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Navigating the 5 Cs: MACPA Beach Retreat

SailingI remember the first time I ever tried sailing. I rented a catamaran and thought it would be easy. After getting out in the ocean and capsizing the first time I tried to turn, I realized there was much more to it than I ever imagined. I learned quickly to appreciate the need to navigate the changing sea, wind and dynamics of sailing.

Given the turbulence and rapid speed of change facing all of us today, this post is dedicated to navigating the 5 Cs (seas):

  1. Change
  2. Complexity
  3. Compliance
  4. Convergence
  5. Competition

Let's start by setting our destination -- AGI.

I bet you are thinking Adjusted Gross Income?

How about Agility, Growth, and Innovation?

These three major themes are showing up in every major category I have seen lately, from businesses and CPA firms to learning and development trends.

The need for us to make our organizations and our people agile and innovative, and the constant search for  profitable growth are driving the most successful organizations in this sideways, flat economy.

Want to see examples of organizations that are not capable of adapting or finding their AGI? Watch this quick clip from Brian Solis, The End of Business -- same name as his new book

So here are my tips on navigating the 5 Cs from the 2012 MACPA Beach Retreat in Ocean City, Md.

Navigating the 5 c's - 2012 Beach Retreat View more presentations from Tom Hood

Here are the navigation aids mentioned in the presentation:

You have three years to make your business social, according to the latest Deloitte / MIT Sloan Social Business Report.

Dealing with rapid change requires an understanding the change process. A great book mentioned is Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard, by the Heath brothers.

It also requires an understanding of the adoption curve by Geoffrey Moore. Two books I highly recommend are Crossing the Chasm and Escape Velocity: Free Your Company's Future From the Pull of the Past.

Then there is strategy as process, or what I call strategic thinking vs. episodic strategic planning. Jim Collins made this famous in his book Good to Great, and it includes what he refers to as Core Ideology (Core Purpose + Core Values), or your "Why." 

We had a great conversation about Simon Sinek's book, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, which led to a conversation about leadership and the need to inspire action and focus on these four critical areas:

  • Engagement
  • Alignment
  • Commitment
  • Accountability

This is what we have built onto our Leadership Academy, our i2a Strategic Planning Process, and what was used in the CPA Horizons Future Forums last spring. 

We ended with a conversation about learning and the need to keep your L > C. Your rate of learning for yourself and your organziation must be greater than the rate of change and greater than your competition. This can be accomplished by aliging your learning activities to your organization's strategy and developing career plans and competencies matched to your organization's future direction.

I hope these navigation aids are useful. I would love to see you add some by commenting on this post.