Many years ago, I was interviewing an executive from PepsiCo who regaled me with tales of his decades-long battle for market share with rival Coca-Cola. He told me that the soft-drink giants became so fixated on winning the "Cola Wars" that when they performed subsequent consumer studies at retail outlets such as supermarkets, to their amazement and marketing horror, they found that shelf space was now dominated not by either Coke or Pepsi, but by legions of bottled water brands.I'm sure we've all heard or read about similar stories of companies being caught unaware as a result of being singularly fixated on a single competitor or trend. How about an entire profession?

Several months ago, I wrote about convergence and how the accounting profession was - to be diplomatic - moving rather leisurely to prepare itself for the eventual meshing of International Financial Reporting Standards and U.S. GAAP.

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