Organizational Change Starts and Ends with People

What is your firm’s social contract?

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

You read about companies every day: those that separate themselves from the competition by disrupting the norms and those that remain steadfast, much to their detriment. For the former, think about Amazon, Uber, Netflix and other “change agents.” Now, think about the latter: JCPenney, Kmart and Sears.

MORE: SWOT’s the Purpose? | Another Meeting?!?! … Sigh | Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | How Can Change Management Really Produce Change? | Trust: One Building Block of Success
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As the late chairman and CEO of Intel, Andy Grove said, “Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive.”
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Strategic Planning for the Small Firm

Dial with arrow pointing to word "strategy"Plus actionable tips for each area.

By Ed Mendlowitz
The CPA Trendlines Practice Doctor

QUESTION: Do you recommend strategic planning for a small accounting practice?

MORE: Does Your Staff Know All the Services You Provide? | Four Tips for New Partners | An Alternative to Pro Bono | 14 Better Uses for Timesheet Data | 9 Must-Haves for Firm Growth
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ANSWER: I recommend it for everyone. It is important for larger firms to make sure the partners are on the same page.
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Another Meeting?!?! … Sigh

Business meeting with people around table facing forwardIf they’re necessary, so be it. But set some guidelines.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

When in doubt, call a meeting. Jeez! How many hours in the U.S. are cumulatively wasted on a daily basis with meetings? Are they really necessary?

MORE: Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity | Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent? | Building Teamwork under COVID Pressure | Make Your Writing Count | Etiquette Never Goes Out of Style | Make News, Not Noise | Take That Extra Breath with Email | Effective Communications in the Age of COVID |The New COVID-19 Workplace: Are You Prepared?
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If yes, do you employ rules of courtesy, such as strongly encouraging punctuality? Do you have a clearly articulated agenda that was distributed in advance of the meeting? If yes, did it provide advance notice about any preparatory work or research expected to be done by the participants? Finally, will the meeting be structured in such a way that it will allow for participation by the complete group?
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Busyness Isn’t the Same as Productivity

Stacks of papers on the corner of a deskDo you really need to go to that meeting?

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

Did you ever notice when you call an associate, a friend or a business of any type, more often than not he or she will always respond with “I’m really busy” or “I’ve been jammed up”? It does not matter the time of the year, much less the time of week or day.

MORE: Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent? | Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | How Can Change Management Really Produce Change? | Trust: One Building Block of Success | Make Your Presentations Memorable | Have a Real-Life Conversation | Is Your Message Open to Interpretation?
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Has busy become too colloquial and is simply a throwaway line? What is actually meant by “busy”? Or, more specifically, what is the condition of “busyness”?
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Why Create an Accounting Firm Business Model?

Process Touch Screen Showing Workflow DesignPsst … it includes checklists.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

Running a professional services business requires the ability to manage multiple types of strong-minded and -willed individuals.

MORE: Advice to New Accountants | What Does the Client Want to See? | 6 Ways to Increase Your Fees … If You Dare | The Clients that Got Away | Upselling Made Painless
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It works, but it needs a discipline and a model to follow.

Here is mine:
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Is Your Firm’s Culture a Magnet or a Repellent?

Magnet drawing in three peopleThe partners want the money; the younger professionals want the meaning.

By Steven E. Sacks
The NEW Fundamentals

In the famous words of management guru Peter Drucker, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Accounting firms are starting to get this message because now they are instituting initiatives that would have been laughed at years ago: a) every day is jeans day, b) shorts when there is no client meeting, c) work from home and d) reduced Saturday hours during busy season. And on it goes …

MORE: Organizational Trust: Top-Down and Bottom-Up | Staff Orientation: A Little Investment Goes a Long Way | Managing Information Overload | 6 Types of Non-Listeners | Political Correctness or Just Common Courtesy? | Syncing Up for the COVID Era
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Attracting and retaining quality staff has become one of the top concerns for CPA firms that want to grow and remain competitive. Salary is no longer the number one concern for today’s younger professionals. Opportunity, responsibility, accountability and a well-defined career path are the motivators. Firms are pulling out all the stops to attract professionals who will be viewed as tomorrow’s leaders.
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