“Serendipity is the faculty of finding things we did not know we were looking for.” — Glauco Ortolano

Can you plan serendipity?

We think so, and we have designed our CPA Innovation Summit to do exactly that.

Let’s start with the imperative for innovation. In a world of rapid change and increasing complexity, we are all being challenged to innovate or, at the minimum, iterate by constantly improving things and doing more with less. In fact, my favorite definition of innovation comes from futurist Andrew Zolli, who says innovation is creating value in anticipation of future trends. 

John Hagel, John Seely-Brown and Lang Davison, authors of the Power of Pull, put it this way: “We need to find ways to attract relevant innovators and edge participants so that we can discover early windows into the developments that will end up transforming how we live and work. Sure, serendipity has always been important, but in a world of near-constant disruption, it becomes essential to survival.”

Deloitte’s Center for the Edge describes our strategic intent well in this passage from Shaping Serendipity:

“Simply by registering for a conference in a given area of interest, we are increasing the probability of a serendipitous encounter that will prove both relevant and valuable to us. We still cannot anticipate whom we will meet or what they will know, except in the broadest possible terms, but we have increased the probability of serendipity. We have filtered the population at large down to those most likely to share our interests and passions — and those most likely to carry the tacit knowledge we need and to need the tacit knowledge we carry.” 

Here is our five-point plan to shape serendipity for our members:

  1. Attract: Attract the thought leaders and leading-edge thinkers in and around the CPA profession.
  2. Access: Bring them together and provide access to our members in person and with social media.
  3. Connect: Connect them physically and virtually.
  4. Collaborate: Create an environment to tap the wisdom of the crowd accelerated by technology.
  5. Innovate: Share the ideas so that CPAs can make their own “recipes” for future success.
Another way of thinking about planned serendipity is putting yourself in the place of best opportunity — planning those things under your control and anticipating possibilities to connect and learn about things that you see on the edges.

 
To get you started, read our preview posts about the Summit, starting with our keynote by Paralympic gold medalist and wounded warrior, Lt. Brad Snyder. Then read what our platinum sponsors have to say about the future of accounting and how their organizations are helping: 1) Jennifer Warawa and Sage North America; 2) Shari Dodgen and CCH Wolters Kluwer; 3) Erik Asgeirsson and CPA.Com; 4) Chris Farrell and Tallie; and 5) Ian Vacin and Xero.

Then join us in this community designed to help us access the people and organizations shaping the CPA profession and provide you the connections and resources to help you thrive in this rapidly changing and complex world.

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