3 Top Reasons Why Everyone Needs an Advisor

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rom junior executives to middle management, all the way to top management—the ability to make firm, well-considered, and resolute decisions are now a top priority.

Those at lower ranks aim to perform their roles effectively and earn recognition and more significant influence. Middle management, meanwhile, is increasingly finding it difficult to grapple with the shifting demands of the business landscape, as they also simultaneously attempt to further their career aspirations. At the top, the responsibilities of executives are mounting. All aspects of a business—revenue, infrastructure, human capital—continue to evolve, requiring rapid adaptation to maintain continuity both immediately and long-term.

Even so, competitors continue to close in, making it necessary to have a unique value proposition.

As challenges increase and take new forms across organizational levels and industries, the need for intelligent, objective and experience-forged counsel has steadily become clearer.

Personal advisors—long valued for their ability to combine step-by-step tactics with all-encompassing, bird's view strategy—have gained further recognition as critical assets for people at any stage in their career.

The following are reasons why everyone can uniquely benefit from having an advisor.

1. The Disruption Created by Digital

The need for digital capabilities has taken over nearly all business elements, both in their internal operations and in customer delivery processes. In previous years many organizations considered digital transformation a luxury. Digital has now become table stakes—ensuring consumer expectations don't outpace current business offerings.

Disruption, while uncomfortable, creates opportunities and challenges for individuals across all departments of the business.

Advisors to Mitigate Against Potential Digital Transformation Pitfalls

Implications affect business performance, and businesses must learn from those that have been there before. Those unwilling to leverage digital transformation experience and insights will likely introduce unnecessary organizational risk—making it difficult to remain relevant in fast-evolving markets.

89% of customers do business with the same company if it offers omnichannel support. For companies that fail to modernize, nimbler competitors with vast digital capabilities are rapidly expanding their marketshare—painting a dire picture for companies unwilling to evolve beyond a purely analog world.

Once captured, market share gains are difficult to pry away, even after the trailing organizations manage to catchup.

On a per-customer basis, digital transformation creates opportunities to increase average order value, thereby offering a relatively near-term revenue boost. On average, consumers are willing to pay 18% higher premiums to improve customer support through digital empowerment.

70% of businesses fail to hit their goals after capturing these benefits by enacting their digital transformation.

Without advisors, most businesses risk not only failing to take advantage of digital opportunities to fast-track growth, but they may also incur costly resource leakages that end up weighing down other business imperatives.

Leveraging Data

Once a digital transformation is successfully underway, leaders need advisors to ensure that they're using newly acquired data appropriately.

The average customer engages with the brand at four touch points before making a purchase, expanding the breadth of data from which businesses can now collect data and draw valuable insights.

But without experience, relevant data is missed and unconnected to areas it can make the most significant impact. Plus, attaching each data point to a specific stage in the customer journey requires extensive top-down analysis and careful application of context—value an experienced strategic advisor can deliver swiftly.

Businesses allocated 10% of marketing budgets to customer sentiment analysis in 2021. The most effective way to generate a return on investment is to use data to refine the customer journey in real, tangible ways.

An advisor is often an essential piece of the puzzle when leaders seek to realize such gains.

Using Data for Talent Management

Those in middle management and HR require new digital capabilities to inspire greater productivity and uncover ways to increase employee engagement.

94% of HR professionals agree that analytics effectively pinpoint high-impact workforce challenges. Like other digital initiatives, however, this is also an area where faults in strategy can ultimately lead to wasted potential. Advisors carry experience that can help middle management and HR managers tap into human capital's raw potential.

Their advice can help shape a strategy that unifies resources with overarching business goals, so managers can share digital enablement proposals in a language that resonates with critical decision-makers.

2. Leveraging Career Advancement Opportunities

Employees face a tough challenge in today's corporate environment. Companies are increasingly using HiPo(high potential) programs to identify top talent to develop, grow, and fast-track into leadership positions.

But organizations are finding themselves with limited professional development budgets. As a result, most handpick and focus their efforts on the select few who appear to offer the most potential and future value. Selected or not—an individual's path to the C-Suite is unique andtreacherous. A close partnership with an advisor, who serves as a personal strategist, often becomes vital for offsetting and mitigating against potential risks.

