Business Strategy | Future Ready | Leadership / Management

Still dragging your feet? What’s wrong with you?

I get it: Trying new stuff is scary. There’s no blueprint. There’s no proven ROI. You’re still making money doing things the old way. Given all that, why bother changing?

Here’s why: Your competition is changing. Your clients are changing. Hell, your very organization is changing, even if you can’t see it right now. Its demographics, its technology, its culture are being altered by the hard trends that are disrupting the ways we work. Sure, you’ll keep making money … until, as Rita McGrath says, you don’t anymore. When that day arrives, will you be prepared to shift to new ways of working and adding value? Or will your head still be buried in the sand, hoping all this new stuff will go away?

Here’s an example: Value-pricing. Are you still charging by the hour? If so … why? Your clients aren’t buying your time. They’re buying your knowledge, your wisdom, your solutions. The value of those things can’t be measured by the clock. Price accordingly.

Sounds logical enough. And yet frighteningly few people in our profession are doing so. Why?

Because new stuff is scary.

“Good ideas can take a long time to diffuse into the population,” value-pricing evangelist and best-selling author Ron Baker said at the 2017 VeraSage Symposium in Dallas, “and bad ideas can hang around for long time.”

Automation is poised to eliminate a lot of the grunt work that CPAs have done for generations. Our relevancy depends on our ability to move up the value chain — on our ability to focus less on data and more on providing wisdom and insight.

“We must move from knowledge workers to relationship workers,” Baker said.

The catch here is this: Relationships, Baker says, aren’t built staring at clocks. They’re built when we solve problems, develop solutions, and add value.

That’s just one example. Are you embracing things like the cloud, artificial intelligence, a mobile-first mindset, flexible work environments, and social media? If you’re not, you need to. The train is leaving the station on this stuff. New advances will be taking their place shortly.

In other words, this is an exercise not in current relevance, but in future-readiness. If you’re not embracing today’s changes, you’ll be woefully unprepared to embrace tomorrow’s.

“The way to avoid it,” said Ulysses S. Grant, “is to push forward.”

Time to take that first step.


Bill Sheridan