Yesterday I facilitated with our New / Young Professionals Network to work on their strategic plan for the next one to three years. The group of 20 included leadership from our NYPN Board and an invitation to all of our young professionals to join in the conversation and planning exercise.
NYPN Chair Jeff Klima welcomed the group and talked about the agenda. The group was energetic and passionate about helping their colleagues and working to better the CPA profession. They touted the benefits of being part of the MACPA and NYPN.
Then they used our highly sophisticated, super collaborative process to get group insights — we call it MBSN or management by sticky notes. Several Leadership Academy alums were present (we teach this at our Leadership Academy), and our staff team are all trained in this process to support our volunteers.
And then they got down to do the work and came up with these top 7 issues facing young professionals:
- Information overload (including accounting and tax complexity)
- Work / life balance
- Generational issues and communications (including upper management not sharing knowledge with the younger generation)
- Developing networking skills
- Keeping up with technology — especially the cloud
- Finding career guidance
- Understanding social media benefits
Next, they developed a list of the top activities we can do to help young professionals address these issues. After another round of stickies and a voting process (pictured above), we got a “heat map” of the priorities as pictured.
NYPN Chair-elect Nick Hollander discussed the last list developed by them in 2008, with several issues almost identical — which means we have real work to do!
Topping the list were generational issues and work / life balance, which mirrors the top trends from the CPA Horizons 2025 research.
One of the surprises was a need for a group focused on small, entrepreneurial CPA firms, which made it to No. 3 on the priority list. This came from a discussion of a growing segment of small firm startups enabled by technology (I call this the Tribe).
MACPA Board Chair Anoop Mehta was in attendance and talked about the association's commitment to the NYPN group by having them participate in the MACPA's annual planning process. He also issued an invitation for a member of NYPN to attend and participate in all MACPA Board meetings. We believe in walking the talk.
Showing our commitment to these future leaders of our profession, we had other MACPA team members supporting this session, including COO Jackie Brown, Member Services Manager Ashlee Stem, and NYPN staff liaison Julianne Part.
Expect to see great things from this group in the future.
What is your perspective on these top issues facing young professionals?
MACPA resources for new / young professionals:
- Maximizing your career trajectory via “The Bounce.” Learn more with this video and guide to The Bounce.
- CPA Horizons: Top trends to watch / vision, purpose, values / core competencies
- CPA leadership in the future: Download the MACPA Leadership Academy whitepaper.
- Leadership Academy dates set for Dec 4-6, 2012. E-mail Ashlee@macpa.org for an application.
- NYPN website for latest information.
Here are some posts from CPA Success related to our conversations yesterday:
- Next-generation CPA leders chime in on the future (Leadership Academy recap and whitepaper)
- Social media for accounting students (and young professionals) (the title says it all)
- Are we entering the age of the small firm? (the countertrend to mega-merger-mania)
- Are we at a strategic inflection point? (social, mobile, cloud and technology)
- What do young professionals want? NYPN, Tomorrow's CPAs speak out (from 2007)