Bridging the Gap to Innovation
For years, most firms have relied on core services of tax and assurance. These service offerings are well understood, and the focus has been on executing the business model while incrementally improving efficiency and profitability over time. But today, being successful and future-ready requires the ability to continually adapt, adjust and innovate. Simply trying to improve existing services and optimize efficiency is not enough to provide long-term sustainability. The leading firms are continuously searching out new opportunities to stay relevant. In other words, Exploit is not enough. We need to Explore, and that requires a fundamentally different mindset.
Those two mindsets don’t exist well in the same company. Many firms spend a lot of time talking about the future, but don’t actually take action on anything. Firms know they need to change and grow, but their existing business model is comfortable and profitable. How can they bridge the gap? The bridge is between two limits:
The limit of scarcity
The limit of abundance
To illustrate, let’s look at a popular goal for many organizations: “We want to be more entrepreneurial.”
Step one is simply to uncover the limits that are keeping the firm from being more entrepreneurial. This step is actually very easy for most people. The reason no action has been taken on the goal is firm leaders see roadblocks to achieving that goal. Maybe they’ve voiced those barriers, maybe not. But now is the time to put it all on the table.
Those objections might include:
We don’t have the right people
We don’t have time
We can’t afford to invest in something with an unknown ROI
Once you’ve exhausted your ideas for the scarcity limits, it’s time to talk about what is good.
We have 75 people on staff
We’ve been in business for 35 years
We have $30 million in revenue from stable services
Then you start to create a future company just based on what you’re already doing well. How much of that $30 million in revenue can you dedicate to creating new services? Which of your 75 people already have the skills to provide new services or can develop them?
The scarcity mindset gets a bad rap because it creates limitations, but uncovering those limitations is crucial. It gives everyone a chance to say what they think is holding the firm back. Once you get it out there, you can move on to abundance thinking and getting inspired by the possibilities.
Eric is the Director of 10X Operations at Boomer Consulting, Inc. He is part firm administrator, part technology and process guru, and part 10X coordinator for an awesome team. The first two parts may sound familiar. The last part, thinking 10X, has been a core principle of our firm since the beginning. What would you need to change to make your firm 10X the revenue, client service, productivity, profitability, employee satisfaction or engagement that it is now? Eric’s job is to Think about how our firm could be, Plan for this future and Grow our firm into that 10X model.