Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

I have recently joined a new RIA after being with my old one for almost 17 years. I always complained about the lack of infrastructure and process in my old firm. It often felt like we were winging it when it came to client communication and management. Not to denigrate the firm – they do great work – but our founder was a “shiny penny” guy, meaning we were always chasing the newest thing. It often felt out of kilter.

I had my eye on the firm I joined for quite some time. But it is too much to the opposite. We are process crazy. Everything has a process – from small things like asking for vacation time to larger things like client onboarding. I like process, but here it chokes progress. There are times where we should think a little creatively, but it cannot happen. The words, “consult the process,” are sacrosanct.

Is there a middle ground? Chaos isn’t good, but process that at times doesn’t make sense isn’t good for anyone either.

H.D.