Daniel Burrus, considered one of the world’s leading technology forecasters and business strategists and author of six books including Flash Foresight: How to See the Invisible and Do the Impossible, was the opening speaker at the 2012 CCH User Conference held this week in my new hometown of San Diego.
Given the rapidly changing world in which we work Burrus challenged us to look into the future to determine those hard trends (those that will happen whether we want it or not) and soft trends (those trends over which we have control) that will impact our business. Then, he encouraged us to use flash foresight – the ability to trigger a burst of accurate insight about the future – and to use it to produce a new and radically different way of doing things.
With the predicted staff shortage – for every two Baby Boomers that will retire there is only one Generation Xer to take his place – it’s important for CPAs to consider how their firms are perceived by their employees. After all, how do you attract and retain the best and the brightest when they consider your firm going into a time machine backwards?
Here are 10 ideas to ensure that your firm’s time machine is going forward, that when your current and prospective employees enter your firm it is perceived as progressive and technologically-savvy. And, this is the way to attract and retain the best and the brightest.
- Many firms have four generations working together. What are you doing to combine their talents?
- Consider Skyping with clients for greater connection.
- Currently, there are 70,000 pages of government regulations. How is your firm utilizing technology to manage this information and your staff’s access to it? Hard technology trend: the cloud isn’t getting full.
- Increase your connectivity with clients through social media. Get your younger staff involved with this.
- What industries are converging on your clients? CPAs should know this and clients will pay more for this information.
- Consider creating internal, secure Facebook pages and Twitter hashtags to share best practices and answers to challenges.
- Create mobile and 3-D websites.
- Consider how mobile devices can change the way you train your people.
- Give people the ability to do what they currently can’t do and give them a way to do it even though they don’t know how or that they needed it.
- Begin mentoring immediately.