creating the system in the first place. Clearly writing out the end result of the proposed system will focus your energy and give you a way to measure your success. Remember, almost everything in your estate planning firm can be systematized.
The second thing that needs to happen is that the system is actually implemented – both by you and your staff. Far too often, we begin with a grand idea of how things will work but then the technician in us succumbs to working in the business again instead of managing the system. The system will ultimately fail, not because it wasn’t a good one but because we never actually executed our plan in its entirety.
And last but not least, we have to have a way to measure the system’s results AND be willing to make some changes as we go. Many a good idea has seemed plausible in theory but once implemented, it became clear that the idea needed some work. Your systems are there to improve productivity and ultimately increase your bottom line: if they’re not working the way they should, don’t give up on the idea of systems – just modify them until they work the way you want.
Just remember that the system is there to accommodate you… not the other way around.
President & Co-Founder
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.