November 13, 2019

Will Our Present Business Model Survive Exponential Change by New Competitors?

For the last few weeks, we have been discussing the technology-fueled disruption headed our way as part of the blog series, 5 Questions that Might Make Us #beEvenBetter. The rapid and radical transformation from this gathering storm inspired me to seek advice from some of the top leaders in our profession and, in the process, develop a routine of considering key questions regarding the future I’m charged with leading.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

October 23, 2019

Being a Day 1 Firm, Every Day

Jeff Bezos and Amazon have been extremely successful in driving disruption in numerous markets. He has defined the key to that success as being a “Day 1” company — not resting on present or past success but treating each day as Day 1. This is exactly the concept we need as a partner mindset throughout our profession.

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Topics: Forward Thinking, Leadership

October 16, 2019

Does Our Pricing Reflect the Impact or Worth of Our Services and Advice?

A few weeks ago, we kicked off the blog series 5 Questions that Might Make Us #beEvenBetter to address the challenges facing accounting firms today. A supercell of technology-fueled disruption is headed our way, and we must figure out how to plot safe passage through what promises to be rapid and radical transformation. 

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

October 02, 2019

Confessions of a Hoarder

CeCe and I are unloading several packages into our closet fresh off one of my two trips a year shopping for new clothes. I hate to shop, but I do like having new things.

Just as I set the packages down, CeCe looks at my side of the closet and says, “You’re going to have to get rid of some things! Some of this is stained, you never wear this, and that doesn’t fit. Do you want me to go through it for you?” “Heck no, I will do it, I promise.” If CeCe went through it, I wouldn’t have a stitch left!

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Topics: Forward Thinking, Leadership

September 11, 2019

What Legacy KPIs Are We Measuring That Slow Us Down?

What legacy KPIs are we measuring that slow us down? That's the next question in the blog series, 5 Questions that Might Make Us #beEvenBetter. 

So, are the key performance indicators (KPIs) we are using still relevant today? Do they conflict with the new behaviors that we need to retool or transform our services? Do they focus team members on the right things or distract from where we need to go?

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

June 26, 2019

5 Questions that Might Make Us #beEvenBetter

Imagine for a moment that your accounting firm is on board a luxury passenger bus headed to an important retreat. A fierce thunderstorm has popped up, and circular winds are starting to form a powerful tornado nearby. You are five miles from the nearest exit, and the twister is gaining on you at frightening speed. The full force hasn’t hit yet, but the winds are picking up and you can see debris and tree limbs beginning to fly by. As driver of the bus, you are responsible for navigating your team through the storm. You can’t outrun it. You can’t avoid it.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

June 19, 2019

Technology Saved My Feet

In last week’s blog, Are We Serving up an Eggcellent Experience, I shared about my trip to Seattle with CeCe and our daughter, Haley. We were very excited about hiking and experiencing the beautiful Seattle area. On the first day, we headed out to hike Tiger Mountain Trailhead. Based on the map and writeup, we could do a circular hike of about six miles and come right back down to the trailhead.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking, Technology

October 10, 2018

The Parable of the Crappie Jigs

We had two team members: Adam, who had been with us three years, hard worker, dependable and always completed his assigned tasks. The other, Tom, was with us for six months — extremely innovative, demonstrated the ability to learn fast and seemed to always be exceeding expectations. Both were being considered for promotion to supervisor and Adam was even requesting the promotion.

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Topics: Anticipatory, Client Service, Forward Thinking, Leadership

February 15, 2018

What I Learned at Google

Google has a very large grocery bill. That’s just one thing I learned on my recent visit to the Google campus. I was lucky enough to be invited by CPA.com to join 15 other CEO’s of major accounting firms to visit and learn from Google’s director of accounting, their staff and the director of cloud services. It was a tremendous networking and learning experience that opened my eyes to more insights for being future ready. But besides the large grocery bill (I ate twice while I was there) as the result of providing three meals a day on campus for team members, I learned not only why they buy lots of groceries but also several other valuable tidbits. 

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Topics: Anticipatory, Forward Thinking

January 10, 2018

Using Old Lines

Recently, I got a chance to run over to my camp near Eagle Lake, MS. My “Red Roof” cabin is one of my favorite getaways to recharge. It had been an unusually brutal and busy few weeks so this opportunity had me very excited. The weather was still warm so I knew as soon as I got the cabin swept out and stocked, I was headed straight to Paw Paw Bridge where the water flows out of the chute and back into the primary river system. This bridge can offer some of the best crappie fishing, which you might know is my favorite hobby.

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Topics: Forward Thinking

November 08, 2017

Client Service Is Dated

I admit that I have been known to keep a shirt, coat, pants or tie that according to CeCe look “dated.” Our conversation usually goes something like this:

CeCe: You can’t wear that, it’s completely out of style!

Me: Well you liked it just fine when we bought it, it’s in great shape and it’s comfortable.

CeCe: I don’t care, you are not wearing that!

And that’s usually the end of our discussion. I then proceed to change clothes because, you know, I really wanted to wear something else anyway. 

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Topics: Client Service, Forward Thinking

October 04, 2017

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

September 06, 2017

Choosing to be Open Minded: Part 1 of Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a key to our future success, and we can help build a culture of innovation within our own teams. This three-part series explores what it means to build a truly innovative culture at your business or firm.

Yes, I am tired of hearing about our world being transformed. I really am. I am also tired of hearing my wife, CeCe (a nickname from our grandkids), coach me on better eating habits by challenging my legacy thinking that if it’s healthy food, two or three servings will not hurt me. Does she get on my nerves at times? Yes! Has she helped me be more open minded about what it takes to eat healthier? Yes! I know that I owe her a big thanks for my progress (seven painful pounds so far) to getting healthier. I know at my age, my metabolism and body have changed, yet I want to cling to my old fun habits. My mind searches for things that support my old lifestyle and tries to stifle information that says I need to change. I realize that neither being tired of hearing about getting healthier or simply knowing about it is going to help me be any healthier. It’s time for me to be more open minded.

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Topics: Innovation, Forward Thinking, Leadership

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