I’m currently in the middle of a tour of Australia supporting our good friends at BGL on their annual Update series. I was kindly invited by BGL Managing Director, Ron Lesh, to be on a panel of industry experts discussing a theme dear to our hearts, the Firm of Now. I am joined on the panel by Ron himself along with Aaron Dunn and Andrew Ward and it has been terrific to share ideas on what accountants need to do now so that they can thrive in the future.
One interesting aspect of being involved in this event has been the fact that many of the delegates are young accountants. I’ve had several conversations with young people who are obviously very bright and keen to learn. I’ve noticed three very important commonalities in talking with these people:
- They are not afraid to introduce themselves and ask questions. I have spoken with accountants who exude a confidence I certainly didn’t have at their age
- They are extremely attracted by the idea of changing the culture of the profession – I spent a couple of minutes on this in my talk and it seems to have really resonated. Some are frustrated with the old fashioned way of doing things in their firms and more specifically, they fail to see why partners would talk about making change but then rarely follow through
- I get the impression that many of these bright young things will strike out on their own and build a Firm of Now from the ground up if the firms they are in currently do not embrace change.
It’s an exciting time and I have very much enjoyed speaking with a snapshot of the future of our noble profession and I wish them well.
During the discussion, I speak of eight areas of focus that accountants need to embrace if they are to live and breathe the Firm of Now principles. They are:
In the panel discussion in Brisbane yesterday, Aaron asked me a great question – in which of the eight areas do I see most firms falling down? My response? Actually, it’s in none of the eight areas, it’s something else. The biggest problem is in implementation or execution. As I said to the group, you can all lock yourselves away in a room for a day and come up with a wonderful strategy to become a Firm of Now. But it’s those of you who actually execute on that strategy that will gain the advantage. Implementation and accountability, as always, remain the real keys.
The BGL tour continues next week and we’ll be visiting Adelaide, Perth and Melbourne. Or, if you’re in the United States, my business partner Rob Nixon is presenting the full day version of the Firm of Now in 12 cities starting in Orange County, CA, next Monday (August 8).