Jack Welch once said, If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” 

Welcome to the new normal where product life cycles are shrinking and everyday we feel new pressures on once profitable core business lines. Competition is intensifying in this slow growth and hyper-connected global economy and technology continues to automate and disrupt like a fast moving Pac Man gobbling up the value chain. This is what Rita McGrath calls the end of competitive advantage.

So what does this mean to CPAs?

Apparently a lot.

Are CPA firms at risk of being disrupted?

Downward fee pressure, resistance to billable hours by clients, young professionals leaving CPA firms to start their own practices, automation of low-end compliance services, and the DIY movement, especially in tax are warning signs of disruption ahead.  Watch this brief video clip where Rita talks about the legal profession (She also covered this in an HBR article Creative Destruction visits the Legal Profession). Then ask the question: Are CPA firms immune from the sting of the transient advantage trends?

And then there are the clients of CPA firms – the businesses on main street to the larger more complex businesses that CPAs serve. Shouldn’t the most trusted business adviser be well-versed in the latest strategic thinking? At a recent MACPA managing partner meeting several partners thought this would be a great opportunity to bring clients and prospective clients to our event in January 30th at the BWI Airport  Hilton to be side by side as they develop their competitive edge playbook with Rita.

What about CPAs in business & industry, government and non-profits? As CFOs and Controllers have fought to get a seat at the strategy table with the CEO and other business leaders, this is an opportunity to learn how to add even more value by understanding the latest developments in business strategy. Rita’s approach will give CFOs and Controllers a new way to help their businesses shift resources from declining core businesses to emerging opportunities. She will offer some new insights into how to think about and guide resource allocation in a fast-changing and uncertain business climate.

 Rita has identified six core practices to make the move from static conventional strategy to agile “transient advantage” strategy. 

  1. Continuous reconfiguration
  2. Healthy Disengagemet
  3. Deft Resource Allocation
  4. Innovation Proficiency
  5. Discovery-driven mindset
  6. Entrepeneurial Career Management

Why Rita?

Rita McGrath was recently named the sixth most influential business thinker in the world by Forbes and Thinkers50. She received the CIMA (The international partner of AICPA CGMA) Strategy award and was named by FastCompany as one of the top 25 smartest women to follow on twitter (@rgmcgrath). She is also the author of two of our recommended reads, her latest best-seller, The End of Competitive Advantage – How to Keep Your Strategy Moving as Fast as Your Business and Discovery-Driven Growth- A Breakthrough Process to Reduce Risk and Seize Opportunity. She is also a Columbia Business School professor and consultant. 

On January 30th, she will help us figure out the way forward in this age of transient advantages

 

With Rita’s help we are going to crack the code on January 30th at the BWI Airport Hilton in Maryland (and via webcast). This special program from our Business Learning Institute brings Rita McGrath to Maryland. This four hour program will feature two hours of her latest thinking, followed by a panel discussion including a CEO, CFO and CPA firm partner and a collaborative working session to create your competitive edge playbook for 2014. The webcast will be just the presentation part of the program. All participants will get her latest book signed by her. There is also a series of webinars to dive deeper into Rita’s thinking. 

More information and registration information is available here.

 

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