Speaking with 20+ firms over the last six months there has been one common denominator that has resulted in firms not moving to the level they want, or being forced to make changes in their business model due to the marketplace and the introduction of outsourcing and cloud-based technology.
This common denominator is : failure to implement. Be it that firms have not implemented the ideas that would move them forward, or the implementation process has taken much longer than planned, therefore the results are not as expected.
In my experience, when I sat in a chair like yours, failure to implement really meant the fear of or failure to change.
Your propensity to change (or fear of it).
Change is inherently challenging, so I’m going to address what makes it so difficult for Accountants to change, and transition to Premium Practice models from their current situation. I’ll also address some specific actions used in my consulting model to overcome these barriers.
Change is Hard in General
All consultants, including myself, work by projecting an idea model, explaining what it looks like and/or how the current model needs to change. When you begin working together, you’ll then be told and shown how to make those changes.
The real problem however, is that change only occurs under certain circumstances.
I believe that one of two things need to happen for change to occur:
- You reach your tipping point: this involves reaching a level of “pissed off factor” or “pain factor”. This change is out of your control – it’s Forced Motivation.
- Your “pissed off factor” is when you’re sick of what’s happening and you make change happen. eg. You have no time to think, let alone implement.
- The “pain factor” is when external factors force change. eg. cloud based solutions or financial hardship.
- There is enough propensity to change – ie. In my firm, we learnt from previous ‘pissed off factor’ changes, that better ways are possible. Then we started to believe and saw change as a friend, understanding that change brought future benefits, so we jump in and chose to make changes.. This is change that is within your control – it’s self motivation.
Specific Barriers to Change for Accountants
There are common reasons why we find it hard as Accountants to change what we are doing.
- It’s easier not to change (TA69)
- Established industry patterns don’t support change (TA70)
- Concern about negative reactions from clients (TA71)
- Partners complicate the decision making process (TA72)
- Procrastination (TA73)
Over the next five weeks, I’ll look at each barrier separately. I’ll discuss the nature of the issue, why it occurs and then suggest action to move beyond the barrier.
What are your experiences?
Have you got reluctance to change in your own practice? Where do you notice it? Is it around a process, is it around adopting methodologies, or is it within your people?
I’d love to hear from you about this topic. Feel free to comment below, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.