December 12, 2018

Pulling Back the Curtain on Innovation

This is the first in a blog series where we will explore strategies and insights I have gained in the last few months with other Top 100 CPA firm managing partners and COOs. We are attempting to “pull back the curtain” for strategies that might help propel our profession and firms to remain relevant and become future ready. 

We do not need to pull that curtain back very far to know that innovation is a key strategy for almost all firms as well as competitors outside our profession. It’s that competitor that doesn’t carry any legacy baggage that scares me the most when I am thinking about innovation. They have no respect for our existing business model, client relationships or services. Their objective is to become relevant advisors for our clients at the expense of our relationships. Scary, but if we are aware, predict and adapt — they are toast. There are also lots of advantages to being the legacy provider as long as we do not cling to the status quo or take our role for granted. Let’s heat the oven with some innovation. 

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Topics: Innovation, Anticipatory

September 20, 2017

Innovation Requires Focused Leadership: Part 3 of Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a key to our future success, and we can build a culture of innovation within our own teams. This 3-part series explores what it means to build a truly innovative culture at your business or firm. Make sure to read Choosing to be Open Minded, Part 1 of Building a Culture of Innovation, and Culture Leads Innovation, which is Part 2 of Building a Culture of Innovation to understand the entire journey.

Recently, when Tom Hood addressed our partners at our annual partner retreat, he helped us understand what type of leadership is required today when we are faced with such a disruptive rapid transformation. Today, every organization must be innovative and must have an incredible commitment to learning in order to remain relevant. Someone said, “survival is not mandatory.” And unless we become extremely focused as leaders, we will miss an amazing opportunity for growth. This rapid transformation brings an abundance of opportunities to leaders and firms that are focused. It also means that everyone leads, but our top leadership must be intensely focused. 

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Topics: Innovation, Focus, Culture, Leadership

September 13, 2017

Culture Leads Innovation: Part 2 of Building a Culture of Innovation

Innovation is a key to our future success, and we can build a culture of innovation within our own teams. This 3-part series explores what it means to build a truly innovative culture at your business or firm. Make sure to read Choosing to be Open Minded, Part 1 of Building a Culture of Innovation, to understand the entire journey.

Sunday, I went to a church where my son Brandon and his family attend. CeCe was not feeling well so I was meeting Brandon, Margie and the kids there. On the way to the church, I got a text that they were not going to make it as they had been up all night with the baby. Sully (Sullivant) is four months old now and our sixth grandkid. As I sat in the parking lot realizing I barely knew anyone at this church, I started thinking about heading home. I did not have a sense of belonging and was really dreading having to meet a lot of new people or explain why I was alone visiting today. Lots of excuses go through our minds when we do not have that sense of security—our sense of belonging.  

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Topics: Innovation, Culture, Sense of Belonging, Leadership

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

July 19, 2017

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

December 14, 2016

Without Leadership There Is No Culture of Innovation

“Tone at the Top” can be cliché, but not when we’re talking about innovation. In fact, without leadership leading the way, it is impossible to have a culture that fosters innovation.

In CPA firms, we are in desperate need of bold leaders to step forward and decide they’ll no longer live in the Historical CPA category, the traditional role of the profession. I am eager for us to transform our profession into the Future Ready Firm. 

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership

December 07, 2016

Culture Leads Innovation

Our profession has not been known for innovation, and the transformative change we are all experiencing has taken out a lot of really smart businesses across a variety of industries. In fact, over 50% of Fortune 500 companies have disappeared since the year 2000. Lots of really smart people have failed to innovate rapidly enough to remain relevant.  

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Topics: Innovation, Culture, Leadership

November 30, 2016

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

August 24, 2016

Are You an Innovation Cruiser?

Jeff Foxworthy says, “You might be a redneck if you think the styrofoam cooler is the greatest invention of all time.” Now we all know the greatest invention is the YETI. In fact, I used my wife’s YETI to keep the fish iced down from that fishing trip at Sea World featured in my Passion Cruiser blog. But seriously, I did use her YETI to ice down those speckled trout that I caught on a recent fishing trip in Louisiana with Captain Kerry Audibert. You can check out a shot of our catch on Instagram. We had a fantastic trip and caught some very nice size trout, especially considering the hot weather in August.

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Topics: Innovation, Leadership

December 02, 2015

Social Business Winners and Losers

For years I have heard jokes about how slow the public accounting profession is in being innovative or adopting changes in business practices. Odds are, you have too. My favorite has always been, “When did the CPA buy his/her first fax machine?” Of course, the answer is, “When the client called and asked, ‘What is your fax number? I’m trying to fax you something.’”

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Topics: Innovation, Hard Trend, Leadership

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