Business Strategy | Leadership / Management | Organizational Development

Rules for beating change: (1) Burn rubber (2) Until you shouldn’t

We're hanging out with more than 1,400 CPAs and friends of the profession at the AICPA's annual Practitioners' Symposium and Tech+ Conference in Las Vegas. It's an amazing show -- three days packed wall-to-wall with cutting-edge CPE and some of the most innovative vendors serving the profession today. It's almost overwhelming.

Predictably, someone's going to find a way to blow off some steam. Usually, that someone is Jody Padar.

For the past couple of years, Jody's New Vision CPA Group and a handful of sponsors (including, this year, the Business Learning Institute) have put together some funky events that have helped CPAs recharge their overtaxed conference batteries. Last year, it was trampoline dodgeball. This year, it was go-karts.

You heard me right. We strapped helmets onto a bunch of CPAs and CPA groupies, then we turned 'em loose on the tracks of Fast Lap Indoor Kart Racing just off the Strip.

Remarkably, no one killed themselves … or anyone else.

Some of us learned a thing or two in the process, though. I know I did.

  • You've got to go really fast if you want to keep pace. Change is going to happen whether you want it to or not. You need to change too, or risk irrelevancy. As best-selling author and thought leader Peter Sheahan would say, action must come before clarity. We need to act, and fast. Don't wait for a blueprint. We're building the blueprint on the fly. Take a leap of faith and adjust things after the fact.
  • But you need to know when to slow down. If you try to haul ass through the hair-pin turns and unexpected obstacles in your path, you'll crash. Every now and then, you have to go slower in order to go faster.
  • It's not us against the world -- except when it is. There's more teamwork involved in outpacing change than you realize. Our go-kart experience included a relay race that featured a remarkable amount of strategy. Who would take the car out first? How many laps would each teammate complete? When should you come into the pits? The rules were mere suggestions, though, and each teammate had to guess when to break them. The moral? Have a strategy … and trust yourself enough to know when to change that strategy on the fly.

And finally, have fun. You might never have a chance to do something like this again. Don't sit on the sidelines.

Do it.


Bill Sheridan