DSC01576 What are the four most important words in business?

“What do you think?”

That was how we ended yesterday's PIU / town hall meeting with members of the Marriott Corporation's global finance and accounting team. It is also a favorite quote (and major point) of Tom Peters. It is No. 58 in his latest book, The Little Big Things: 163 Ways to Pursue Excellence (highly recommended).

“What do you think?” is exactly the purpose of our roadshow / PIUs / town halls — to go out to where our members are and discuss their profession, discuss what is on their minds, and talk about what we see.

Then we use these insights to guide our thinking with our board and our services — Connect. Protect. Achieve!

We covered developments in six major areas (see my presentation below):

  1. Economy
  2. Globalization
  3. Technology
  4. Workforce / demographics
  5. Regulations and standards
  6. Leadership: Is it changing?

We also took an opportunity to have a discussion about the CPA Vision and asked for members' input about whether it is still relevant and what they think about it. Those are the CPA vision charts they are standing in front of in the photo above. (We did this at our MACPA Summit in June.) Overall, they thought it was still relevant and saw themselves in it on a 4+ (on a scale of 1 to 5).

What were the insights from yesterday? Lots of talk and feedback about social media as a tool to keep ahead of change; leadership (yes, they thinks it is changing); generations in the workforce; and the realization that we are facing a tsunami of laws and regulations in the CPA profession (and beyond). Comments like “thought-provoking,” “engaging,” “inspiring,” “informative,” “fresh,” “visionary” and “fun” were made on the feedback forms. I had fun and always learn a lot at these sessions.

Speaking of social media, Marriott is a perfect example of how social media can be used to communicate inside and outside the company. They use Twitter and YouTube, and their CEO, Bill Marriott, is a prolific blogger. Many on the finance team keep up with the company through Bill's blog. Check out his post about social media and Marriott.

Here are a couple of my favorite social media resources:

Here are some of the books featured in our professional issues update:

Two of my favorite leadership blogs are Seth Godin (and on Twitter) and Tom Peters (also on Twitter).

Join us at our upcoming town halls as MACPA goes on the road again.
And don't forget CPA Day in Annapolis to help us be seen and heard by our legislators (and two hours of free CPE).
I am hoping some of the folks from Marriott will add comments to this post — maybe one of the authors, Bill Marriott, or any readers out there will tell us …
What do you think?

Here is a copy of my preso from yesterday: