S2E22 – Bill Sheridan | Becoming Future-Proof
We discuss whether the profession is moving in the direction of becoming more future-proof, or future-ready, through the lens of the conversations he’s been having with his guests for nearly a year.
So, let’s get right to it: is the profession future-proof?
The short answer is no, we’re not future-proof or future-ready yet – but we’re getting there. However, we might be getting there a little slower than Bill and the other folks over at the MACPA hoped.
“It seems like they’re starting to realize that this stuff is real. It’s not going away. In fact, it’s starting to impact them right now, and they need to pay attention to it. So, that’s encouraging that they are starting to pay attention,” Bill says.
And in a way, this seeming reluctant to look forward makes sense for the accounting and finance profession. “When you think about the profession itself, accounting and finance will spend their entire careers looking behind them. By definition, they’re accounting for things that have happened in the past.
“So, turning around, and looking through the windshield, and noticing what’s coming at you, isn’t a muscle that they’ve spent a lot of time building. And so, they’re just starting to do that now. And the more they do it, the better they’ll get at it.” Becoming future-ready starts with being aware of what’s going on.
It comes back to the idea of the anticipatory organization, an idea championed by MACPA President and CEO Tom Hood. In this sense, anticipation a three-step process: aware, predict, and adapt.
So, first step, being aware of change. That involves asking questions and start to understanding it. Next is predicting what will happen. So, now that I’m aware of it, what kind of impact is this going to have on me and the people that I work with? And then, finally, adapting. What can we actually do about it?
For example, here’s a question for accounting and finance pros out there: how can you take advantage of 5G in a way that will benefit the people that you work with?
“That’s the muscle that we have to start building. We know this is coming, and in very short order. So, what are the opportunities embedded in something like that? And we need to start thinking about that now before it hits mainstream and evolves into something else.” So becoming anticipatory is the practice of building that muscle – because change is going to happen over and over.
“We need to be able to help walk our clients and customers into the future. In order to do that, we need to be there before them,” Bill says.
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Listen to Future-Proof: https://blionline.org/blog/ | Apple Podcasts
Take Sally Hogshead’s assessment: howtofascinate.com/you (use code “FutureProof” to take it for free)
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