Post by: Jim Boomer, CEO
Back in March, most of us thought we'd be done with the pandemic by now. Whether pharmaceutical companies could create and deploy a vaccine within months, or non-pharmaceutical interventions managed to clamp down on the virus, many of us looked forward to an Autumn and Winter as usual. Unfortunately, that vision is taking longer than we hoped. Now that we know we're in it for the longer haul, it's more important than ever to embrace the present and plan for the future, no matter what it might hold.
Here are several areas to consider as we end a very unusual year and look toward another.
Remote work is here to stay
The pandemic has changed workplaces and the nature of work itself. While remote work was gaining ground before the pandemic, this year's massive shift toward remote work accelerated the trend, and most companies expect it to continue after the pandemic.
What does this mean in the long term for your firm's real estate, communication and collaboration? If your firm's office lease is set to renew soon, will you still need as much space as you have now? What tools and technologies will you need to support your team's productivity, communication and collaboration now and in the future?
The answers to these questions will look different for every firm, but if you're not already thinking about them, now is the time to start.
Leaders need to maintain a positive mindset
In prior articles, we've shared the importance of leaders maintaining a positive mindset, and that advice is even more important now. When faced with stress and uncertainty, it's tempting to retreat into your shell or focus on negativity. However, the current social distancing guidelines and economic impacts of the pandemic may continue for a year or more. Firms can't afford for their entire team to have a negative outlook.
Leaders need to step up and get in front of employees with a positive message. Focusing on helping others, including your clients and your staff, will create momentum to see you through the next few months.
We can't stop planning for the future
Right now, we don't know what the future will look like. But in reality, we never know what the future will look like. That's not an excuse to put off planning.
Continue with strategic planning, improving your processes, investing in new technologies, training your people, and developing higher-value services for clients. These are the areas we need to focus on to remain competitive and be prepared to accelerate into our future – whatever it holds.
Learn from others
I've long been an advocate of tapping into the power of a peer network. Opportunities to connect with your networking opportunities may be in a different format this year, but they are no less valuable. Please don't put them off until you can meet in person next month or next year. We need to continue learning from others during this time.
In Boomer Consulting's peer communities, we're working hard not to let our meetings turn into another dull webinar. Besides our usual networking, sharing of resources and best practices, we've livened things up with lessons from mixologists, virtual escape rooms, and cooking lessons. Having some fun infused in our community events ensures they're not just transactional and allows our members to build personal friendships and beneficial relationships with each other and with solution providers.
Professionals who share with one another are best prepared for the future, and that's something you won't find holed up in your home office unless you participate in the virtual community-building opportunities that are available now.
Good can be found, even in this difficult year. Surviving and thriving through these times will help us become more adaptable to change, more open to new ideas, and less likely to see obstacles in virtual work and connections. We've tested our ability to come together and support one another through a crisis. With those lessons learned and the resiliency we've developed, we don't need to look forward to going "back to normal." We can plan for a better, brighter future.
Is your team aligned with a focused strategic plan and a strong vision for the future?
We can help provide your firm with clarity and understanding so that you can focus on the right objectives at the right time. Complete a Strategic Planning interest form and one of our Solutions Advisors will reach out to schedule a call.
Jim Boomer, CEO of Boomer Consulting, Inc., is an expert on managing technology within an accounting firm. He serves as the director of the Boomer Technology Circles, The Advisor Circle and the CIO Circle. He also acts as a strategic planning and technology consultant and firm adviser to CPA firms across the country. Accounting Today called him a “thought leader who can help accountants create next-generation firms.” Jim is a prolific writer with a monthly column in The CPA Practice Advisor and has been published in a number of industry publications including Accounting Today, Accounting Web, the International Group of Accounting Firms and several state society publications.