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The time is now...to embrace new thinking from tomorrow's leaders

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By Kim Hogan and Asher Mathew
November 1, 2012

Lately there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of young people speaking their mind – social media has created numerous platforms for the more outspoken members of the so-called NextGen crowd. While everyone has their own opinions, the fact of the matter is these younger folks are seizing the opportunity to talk about the way they think things should be done.

A common misconception is that there are two sides: the old dogs and the renegades…neither of whom really have the firm’s best interests at heart. Both, however, are 100 percent committed to proving the other wrong. But hold on just a minute—aren’t we all on the same team after all?

The biggest challenge seems to be bridging the gap between yesterday’s way of doing things, and tomorrow’s (or even today’s) new technologies that are able to make individuals – and firms as a whole – a lot more productive. It’s just a fact that new technology is changing the world for the better. How often do you see anyone walking down the street with a cell phone from the ’90s? Never, because today’s new smart phones provide far greater value than older mobile devices.

This concept of new technology driving change in the business world doesn’t apply only to firms. Consultants, resellers and technology partners like ourselves—and other industry organizations who are leveraging their young internal talent to expand their presence in social media and Cloud-based technology applications—are the ones who seem to be setting the standard for the rest of the pack, and forcing others to either get on board or be left behind.

Even beyond the competitive push to utilize technology to set us apart from the competition, there is the constant pull from clients and prospects who themselves are doing business differently (think social media and mobile commerce) and demanding that we do so as well.

No firm exemplifies this more than ITA member Arxis Technology. When partners David Cieslak and Bob Gaby identified young talent inside their organization, they created a young management team in the hope of cultivating that talent and spurring those individuals on. iI obviously worked out the way they planned, as they had to kick Mark Severance off of that team and promote him to fellow partner. It is this same thinking that has led to the forming of ITA’s Future Leaders Program, which will officially be launched at the upcoming Fall Collaborative in Scottsdale.

Since they say a picture is worth a thousand words, we decided that a video could be priceless. We recently had the chance to meet up in Orange County and discuss what the Future Leaders Program means to us, and why it is so vital to both ITA as well as to the accounting profession as a whole.

As a Sales Catalyst for Avalara, Asher Mathew works with industry ISVs, consultants, and resellers to provide educational content surrounding sales and use tax and compliance. Follow him @AsherMathew. Kim Hogan is Director of West Coast Operations at XCM Solutions, LLC and Xpitax, LLC. You can find her on Twitter @XCMkim or follow her blog www.viewfrommyshoes.com. Both are currently serving on the new ITA Future Leader Committee.

 

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