What can Katie Couric teach CPAs about the future?

We have been covering a lot about disruption, innovation, and the need for CPAs to adapt to the mega-trends in our environment for awhile.

Everyone knows about how Uber, Apple, and AirBnB have disrupted entire industries like taxis, music, and hotels. But this latest issue of Fast Company Magazine (one of my favorite “future scan” pubs) made me do a double-take with their feature about Katie Couric and how she is reinventing her career at Yahoo.

Yep, that is not a mistake – Yahoo.

She is reinventing her career at the young age of 58!

She goes on to explain how she felt the “shift change” and decided to make this big move when Fast Company reporter Danielle Sacks asks, “It’s been almost a decade since Today. Now that you’re at Yahoo, would you consider yourself an early technology adopter?” Katie replies, ” … I don’t think I could be categorized as a techie. I am somebody who is aware of trends, was cognizant the landscape was shifting, and felt it under my own two feet.”

Think about what she said: “I am somebody who is aware of trends,” and “I was cognizant that the landscape was shifting.” And then she decided to do something about it: She made a major shift from major network television to a web-based company!

Now check out the latest research from CPA.com and the Insight into the CPA of the Future 2015 Study (registration required). First is the startling fact that 92 percent of CPAs say that they are NOT future ready!

So what do they mean by being “future ready”?

The report defines future ready as “the capacity to be aware, predictive, and adaptive of emerging challenges (trends), tech innovations, and trends and changes in business, population, and social environment.” In other words, to know what’s next. They go on to say that the “future ready” CPA will be able to make sense of those emerging trends and forecast what is coming to anticipate the impact of those trends on themselves and their clients and employers.

Yet, becoming future ready is not easy and you will encounter the powerful gravitational pull of the past. The resistance from people trying to maintain the status quo by protecting and defending the “old ways.”

When you’re a part of an established entity, there’s so much incentive to maintain the status quo. A lot of times, the people who are leading are at the end of their careers, so they don’t want to throw everything up and see where it lands. They want to make it someone else’s problem. But I have seen the shift happening before my eyes, and have at times been frustrated that people weren’t taking advantage of this new platform in a way that would be effective for the content. – Katie Couric -Yahoo’s Global News Anchor

We hope to change that starting on May 4 when Dan Burrus comes to town (and via webcast) to talk about how to become the Anticipatory CPA. Dan is considered one of the world’s leading futurists on global trends and innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in the highest demand as a speaker. He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies and the author of six books, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal bestseller Flash Foresight, as well as the highly acclaimed Technotrends. And he is working with us to help CPAs develop game changing abilities to deal with this rapidly changing world.

In fact, the CPA.com report and Katie Couric reinforce research here at BLI about the missing competency in order to be future ready – the ability to anticipate. Bundled in that competency are a group of other skills that are critical in building your future readiness. Skills like strategic thinking, visioning, innovation and creativity, team building, problem solving, and business acumen. These same competencies can be found in the CPA Horizons 2025 research from the AICPA and the latest CGMA Competency Model for CFOs, controllers, and management accountants (see our Slideshare deck here).

We have been working with Dan Burrus to customize his groundbreaking program called the Anticipatory Organization to create the Finance/Accounting Edition. Over the last several months, we have been working with Dan using a “customer co-creation” team of BLI customers from large CPA firms, small practices, corporate finance / accounting teams, CPAs, CFOs, controllers, learning professionals, and the MACPA’s New / Young Professionals.

On May 4, we will bring Dan back to talk about this program and how we can all learn to be anticipatory and future ready so we do not face the disruption that Katie is talking about. We will also feature a special session with Dan Burrus and our customer panel moderated by Dan Hood, editor-in-chief of Accounting Today magazine.

The event details are:

Do you feel the landscape shifting? Are you future ready? Do you want to shift from being reactive to “proactive”?

Take Katie’s advice and make the shift sooner rather than later and learn how to anticipate!

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