Leadership Learning / Education Management / Strategy

Preparing for the Shift Change in accounting (and business)

I am writing this from the Boomer Technology Conference in Kansas City where I will open day 2 talking about the coming shift change in accounting (and business). The shift change is being driven by the three mega-trends - technology, demographics, globalization and the hand off from retiring baby boomers to the next generation of leaders in the workplace.

This confluence of forces is causing foundational "shifts" in the way business is conducted and this presentation covers the latest research by BLI about these trends. Using the two-curves framework from the Institute for the Future as inspiration (see slide 13 below), we have taken the signals and trends happening in the marketplace today and applied them to the transformational change model we call the shift change.

The five major "shifts" we see happening are:

  1. Technology - hyper-connected, mobile, social, cloud, and big data.
  2. Generations - Generation gap, generation lap, and 2 for 1 (Boomers to Xers).
  3. Workplace - Work is no longer a place we go, but what we do - open, collaborative, and flexible.
  4. Leadership - A recent Harvard Business Publishing study found only 32% of business leaders believe that their organizations have the right leadership to achieve their strategic goals and cope with the current business environment.
  5. Learning - L>C, flipped classrooms, participation and engagement are the new normal.

Here is the presentation, click to download.

Preparing for the Shift Change in Accounting (and Business) from Tom Hood The biggest challenge during the shift change is to determine if and when you should lead your organization through the shift change, keeping in mind the risk of doing nothing or the RONI - return on not investing.

The key to thriving during the shift change is ROP - return on people and the #1 skill needed is collaboration.

In order to get your ROP, you need a systematic and strategic approach to your talent development which is exemplified in a training framework from the Business Learning Institute called the Bounce. The Bounce covers the career trajectory of professionals as they move from technical proficiency to managing people and projects and ultimately organizations. The bounce speaks to the change in direction from technical mastery to acquiring competencies to lead others and leading organizations. The Bounce includes the latest research on competencies from the AICPA through the CPA Horizons 2025 Project and the CGMA Competency framework.

It concludes with the five ways to thrive in the shift change:

  1. Purpose and Vision
  2. People
  3. Collaboration and Engagement
  4. Strategy & Alignment
  5. Technology and RONI.

Here is a quick video that talks about our philosophy at BLI:


How are you dealing with the shift change?


Thomas Hood