Anticipatory Organization: Accounting and Finance | Coronavirus | Future-ready | Leadership

The Key to your Firm’s Post-Pandemic Success

"Your post-pandemic success will be determined by what you do NOW, not what you do post-pandemic!"- Daniel Burrus, Global Futurist

Last week we hosted a 'strategic insight' session for Managing Partners and Leaders from over ninety CPA firms and businesses across the globe. This special session included Q&A with one of the top futurists in the world, Daniel Burrus of Burrus Research, Inc. and Joey Havens, CPA, Executive Partner of HORNE, LLP.

A pre-survey found many firms listing the following major challenges:

  1. Keeping staff productive and on task with the sudden shift to remote;
  2. Maintaining culture and morale in a virtual and uncertain environment;
  3. Dealing with the constantly changing updates on CARES Act, PPP and other relief programs;
  4. Unknown impact of this long-term on firm revenue and profitability.

Opportunities fell into these top categories:

  1. Making an impact helping businesses navigate the complex relief programs;
  2. Shifting to more consultative, trusted advisor role with the relief programs;
  3. Getting the hang of virtual meetings and remote work for the future.


Dan kicked it off with two polls for the group and their answers:

Digital Transformation will:

  1. Change our Business Model (39%)
  2. Change our Customers Business Model (33%)
  3. Change our Business Model (28%)

The firms then ranked their top three problems:

  1. Growing our Business (46%)
  2. Managing our Firm’s Culture (31%)
  3. Managing our Remote Workforce (24%)

One major insight is that post-pandemic will not go back to the old normal. There is only one way and that is forward and an opportunity to rethink and reimagine the new normal NOW!

Dan talked about the four stages of this pandemic event shaping our defining moment:

  1. Triage - sorting through the crisis;
  2. Transition - pivoting to the next normal;
  3. Change - happening to your organization from the outside-in;
  4. Transformation (optional) - our opportunity to seize the moment and transform from the inside-out.

As leaders in this crisis, we should double down on vision, clarity, focus, and simplicity as the antidote to VUCA - Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity.

Joey shared the results of his "innovation tournament" using the Anticipatory Organization: Accounting and Finance Innovation and Transformation Accelerator

What are the top trends we should be watching?

  1. Moving to advanced cloud technologies;
  2. Virtualizing services and technology;
  3. Cyber-security as a service;
  4. Data analytics, AI, and Machine Learning
  5. Remote work is here to stay.

What will they be taking into the next normal, post COVID19?

One person summed it up well, "Now more than ever we must be more forward-thinking and place even more emphasis on being "anticipatory."

  1. Ready for transformation and ready to adapt quickly (or be anticipatory?)
  2. Growing gap between proactive vs reactive, winners vs losers;
  3. Remote work and flexibility is the new normal, NOW!;
  4. More joy and fulfillment for our people and clients.

I want to close with a great question Dan suggested we should be asking our teams.

What do we want our clients and staff to remember about us after this pandemic?

Focusing on significance and relevancy in a post-COVID world and going beyond our own success.

More on becoming an Anticipatory Organization:

Read the latest coverage of firms using our Anticipatory Organization Innovation and Transformation Learning System by Inside Public Accounting editor, Christine Camara.

As CPAs Learn To Anticipate The Future, An Unimaginable Crisis Hits

Looking Ahead Pays Off With High-Growth Service Lines, More Satisfied Workforce

Hear Joey Havens talk about he transformed HORNE, LLP into an Anticipatory CPA Firm

Four firms share how they built a future-ready mindset and accelerated innovation at the DigitalCPA Conference


Tom Hood