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By David RichmanManaging Director, Advisor Institute

When asked about inflation, does each team member's answer harmonize? The best teams we encounter have a disciplined process to ensure consistent messaging by following five important steps.

1. What is the big "market meme" of the day?

A market meme is a story everyone is buzzing about that has significant implications for financial decision-making. Inflation and a looming recession are perfect examples right now.

2. What is our team's thesis?

While it's good for your team to debate alternative views, it's NOT good to maintain alternative views. To ensure a crystallized team view, thesis articulation includes four best practices:

  • Timely (a big buzz)
  • Pithy so it's original and memorable
  • A sound bite, as less is more
  • Connects the dots to the advice we are delivering

Consider the different views provided by a few of our thought leaders:

Perhaps, upon debating their alternate views, Eric and Greg would wind up aligning with Eddie's thesis.

3. Is our walk aligned with our talk?

It's important to develop internal steps to ensure that your team's thesis lives in each client's strategy or, where there is no portfolio discretion, in each client conversation.

4. Is our thesis still intact?

Be careful to avoid "confirmation bias" by having a formal, ongoing feedback loop, where someone on the team is responsible for challenging the team's consensus. Each month, include it as a standing agenda item, where alternative views are presented and debated.

5. Is an emerging "market meme" surfacing?

A best practice includes placing a "meme watch" on the team's monthly agenda. This creates a forward-thinking approach, allowing such teams to be looking around the corner, monitoring potential brewing market memes.

Bottom line: Team alignment on important messaging of the day does not happen by accident. It takes great intentionality to be a team in harmony.