Letter from the CEO: Change is a paradigm shift

Written on Jul 18, 2017

Embracing change is a topic that always gets a lot of attention, especially when you combine it with the blending of generations in our workforce. Sure, we all need to get along and embrace change, because it’s inevitable and if we don’t, we risk being left behind.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank, 92% of organizations are not designed to properly adapt to change. Yet 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in new job types that don’t yet exist, says the World Economic Forum. That alone is argument for embracing change for the opportunities it can create.

The context around change is experiencing a paradigm shift. Experts are urging professionals to approach it proactively as a catalyst to spur evolution, rather than reacting to the changing times with a ‘catch up’ mindset.

Here’s why it’s important to do so.

Companies are moving from strategy to business models. The difference is in the execution—strategy drives outcomes for one purpose, like growing a business or selling a product while a model is more holistic. It identifies how to drive more value from the point of conception to delivery of products or services. Key learnings are folded back into the process to continuously evolve the model and create even more value. The Ohio Society is working on our own evolving business model which will drive more value for individual members while providing consultative services to companies who employ large numbers of CPAs.

Technology is outpacing our expectations. Dell recently reported that technology grows 10 times more powerful every five years. That’s coming to life in robots that supplement humans in industrial and service jobs, and in the medical field where computers can rapidly formulate the best treatment courses for cancer patients, checked and administered by oncologists. What does this mean? You need to cultivate a spirit of experimentation and risk in your organization around technology. Make time and capital available to put it to work to deliver more value. We are currently advancing new technologies that will personalize the news and information you receive from OSCPA. Our goal is better serving the unique needs of each member instead of making you pick from a list of choices you don’t want or need.

Gen Z will comprise 24% of the workforce by 2020. David Stillman is the author of GenZ@Work and told CPAs attending AICPA’s Spring Governing Council that these up and coming professionals, born between 1995 and 2012, have traits that will make valuable contributions to business.

While Millennials have pioneered new technology, Gen Z are digital natives. They’ve always had cell phones, video games and laptops and will expect employers to have the latest technology. What’s more, they are fiercely competitive, risk averse and expect to work their way up, since they’ve grown up during a global recession. They may seek meaning in a job, but salary will be the bigger factor in their career choices and that spells opportunities for the accounting profession to reach out to them sooner. The Ohio Society has a good head start in reaching Gen Z. In 2016 we launched a new high school membership option while building out more Accounting Career Awareness Days and social media campaigns to position accounting as an opportunity career with many paths.

While we are leveraging change at the Society to attract younger members, we are also doubling down on efforts to engage long-time members who want to remain active in the profession. We’re creating opportunities to blend the expertise and perspectives of CPAs from different backgrounds and generations on task forces, in our student initiatives areas and through networking programs like the Advance live forums.

We all need to leverage change to our collective advantage. Do you have ideas for how we can do more? I’d love to hear them.

Scott Wiley, CAE

President & CEO
The Ohio Society of CPAs
(614) 764-2727, ext. 2218 (office)
(614) 546-9430 (cell)
Twitter: @ScottDWiley
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/scottwileycae

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