National Conference 2011 closes out our 30th year in business, and in my opinion, wildly successfully – all I can say is “Wow”!
One of Eric Schwartz’s 30 tips from his white paper earlier in 2011* was to “Synthesize the Wisdom of Others” and I embodied that tip last week over and over again – in particular in a short (too short actually), but inspiring meeting with our Cambridge New Century Council.
Cambridge’s New Century Council was created in 2009 to establish and maintain a dialogue between Cambridge and those that represent the future of financial services at Cambridge, by proactively seeking new opportunities to address upcoming issues within our industry. We seek feedback from this council on many issues past and present including:
- The use of social media as a business tool
- Marketing and communication solutions that bring efficiency to their practices
- The importance of outsourcing and how Cambridge can be that partner of choice in non-traditional facets
- Threats of technology competition to the advisor’s role in the form of do-it-yourself tools (and how to combat that trend)
- How Cambridge can help you use technology to deliver faster, better, more productive service to your clients
These individuals are truly young thought leaders and, as one of our members put it, the group has finally hit its stride. Our meeting last Thursday during National Conference sparked a certain energy that we hadn’t seen in this form before. We only had a couple of hours, but the ground that was covered in such a short time was nothing short of miraculous.
Now, we certainly didn’t solve the world’s problems, but what we did was find a synergy that simply reinforced for me that there is a very bright future for the next generation of Cambridge rep-advisors. Equally important, those rep-advisors will be up to the task of carrying on what their predecessors established here, which is to deliver comprehensive, honest, financial advice to the next generation of clients – who may not even know they need us yet!
After coming away from this conference, and this meeting in particular, I can’t help but continue to think about the next generation and a well-known Chinese Proverb, “If you want happiness for a lifetime – help the next generation.”
How can you support the next generation?
Hire an intern. Offering a student an internship benefits both you and the student – they gain valuable experience while you receive new insight and enthusiasm from the student. Embrace the insight 20-something year-olds can bring to your practice by encouraging them to use the skills that come naturally to their generation, while teaching them the financial services’ skills that have become second nature to you. Would you find value now or in the future in a Cambridge sponsored internship program that would serve as a feeder to your offices for staff, associates or para-planners?
Mentor a new rep-advisor. If you are interested and don’t have someone that is fairly new to our industry or company in your current circle of influence, let us know. Perhaps we can generate enough interest in such a program that we can formalize, or at a minimum, introduce you to another Cambridge rep-advisor that could benefit from your wisdom.
Keep an open mind about the where the future of technological advancements may take you. There continues to be a wide divide between generations on where Cambridge should be focusing its resources. The younger generations are clearly insistent that we should be focusing on social media, digital media, and new state of the art technological solutions; the mature generations for the most part would prefer things not change for them. Help us figure out how to balance the two perspectives!
If you are a part of the Next Generation – devote some of your time and nominate yourself or another 20, 30 or 40-something Cambridge rep-advisor for a seat on the New Century Council (see the latest Cambridge Newsletter for how to nominate someone), or just reply to this blog with your ideas and we’ll take it from there.
Give us feedback. What other ways can Cambridge help rep-advisors prepare for the next generation? We look forward to hearing more of your ideas and success stories!
* “30 Tips from 30 Years” a Cambridge white paper by Eric Schwartz, Chairman & CEO – contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy.