“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down these walls!” – President Ronald Reagan

We have been talking about the major business fundamentals that are shifting in this era we call the “shift change”.

The shift change involves the five areas that are transforming the business landscape as a result of the three mega-trends of technology, demographics and the retiring baby boom generation, and globalization. Today, the MACPA is making the shift in two areas – workplace and technology. Of course this shift  also involves and impacts the other three areas – Leadership, Learning and Generations. 

As our Board of Directors gave us guidance and support in making this shift with the caveat that we share our learning, good and bad, with them and our members and you our CPA Success readers along the way.

We started this journey with a decision to move to the cloud with our technology platforms which are well underway (thanks in a major way to Chris Farrell at Tallie). The next step was our physical office space and adding mobile computing for our team. That is what is happening right now in Towson, Maryland. Here is our update.

I am a big believer in serendipity which they say is the faculty for finding things you did not know you were looking for. Yesterday morning in my social scanning, up pops this article from Deloitte on workplace redesign. It captures our ‘why’ and hopes for this move along with the technology and mobile computing investments we are making. It prompted me to write this internal memo to our team.

Greetings team,

I am very sorry I am on the road this week and not able to be there with all of you. We are truly at maximum velocity right now as this move managed to converge on us at the peak of our fall start-up. I have heard stories of how many of you are working together to make this move happen in addition to all of the other activities we have going on. You are great examples of why we are making this move – increased teamwork and collaboration. Thank you for working together thru this ‘shift change’.

The three goals in the attached article say it better than I can and we are aiming for all three!

Goal 1. Help employees identify and address the challenges and opportunities that have the greatest impact on the business. Productive workplaces give people the right space and the right amount of time to understand corporate priorities and to brainstorm new ways to achieve them. From a management practices standpoint, they offer plenty of encouragement for experimenting with new ways of doing business and provide rapid feedback so employees know whether or not to continue in a new direction.

Goal 2. Help employees strengthen high-impact connections by enabling them to collaborate easily with others inside and outside the organization. This goal is the one that CFOs have likely thought the most about, as many modern space reconfigurations address the question of how a physical environment can encourage employee connections. To put it in the broader context, across all three dimensions of the environment, the goal is to make it relatively easy for employees to find experts and form teams across (and beyond) the organization to do their jobs better.

Goal 3. Amplify the impact of those efforts by building an infrastructure that allows small improvements to scale easily across the organization. Well-planned work environments should spark employees to discover and implement performance-enhancing practices. The next step? Ensuring that those productivity improvements cascade across the organization, rather than being confined to a single employee or a single team. This type of sharing often relies on virtual or online components, but management practices that encourage it also play an important role.

The article also talks about how CFOs can help lead these changes and that is exactly what has happened here as Skip (MACPA-BLI’s CFO) has been instrumental in leading this move and his team has been working on the move to the cloud with our accounting systems to support our business model changes.

I have been thinking of you and sharing our story of our move (office, technology, and business model) in all of my keynotes this week – Portland, New Orleans today, and Boston on Friday and Saturday. I am very proud of how you are making this happen and taking care of each other and our whole team.

Here is the article from the WSJ

Thanks again for all of your efforts during this critical time for us.

Tom

On Monday morning we will start fresh in our new open collaborative space and host our 100% member firm managing partners in a breakfast with the incoming Chair of the AICPA, Tommye Barie who is hear to recognize our first “Women to Watch” celebration on Tuesday morning, which happens to be sold out. 

We apologize for any delays in getting back to you as our systems were all being changed over last night and today. We hope to back to our new way of working on Monday #shiftchange.

Stay tuned for more dispatches from the future of work at MACPA-BLI.

 
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