BLI Leadership | Business Strategy

Sage helps transform CPAs one by one

This past weekend we finished up the spring Sage Vision to Strategy Workshops with our session at the MACPA Beach Retreat in Ocean City, Maryland.

We were joined by Ed Kless, Sage's Senior Director, Partner Development and Strategy (pictured kneeling in center). Ed is also one of our favorite thought leaders and author of a new book, The Soul of Enterprise, Dialogues on Business in the Knowledge Economy. The Vision to Strategy Workshop (sponsored by Sage) and Ed's session clearly made an impact on one of our members who is a CFO in a non-profit who took time to wite this to me,

"Many, many thanks for this year's Beach Retreat. And I mean that literally. Thanks for the Vision to Strategy workshop and this Hard Trends report…

Ed Kless's session on Initiating a Project was entirely new information to me and is already making a difference in my work.

All in all, this years retreat is turning out to be transformative for me. And that is a direct result of your leadership. So, thanks again."

He sums up our "why" perfectly, to help our members be more "future ready" and transform themselves and in turn transform their organizations, customers and clients and make a positive impact in the world.

Here is a short clip of interviews from last year's vision to strategy session at the Beach, which reinforces what we have been able to give hundreds of CPAs a chance to think about and reflect on and turn those insights into action.

This spring we ran these workshops all over the state and reached almost 350 CPAs thanks to Sage and Jennifer Warawa who initiated this concept almost two years ago at the Sage Summit at the Gaylord. The premise is simple and powerful, Sage believes the best way to help business is to help the accountants and CPAs think about how they can support businesses better and that means getting clear on their "vision".

Some of the most common trends identified were:

  • Technology - Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud
  • Technology and exponential pace of change
  • Increasing government regulations
  • Data security and privacy issues and opportunities
  • Social media is a tool for marketing and learning and keeping up with change
  • Generations and diversity can be flipped into opportunities

Several themes emerged from these sessions like:

  • Transfer control to my younger staff
  • Need to develop myself more
  • Need to delegate more
  • Learn how to keep up on trends (see our latest work the Anticipatory Organization)
  • Be all you can be (focus on strengths ad values)
  • Embrace technology
  • Schedule fun (the most important software tool)
  • Write it down! Goals can be accomplished if you take time to write them down

I remember futurist Watts Wacker once said, [plugin:quote]"If you don't have a vision for yourself (or your organization, firm or even department), you will just get sucked into someone else's vision" [/plugin]

Thanks Jennifer, Ed, and the Sage team for helping CPAs and accountants find their visions and transform the Profession!

But wait there is more - don't miss the upcoming Sage Summit in New Orleans July 27-30th where MACPA members can attend for FREE ($799 value) use code MACPA2015 when registering.

I will be there speaking with some of our thought leaders from our Business Learning Institute so let me know you are coming so we can connect.