In Chinese philosophy the concept of yin-yang is used to describe how seemingly opposite forces in the natural world are interconnected and interdependent.
Commerciality can also be looked at from two perspectives, which whilst not strictly opposing, are equally important and interdependent in order to achieve success. These perspectives are: context; and delivery.
As laid out in our ‘7 habits’, context is about understanding: the client’s desired outcomes; the business; the economics; and the people. It’s about: the why; the where; the who. In an ever increasingly complex and interconnected world there are many options and solutions to even a simple challenge. Understanding as much as possible about the context is critical to being able to filter, and make trade-offs between options.
Delivery, it could be said is what professional advisers have been traditionally about. After all advisers are only as good as the last piece of advice they gave. Delivery is fundamental to success, however, this is where a ‘commercial adviser’ differentiates themselves in the eyes of the client.
Increasingly, clients are looking not just for advice, but ‘actionable advice’ and the way that this is achieved is by providing advice that fits the client’s context.
The art of ‘actionable advice’
‘Commerciality’ is about creating balance between the context and the delivery such that you better understand the context and you adjust the delivery approach to ensure that the advice and the context converge.
Balance, in the context of commerciality, is multi-dimensional, being different for each client, each opportunity, and varying over time during an engagement. Only when professional advisers achieve it in a dynamically stable way are they seen as ‘commercial’.
The ‘7 habits’ provide a framework that helps identify and articulate the context, and then deliver against it in an adaptable way with the balance between the two tailored to your client’s desired profile.