Posts Tagged ‘Change’

Innovation and Abandonment

December 19, 2009 Leave a comment

A prior post of mine was titled “Let Go of the Old”. Recently,  I ran across a chapter in Peter Drucker’s book “The Definitive Drucker” titled, “Innovation and Abandonment”, where he dug deeper into the theme of new vs. old. Here are a few of his quotes:

“If you don’t understand innovation you don’t understand business.”

“Innovation is about shaking loose from yesterday’s world so that we gain the freedom to create tomorrow.”

“You can’t throw everything out, or you’ll have anarchy. You can’t hold on to everything or you’ll die.”

“Without the will to take risks, to venture into the unknown and let go of the familiar past, a corporation cannot thrive in the twenty-first century.”

“Systematic abandonment is both the most important and most difficult step in innovation.”

“The entrepreneur always, searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”

“All assumptions must be challenged”.

All businesses should be in the midst of Innovation and Abandonment. Look around. Are your key personnel, your top thinkers… experiencing and struggling through the process of Innovation and Abandonment? If they are not, you should be concerned.

Innovation and abandonment were at the core of Drucker’s thinking. He believed that the best way to predict the future was to create it. You can play a key role in helping your organization create its future. How?

First, by taking a few moments to grasp the concept of  innovation and abandonment.  And second,  make certain you maintain a sense of urgency to learn the new, to embrace the changes with a positive attitude, and to provide/reach out for constructive feedback. It’s this  feedback/input that allows for  improvements to be made as quickly as possible.

Let’s not stymie our innovation by excessive and/or blind loyalty to the old way of doing things.

Categories: Leadership Tags: , ,

Let Go of the Old!

December 3, 2009 1 comment

When I reflect on today’s current technology and business processes, and the sea of changes in how we do business today vs just a few years ago, my first reaction is …Wow! Aren’t we so blessed to experience these incredible advances?

My second reaction presents this question, “how are we adapting to these incredible advances and the never ending changes?”.

Some recognize that change is just part of life, and their attitude is one of exciting anticipation and embrace. Others are overwhelmed by change, tend to fight it, and are finding it increasingly difficult to “keep up”.

If you are one who is feeling overwhelmed, my recommendation for you is to adopt the mantra “Let Go of the Old!”, and embrace the new. I know, easier said than done.  But, as with many things in life, this is really about adopting the right attitude in these fast-paced times

How do you know if you are one who may be holding onto the “old”? Every environment has its clues, depending on the business processes and specific advances in technology. Here are a few clues that you’d find in a CPA firm environment.

  • Still using a day-timer to manually record your time?…then entering your time at a later time.
  • Do you print WIP sheets to do your billing…instead of billing on-screen?
  • Do you print client invoices and file them?
  • Are you printing tax returns so that you can review them?
  • Are you printing other documents to read, highlight, forward to others?
  • Are you using our desktop instant messenger?
  • Are you thinking “…this paperless environment talk doesn’t pertain to me”.
  • Still presenting a paper expense report for reimbursement?
  • Are you daydreaming/reminiscing about the “good old days”?
  • Are you storing lots of emails into various folders ?…you shouldn’t be.
  • Do you have  lots of documents haphazardly saved to your desktop?…you shouldn’t.
  • Is your Groupwise calendar not reflective of your current intentions and obligations?
  • Still holding onto a lot of client work?…because everyone seems busy.
  • Are you still commenting “…if only there was more communication” yet, you haven’t made it a priority to read the latest communication in the firm’s weekly newsletter and its intranet.
  • On a scale of 1-10, with 10 as an expert…if you rate a 6 or below in word, excel and adobe, you aren’t keeping up.
  • Do you find yourself at the copier on a regular basis?..walking away with paper.
  • You regularly walk to the fax machine to retrieve your fax. You should be receiving most faxes directly to your desktop.
  • Do you send an email to staff requesting meeting dates & times? How about sending an appointment.
  • Still preparing manual “to do” lists?

If any of these struck a chord with you, be careful not to dismiss it too quickly or rationalize that “your method” is best for you.

By continuing to hold onto the old, you are choosing not to experience the growth opportunities and efficiencies that the new can bring.

By continuing to hold onto to the old, your organization cannot maximize the return on investment that it has made  in technology and processes.

By continuing to hold onto the old, you will find yourself with an ever increasing skill set gap, which will cause you even more frustration as we move forward.

Action item to consider:

Take inventory today of the 3 things that you need to change…and be prepared to struggle through a number of days until you break the old habits. Write down the 3 items and identify the specific steps you will take to make the change. Seek out an associate or trainer to assist you and/or to hold you accountable.

Let me know how you’re making out…I love to hear success stories, and if you’re struggling, let’s talk about it!

Categories: CPA Tags: ,