Fighting your way inside the tent

Have you ever thought about why internal advisors such as accountants, lawyers, risk managers, auditors, HR managers, IT managers and many other back-of-house advisors struggle to ensure their advice is heeded by the business leaders they are advising? One very big reason is because they are operating “outside the tent”. That is, you are not in the same team as those you advise even if you all work for the same organisation. And if you are outside the tent, you lack one of the key elements required to develop trust in a relationship. Teamwork.

If you are an internal advisor, you have probably thought about ensuring your expertise is up to date, that your advice is sound, if not sage-like, and that you deliver it as clearly as possible, so it is understood and acted on. You would have been seeking to develop trust also.

A major problem that is encountered is that internal advisors are tasked with much more than providing this advice and these other tasks can interfere with the relationship and the level of trust. Finance needs to put into place financial controls for example, usually along with a bunch of other administrative controls such as for travel and procurement. HR and IT do the same, as does legal and as do risk and compliance people… while auditors are often seen as good cop and bad cop all in one. These controls create friction between the support departments and management. This leads to complaints and/or excuses being wielded in various cross-department forums.

The challenge of course is striking a balance. No one likes a back-office tyrant. However, how many of the advisors in your organisation that provide you advice, or that work for you, gets the balance right? How many are cutting through with their advice and being invited to provide more?

If the answer is not nearly enough then you need to work with them to improve their ability to both design and build appropriate policy and systems while building trust through providing valuable advice. A skill that is developed over time but can be helped along with good mentoring.

What’s at stake? It’s takes 8 hours of you or your team’s time to prepare to give 15 minutes of advice to a senior leader. Those 15 minutes simply can’t be wasted!

So if you’d like to really dig deep on how to become a master influencer, check out my Persuasive Adviser Course that is running on the 29th & 30th November by clicking here.

Stay safe!