Go to where your customers are going to be (not where they are)
"I don't skate to where the puck is. I skate to where it's going to be." -- Wayne Gretzky
In this rapidly changing and increasingly complex world, our customers are changing and adapting with the times. We need to be attuned to their world.
For me, that means understanding their current state and the research and trends in the future that are impacting them. Then, we need to begin to have conversations about those future trends to see how they are impacting our customers and how our customers see those trends.
You can start with the top trends identified by thousands of CPAs during the CPA Horizons 2025 Project, which took futurist research commissioned by the AICPA and asked CPAs, "What are the top trends you think will have the greatest impact and that we must address now?" These trends are listed on Slide 2 below. Ask your customers what trends will impact them the most, and what trends are missing.
CPA Vision 2025 - Strategy on a Page from Tom Hood
Then begin to think about services you could provide that would help them. If you do this, you are innovating!
One definition of innovation that I like is this: Innovation is creating products and services in anticipation of future trends.
Liz Weber at Weber Business Services put it well in her post a while ago: "If we start planning NOW to meet our customers’ future needs, who will they want to work with six, nine or 12 months from now? Us, of course! We will have the products or services ready and available to meet their needs. We won’t have to scramble to develop the products they want. We can provide what they need when they need it."
Get skating to where your customers will be!