Nov 15, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Major Obstacles to More Advisory Services

Recently, I was fortunate to participate in an intense brainstorming session on the future of our profession with six other top 100 CPA managing partners. One of the hot topics was the very evident need for our profession to provide more advisory insights and services to our clients. With oncoming automation around data input and analysis, we know our services need to evolve into more advisory type services. We discussed that our "trusted advisor" status is anchored too closely to compliance, transactional and historical type services. Primarily, we have been a very responsive profession where few have consistently served as proactive strategic advisors.

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Topics: Focus, Anticipatory, Leadership

Oct 18, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Anticipate. Engage. Disrupt.

My wife, CeCe, and I just finished a home defense course which, like CPR, is simply great training and awareness. I started the course at the request of CeCe so I was a little skeptical of the overall value of the course. In the first afternoon, we learned the importance of three keywords to the foundation of good home and self-defense. Aware, was the first stage. As we walk to our car or answer the front door, we should be head up and alert to any possible dangers rather than head down, reading our last text message. Then, if you identify danger or a situation that could be dangerous, you immediately move into escape mode and look for the easiest ways to put distance or cover between you and the danger. Then if you are unable to avoid the danger, you confront it and defend yourself. Even yelling in a very loud voice that you see them or stop it can have a significant effect on the situation. 

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Topics: Engagement, Disruption, Anticipatory

Oct 11, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Are You Prepared for Accelerated Change?

Springtime was always associated with a garden when I was growing up. Even today, garden fresh vegetables are simply divine and one of my favorite meals. Every spring my mouth waters waiting on that first home-grown tomato.

It was in the family garden where I lost the end of my left thumb. It’s attached back now, but it’s not the prettiest thumb you will ever see. Even to this day, when I take pictures, I feel myself slipping that thumb inside of my hand and out of sight. My grandkids routinely ask me, “What happened to your thumb, Pops?” “Does it hurt?” “Let me see your boo-boo!”

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Topics: Anticipatory, Leadership

Oct 4, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Are You Thinking Too Small?

Sometimes I wonder how many opportunities I have missed because I think too small. It’s clear to me today, in the future our greatest service to our clients and our teams will be the ability to collaborate on what’s possible. But if I know that I simply think too small many times, how can I learn to help others think about something as big as What’s Possible?

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

Sep 27, 2017 2:00:00 PM

Leveraging Technology  to Anticipate and Create New Opportunities

If you are an accountant, lawyer, doctor or really almost any knowledge worker today, you can’t scroll a line of tweets, check out LinkedIn posts, read a blog, headline or web conference without reading about IBM’s Watson or some bot or other artificial intelligence (AI) replacing you. Although I have a passion for anticipating the future to work on strategy and initiatives to help our clients and firm grow, I suspect you are like me in that we get fed up with the constant barrage of AI and Watson taking over our lives. 

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Topics: Anticipatory, Artificial Intelligence

Aug 9, 2017 10:00:00 AM

We're Fine

Today, it’s very common to hear people greet each other and respond to personal inquiries as, “Fine,” “I’m fine,” “We’re fine.” At the AICPA Major Firms Group meeting in July, I overheard many managing partners and COOs respond to inquiries about their firm with, “We’re fine.” For some reason, it didn’t seem as confident as it might have in the past. There were a few smiles missing. I could feel a little tension and heard a more serious tone, which caught my attention.  It was obvious to me that “We’re fine” had a different context this year. 

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Topics: Anticipatory, Leadership

Jul 19, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Turn Up Ahead

In a moment of insanity, I agreed to go to the factory outlet mall with my wife, Cathy, on a Sunday afternoon. The reason? 1. It was raining, 2. We had been in the house for 2 days, 3. I did need some new casual dress shoes, 4. The NCAA college baseball regional that I was watching was on my ESPN app (LOVE IT), and 5. I knew she would love it (yes, this one should be higher on the list).

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Topics: Innovation, Anticipatory, Leadership

Apr 5, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Has Status Quo Ever Been Riskier?

According to Futurist Daniel Burrus, “In the next five years, we are going to transform—not change, but transform—how we sell, how we market, how we communicate, collaborate, innovate, train and educate.” Driven by exponential change in technology, our world is experiencing disruption in every aspect of our lives. And in the words of Disney CEO Bob Iger, “The riskiest thing we can do is maintain status quo.”

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Topics: Anticipatory, Status Quo, Leadership

Feb 8, 2017 11:00:00 AM

When Paranoia Turns Productive

This blog is the third in the series, Are We Really Choosing to Be Great?

So far in this series, we have explored two common attributes that Jim Collins discovered in his research of high-performing companies—FANATIC DISCIPLINE and EMPIRICAL CREATIVITYThe third and last attribute is PRODUCTIVE PARANOIA. These companies, although things were going well, always had a heavy amount of paranoia which led to making changes before they had to. They assume conditions will turn against them, at perhaps the worst possible moment. They are always preparing for when, not if, the next big disruption is going to happen.  

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Topics: Anticipatory, Leadership

Jan 25, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Leading With Fanatic Discipline in a World of Disruption

Last summer, I wrote My Very Own Jerry Maguire Blog, a series that challenged the public accounting profession to evaluate how well we are performing as trusted advisors.  Fortunately, it did create some healthy conversations and reflections by lots of firms as well as HORNE. Reflecting on those conversations encouraged me to write a new series—Are We Really Choosing to Be Great?

This series is designed to evaluate us as individuals, as CPA firms and as a profession. Complacency is a cancer that is hard to see and even harder to eradicate. There’s so much opportunity and growth for our profession if we can generate more urgency (and education of future facts) to transform how we work and live. Are you creating the urgency to take action and meet the changes required by today’s technology transformation? 

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Topics: Anticipatory, Self-Discipline, Leadership

Nov 30, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Embrace Change to Drive Innovation

When CPA.com published its “Insights into the CPA of the Future Study,” 92% of CPAs reported that they were not “future ready.” Future ready is defined as the capacity to be aware, predictive and adaptive of emerging trends, innovations and changes in business, population and the social environment.

In a recent McKinsey Poll, 84% of global executives reported that innovation was extremely important to their growth strategies. That same report also reported that 94% of those executive were dissatisfied with their own organization’s innovation.

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Topics: Innovation, Anticipatory, Leadership

Oct 12, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Is Our Greatest Potential for Growth Sitting out on the Curb?

Shortly after we moved to Jackson, Mississippi, and still early in our marriage, CeCe and I were making our way back to our house through our new neighborhood. It was a beautiful fall Saturday morning and we were enjoying the day as we had no big plans. Our neighborhood was one where most of the neighbors knew each other and every yard was very clean and neat. As we rounded the curve about three houses from ours, we came to a large pile of household goods sitting by the curb. It was obvious that we had a neighbor who was moving and they were cleaning out.  As we slowly rolled by, I came to an abrupt halt when I saw a grill sitting out on the edge of the pile.  Now I will be the first to admit, I have never seen a grill I didn’t like—it’s my favorite way to cook and I love to cook. As I started to get out of the SUV, it appeared that this grill was in really good shape—in fact I was pretty sure it was in better shape than mine.    

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Topics: Anticipatory, Client Service, Leadership

Sep 7, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Thinking Matters

Focus is powerful and it starts with thinking about the most important things. Am I doing what I simply want to do or am I working on my priorities? Am I letting little things cloud my focus on the important ones?

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Topics: Anticipatory, Habits, Leadership

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