Are you struggling with growth in this post-recession slow growth economy? Recent research shows early adopter firms are finding ways to grow by starting and growing innovation projects.
Your business is unsustainable in its present form. It doesn’t matter what you make, or sell, or offer. If you continue to embrace “business as usual,” you are doomed.” – Alex Osterwalder
Seven ways ‘early adopter’ CPA firms are innovating from the CPA.COM innovation survey:
- Developing new offerings that expand the value we provide to our existing clients (62%).
- Implementing a new offering for a specific market segment we believe has growth (50%).
- Developing new offerings or approaches to the market that attract new clients (46%).
- Realizing value to the firm from existing innovation investments (41%).
- Updating current offerings to be more competitive (37%).
- Deciding and moving forward on what our innovation priorities should be (35%).
- Implementing a cloud-based accounting system (31%).
“One interesting finding of the survey is that CPA firms, early majority or not, don’t really see a competitive threat from specific challengers,” said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA.com. “Only a small percentage of firms said it was a priority to respond to ‘a competitor who is outpacing us.”
Here is the formula for jump-starting innovation to drive growth: Innovation = Collaboration + Anticipation x Leadership
Collaboration is essential to tap the collective genius of your organization. Innovation is a team sport and you need a lot of ideas from different people.
Anticipation is a set of skills around understanding future trends for the firm and clients. Being able to articulate predictable problems and opportunities based on those trends is how to jumpstart you innovation initiatives. BLI offers a program to create these critical skills – The Anticipatory Organization: Accounting and Finance Edition).
Leadership is the multiplier. Purpose-driven leaders can support creativity and create an environment for learning, risk-taking and making failure an option.
Here are five steps to create an innovation in your firm:
- Create the right culture – collaborative and inclusive.
- Add purpose-driven and visionary leadership.
- Enable continuous learning and improvement.
- Build competencies and skills to support innovation.
- Develop a tolerance for risk and failures.
And one more thing, the leading innovative firms have been early adopters of technology and practice management innovations. These firms are more likely to prescribe faster and deeper changes to their business models than other CPA firms according to the CPA.COM survey.