November 28th, 2008

I thought it would be useful in this troubling economic environment to explore complacency. Linked together with complacency is a false sense of urgency. These are the two biggest issues that I wrestle with in my consulting practice and in dealing with clients.Complacency emerges from a sense of success or perceived success. Hey, I know what I’m doing because I built this successful business. The wagons might be circled and the bank has shut me down, but I know what I’m doing. Perception might be nine tenths of the law, but here reality is a different story.

Then the urgency level starts to spike. The trouble is this is a false sense of urgency because the complacent paradigm has these people doing the same things they’ve always done except they’re doing it faster. All they are doing is digging the hole deeper when they should stop digging.

I try to invoke the unvarnished truth and get them out from under the covers and feel how cold it really is out there. Maybe it is time to slow down and really think through the business and what we need to do going forward versus the same old things that aren’t going to work anymore. We need to change.

This is the challenge for CPAs in today’s economic reality. Stop doing what we have always been doing and start dispensing real business advice to our clients. It is going to be tougher and it’s likely that the same products and services won’t get the job done. It’s time for innovation to kick in and start thinking different about what to change and how to change.