Helping Individuals Live Up to Their Potential

Unrealistic expectations placed upon individuals leads to severe professional difficulties. Organizations often fail to provide the training and support required to help them achieve their potential. There are three common problems they eventually encounter:

  • Many overexert themselves and burnout. Striving to maintain footing and "edge" within the organization, made worse with little to no guidance on how best to manage their time and effort for maximum efficiency. 
  • They fail to balance strategic value and risks appropriately. Taking on high-visibility projects prematurely and without the necessary training to think critically, make rational and informed decisions, and ultimately perform effectively.
  • Most become stagnate. No objective counsel focused on their strengths and weaknesses, compounded by often biased and skewed performance assessments—leading to slow personal and professional growth and skill development.

For each of these issues, an advisor becomes a necessity.

Those who are finding themselves with overwhelming expectations can benefit from world-class strategists' advice and focus on the most critical efforts. As a result, they can avoid burnout while discovering opportunities to grow beyond organization-imposed expectations.

The personalized guidance of a personal advisor takes the nuances of an individual's strengths and weaknesses into account, resulting in better outcomes than HR programs' detached efforts.

As research finds, most organizations' top leadership tends to have little in-depth knowledge of employees' abilities their programs aim to develop. And when businesses thrust individuals into high-level tasks, a personal strategist can assess their current competencies versus the project they're soon to undertake. From there, the advisor develops a step-by-step path to building up the required skills. High failure potential—which may have otherwise been a setback—is neutralized. Instead, individuals find opportunities to display an advanced skillset that enables faster career progression.

Helping Overlooked Talent Develop Leadership Skills

As a study by the Corporate Research Forum shows, 40% of those selected for specialized internal talent development programs fail. Such programs often misjudge individuals' potential and overlook better-qualified candidates.

There's a critical need to display both efficiency and advanced leadership to recapture top leadership's attention for those unrecognized. With inadequate internal training, however, such opportunities are often rare. A personal advisor is a critical asset as roles become more demanding, complicated, and complex. With the trust they build into the partnership, they can uncover the latent talents typically missed by organizations that lack ample resources.

Through working with personal advisors, these employees can (re)establish their credibility through increased productivity, consistent goal achievement, and decisive leadership.

3. Thriving in Times of Crisis

Responses to a crisis are typically highly reactionary and set into motion mitigation tactics, not long-term strategies.Leaders often fail to see the opportunities for growth while they are busy putting out "fires."

As noted by BCG, the businesses that tap into crisis events' transformational opportunities continue to experience compound growth even after the crisis has subsided. The issue, however, is uncovering actionable opportunities amid wide-scale budget and operational adjustments rapidly.

The perspective of advisers becomes an essential component of adaptation. Their cross-industry experience provides insight into linkage and alignment opportunities between seemingly unrelated fragments—allowing leadership to optimize different departments in parallel while also revealing new operational efficiencies.

Firm decision-making can set employees apart and add value to the organization in more significant ways. Advisor strategy sessions commonly uncover ways to use unique positioning within the organization to play a vital role in its overall strategy, from conception to implementation and ongoing iteration.

During the coronavirus pandemic, even strongly hierarchical organizations became open to strategic input from employees across different organizational levels. Those who developed and articulated clear roadmaps to incremental stability enhanced their credibility and contributed to lasting impact. But todo this, they needed perspective gained over years of taking part in numerous high-level projects.

Navigating Unfamiliar Territory

Times of crisis involve individuals whose roles have increased in complexity too quickly for their skills to keep pace—struggling to complete mission-critical tasks that directly impact an organization's multi-year plans. There's often little room for error.

A strategic advisor helps cut through the noise, making it easier to identify core objectives and the most efficient methods for addressing them. And this tends to be the result of first-hand experience and lessons gathered over working with varied clients.

In cases where individuals who are adapting to their roles would otherwise miss critical opportunities or fail to maximize their performance, an advisor can share proven, battle-tested solutions to mitigate risk.

Closing Thoughts

The complexities of the modern business landscape require refined perspective and drawing on the insights of those whose experience covers tackling high-level business initiatives. Having a person with these qualities as an advisor and personal strategist continues tobe an asset across all organizational levels.

Those with an advisor can move forward in their careers with greater certainty, steer their organizations to exponential growth and new opportunities, and achieve coveted positions within their industry.

Please note: Sources are provided for informational and reference purposes only. DeWitt has no vendor affiliations, offers no products, and has no conflicts of interest.

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