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: Leadership, Anticipatory, Transformation

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: Leadership, Innovation, Anticipatory

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: Leadership, Anticipatory, Status Quo

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: Leadership, Anticipatory

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: Leadership, Anticipatory, Self-Discipline

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: Leadership, Innovation, Anticipatory

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: Leadership, Anticipatory, Client Service

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: Leadership, Anticipatory, Habits

Jul 13, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Anticipatory Is a Big Word

Anticipatory is a big word—I wish I had been more anticipatory on what to blog about this week. I had a relevant fishing story I was really excited to share, but that was shelved (next week, I promise!).  Instead, I felt compelled to share why I was participating in next week’s webcast Will Your Firm Thrive or Just Survive? The Critical Competency for Today’s Practitioner hosted by CPA.com. 

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Topics: Leadership, Anticipatory, Client Service

Jan 13, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Leaders Must Be Prepared

I wish I could say my self-reflection was always a result of careful planning and prioritization.  But that’s just not true. Life has too many surprises - good and bad.  So, this blog is the result of a moment of opportunity that I was not expecting or even really wanting.  Today’s reflection is the result of being stranded on the runway in D.C. on a crowded airplane that is already 45 minutes late taking off. I might also mention that my connection in Atlanta is already very tight, so this could result in lots of additional reflection time.  

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Topics: Leadership, Anticipatory

Jan 6, 2016 10:30:00 AM

Don’t Wait for Disruption, Start Innovating Now

You may have read my blog, Why Do We Ignore Good Advice?, where I shared about my mom’s wisdom and how it usually turned out that she, in fact, did know best. 

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Topics: Leadership, Hard Trend, Anticipatory

Dec 10, 2015 10:00:00 AM

The Bottom Line: Irrelevancy Is Our Future If We Keep This A "Women's Issue"

Recently, I served on a panel discussing sponsorship and advocacy at the AICPA Women’s Global Leadership Summit.  In this blog, I will share some of what I shared with the women (and a few brave men) who attended this exciting, informative and motivating meeting. 

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Topics: Leadership, Culture, Anticipatory

Nov 11, 2015 10:30:00 AM

Sinking Like a Time Clock

This blog is the second in a four part series on how we can lead in public accounting to take advantage of some hard trends

Blogging and still singing Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’”, you might remember the line “You better start swimmin' or you'll sink like a stone.” With most CPA firms having a large percentage of their revenues tied to the value of billable time, we might be sinking to the bottom holding on to this time clock if we don’t anticipate some of the changes ahead. 

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Topics: Leadership, Hard Trend, Anticipatory