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Deeper Weekend 2014

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Strategy

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  • Adrian Simmons
    Adrian Simmons
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    Bryan Coleman
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    Greg Kyte
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    Jason Blumer
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    Jennifer Blumer
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    Scott Kregel

REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBIt’s right before tax season, and I’m sitting here at a table in my office’s front room, typing away on my laptop. This moment has significance.

We moved into this office space in February 2012, right as tax season started that year. It came after an unexpected offer to change suites at our office park to a ground floor spot. It’s not a big space, ­­1100 square feet +/­. But I got to design the floor plan and had been working with the contractors on build­out, colors, flooring, network placement, etc. There was a concept then for how we wanted to decorate the front room, but we had to settle for the basics at the time so we could go full swing into tax season.

And now it’s three years later. And we’ve decorated the front room to welcome our customers into a relaxing coffee shop ­style feel that was its original plan. And I’m sitting at a pub­style table here. Read more

Category:
Other Thoughts, Strategy
Comments:
3

Jason BlumerJuly 1, 2014 was the Blumer CPAs 2 year anniversary of being a virtual firm. We messed some stuff up, but have also learned a lot. I believe our virtualness sets us apart, so we are committed to getting better at being a virtual firm. So that I can add to my learning around being virtual, I’m documenting 9 things we’ve learned in 2 years of being virtual.

First, let me define virtual. We do not have offices, and thus we don’t exist anywhere except at a web address. But you could have firm offices and still be virtual to your clients. In that scenario, the team still meets together in one location, but the clients may or may not come to your offices. I don’t call that virtual, I call that paperless. Virtual in my definition is when a client can not assume that they have access to you physically. It’s a totally different mindset, and that’s why I’m defining it. Read more

Category:
Business, Leadership, ROWE, Strategy
Comments:
4

REFM -  Adrian Photo Square - CATOBThere’s a balance line somewhere between having everything planned out and having no idea what’s going on.

And the ideal is not ‘having it all figured out.’ There’s no reason to feel bad or punish yourself for not being fully organized. Chaos is a natural part of the picture — you can’t pull order from chaos without a little chaos. Which is why it’s okay to deliberately mess things up now and then. Or as we say in Thriveal parlance: blow things up.

When asked the question, “What does your firm want to be when it grows up,” it’s okay to say, “I don’t know.” Discovery really best happens from the side rather than head-on. You really can’t plan “a-ha” moments, or else it’s not really a discovery. Discovery is, by nature, unexpected. All you can do is put yourself in different places or situations where it might occur and remain open to it happening, without compulsion. A little trust in Providence doesn’t hurt either. Read more

Category:
Strategy
Comments:
12
Jason BlumerI’ve been thinking about company culture a lot lately. The Thrivecast (the podcast from Thriveal) was on culture, and Greg Kyte (my co-host) and I did some study around the subject.

 

Furthermore, I got into a discussion on culture in our private Thriveal community when I linked up an article in the community entitled ‘Don’t F#@! up the Culture.’ The article was written by the CEO of Airbnb, Brian Chesky, and he was telling his team what his investor, Peter Thiel, told him when Chesky asked Thiel, “What is the single most important piece of advice you can give me?” I believe it is a huge statement for Peter Thiel to respond to that question with an answer focused on controlling culture. He said, “don’t f#@! up the culture.” Since Peter Thiel was the CEO of PayPal, I’m going to listen to his thoughts on building company culture. I dug into Peter Thiel’s thoughts on culture a little more, and found the article entitled ‘Peter Thiel’s 3 Rules for Starting a Business‘ by Jessica Stillman of Inc. magazine. The article was written about a Stanford class Peter Thiel taught, and the summary of that class from the notes of one of the students. Let me point out that the first (of three) things Thiel told the students they need to do when starting a business is to get the culture right. The class notes go on to summarize a 2 x 2 matrix that Thiel discussed. I like matrices, so I built the matrix visually from the article and the notes of the student: Read more
Category:
CPA firm, Leadership, Strategy
Comments:
4
Jason BlumerWho owns the strategy of your firm? You do. No one else is responsible for the strategy you set as the owner of your firm. Before we dive in further, let me tell you how I define business strategy:

 

Business strategy is the intentional execution plan of your firm’s why.
There are 3 key parts to my definition:
1. Intentional – there are no accidents in strategy. Accidents do happen, but you don’t plan for them. Strategy is your attempt to plan. Strategy is just another word for being intentional in our businesses. Read more
Category:
Strategy
Comments:
3
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