That was the opening line of the MACPA's first professional issues update (PIU) / town hall meeting of the year to a full house of CPAs at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theater in Rockville.
According to Dr. Jim Canton, Ph.d, a leading futurist, author of The Extreme Future: The Top Trends That Will Reshape the World in the Next 20 Years, and head of the Institute for Global Futures, the extreme future looks like this:
- Speed: The rate of change will be blinding, comprehensive in scope and touch every aspect of your life.
- Complexity: A quantum leap in seemingly unrelated forces converging on everything.
- Risk: New risks, higher risks, more risks.
- Change: Drastic adjustments in your work, community and relationships, forcing you to adapt quickly to radical changes.
- Surprise: Sometimes good, sometimes difficult to imagine, surprise will become a daily feature of your life.
An overwhelming majority of CPAs in the audience agreed. Then they weighed in with thoughts about the current state of te economy:
- Eight percent said we are in a strong recovery.
- Fifty-five percent said it is fragile but are cautiously optimistic.
- Thirty-three percent said the economy is very fragile and they are concerned.
- Five percent said businesses are struggling.
How do you survive and thrive in the extreme future? Dr. Canton recommends the following:
- A future vision: A clear vision of where you are going.
- A sound strategy to get you there.
- Tools to help persuade key people. (We say, “Make your thinking visible to others.”)
- Effective execution.
Our I2A: Insight to Action Strategic Thinking System lines up well with Dr. Canton's recommendations.
It just so happens that the AICPA and the MACPA have tools to help you survive and thrive in the extreme future. I'm talking about the CPA Horizons 2025 project. Here are some resources to help you think about your own vision and strategy and help shape the vision for our profession at the same time.
- Global Forces video and trends research from leading futurists about business and the CPA profession.
- A brief survey about the CPA profession in 2025.
- National future forums — interactive forums to discuss these future trends. They include special “Insights to Go worksheets” to help you jump start your thinking for your career, company, firm, or organization. The forums will be held on April 27 in Connecticut, May 3 in Dallas, May 4 in Chicago, and more. Getails here.
- MACPA future forums — interactive forums all across Maryland to bring the CPA Horizons 2025 to Maryland CPAs (and four hours of free CPE!). See the schedule and register here.
- Maryland i2a Leadership Academy scheduled for Sept. 18-20 in Annapolis.
Here is a copy of the slidedeck from yesterday's session:
Here are a few of the resources we used in our session that may be useful:
- Grant Thornton study: The Evolving Accounting Talent Profile
- Intuit's Future 2020 Report (and interview by our own Bill Sheridan with Steve King of Emergent Research)
- Deloitte's Center for the Edge Shift Index: Measuring the forces of long-term change
- The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion