We’ve spent years here at CPA Success trying to explain the importance of being ahead of the curve. We could fill a book with what we’ve written on the subject. In fact, we have.

Leave it to Reggie Henry to boil that message down to one simple, brilliant thought.

Reggie is technology god at the American Society of Association Executives — in essence, the association for associations. He snuck into a recent meeting of MACPA directors and staff and delivered this call to arms:

“Our job,” he said, “is to make the future comfortable for others.”

So what does that mean?

In short, it means being a pioneer. It means trying new things before anyone else does, figuring out which of the new stuff is valuable, and sharing it with our stakeholders.

It means being really uncomfortable while we figure out this new stuff, then making our clients comfortable in their ability to use it.

It means always being on the edge, scanning the horizon for the next big thing so our clients don’t have to.

It means paving the way for those who follow us.

Imagine how valuable you’ll be to your clients if you can do that heavy lifting for them.

It’s not easy. It takes hard work, leadership, foresight, and imagination — the ability to see not only the future but what we need to do to succeed there. The key is to think like your clients. Understand their problems, then imagine how these new trends and tools will help them solve those problems.

“Logic will take you from A to B,” Reggie told us, channeling Albert Einstein, “but imagination will take you everywhere.”

Time to haul our imaginations out of mothballs, folks. In an era of great change and complexity, imagining our future is the first step toward getting there.

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