Your firm is focused on improving your tax and/or audit process by leveraging Lean Six Sigma (LSS). LSS is a proven process improvement methodology used by many leading firms to improve their processes. Lean focuses on the speed of the process, Six Sigma is about the quality. Together, your improved process has just the right mix of increased quality and efficiency.
The benefits of LSS are not limited to just process improvement. LSS is also a powerful change management tool. The tools of LSS help your process improvement team communicate the changes to your entire firm. The ultimate success of your change initiative will be measured on your team’s ability to understand and explain why you needed to make changes and why will these changes be better. You and the team spent ample time answering these two ‘why’ questions.
Fast forward a few months. Now, you are in the throes of busy season, and some people are not following the new processes. In fact, some of them are ignoring the changes that you thought made the most sense. How can this be?
How much do you care?
Have you ever heard this quote from Theodore Roosevelt? “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
When faced with the challenge of changing processes in your firm, you must remember that you need to gain the trust of your peers. In some instances, they need some extra reinforcement to understand the change.
Remember, most of your firm was not in on all of the discussions. They probably don’t have the deep understanding of what Lean Six Sigma is, why the firm needs to make changes or how it will be better when those changes are made. They didn’t spend the time you did answering the ‘why’ questions.
Of course, every member of the firm doesn’t need to be privy to every detail that the team discussed. But they should know what Lean Six Sigma is and the reasons for undertaking the project. Without this understanding, they could be making assumptions about the reasons for change. Remember, a key aspect of successfully leading any type of change is to understand that people’s reaction to change is largely based on emotion, not logic.
To establish trust, you need to do more than share your vision for the project. You need to execute the project in a way that shows genuine interest in the concerns of the employees responsible for implementing the process.
When you come across resistance to following new processes, consider this strategy: “I know how you feel. During our team sessions, I felt the exact same way. Here is why we made the change and here is what I found after I made the change to my daily routine.”
We like to say, all progress begins with the truth. So start there. It can be difficult to get people on board with change, but when you demonstrate that you care, you strengthen the trust between you and them.
When firms cultivate a culture of trust, buy-in is not something that they need to work to achieve. It just happens. This is especially important during times of significant change. Trust helps your firm not only improve your process but also improve the speed of implementation. It’s not just a “nice to have.” It’s an imperative.
As a Consultant and Lean Six Sigma Black Belt for Boomer Consulting Inc., Michael leverages his past CPA firm experience to provide factual, reliable and thorough results on client engagements. He focuses on Lean Six Sigma Projects and Training; Strategic Planning; Technology Planning; and engagements designed to fulfill the custom needs of CPA firms across the country.
- How to Increase Firm Revenue and Client Satisfaction At Once. Large, successful accounting firms are typically immune to this; they have a regular, growing client base and revenue stream. But how can CPAs break the cycle? www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12321910
- 5 Tips to Get Highest ROI from Your Website. Most CPAs rely on referrals and face-to-face marketing methods like networking so much that they miss out on the power of online marketing. Having not just a website but a website that generates qualified business prospects is the first step. https://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/12315833/5-tips-to-get-highest-roi-from-your-website
- Education and Social Media Use Affect Risk of Hacking. According to a recent Gallup Poll, Americans are more afraid of being hacked than of being murdered – and for a good reason. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12320248/
- Three Secret Steps to Introduce Efficient, Sustainable Workflows with Accounting Clients. Not even a decade ago, clients would engage an accounting firm, fill out forms and send over documents. It may have felt a bit like a black hole for some companies. While the accounting firm was doing its job, it wasn’t a very collaborative process. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12315835
- Putting Clients on Hold Can Cost Your Firm Business. Every call made to U.S. accounting firms, as part of a large-scale study conducted by audio branding specialist PHMG, was put on hold, compared to a North American average of 70 percent. www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/12318978
This Month’s Top Firm Management Social Media Posts
- Coaching to Effect Change and Develop Talent – Allan Koltin LinkedIn Post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/coaching-effect-change-develop-talent-allan-koltin
- [Rhonda – this is a Tweet – see how we did this in February] https://twitter.com/JenLeeWilson/status/837690752721383424
- The Value of Trailing Twelve Moth Charts – GrowthForce Blog: http://www.growthforce.com/blog/the-value-of-trailing-twelve-months-charts
- Thought Leadership from the Leaders in Virtual Accounting and Bookkeeping Services – AccountingDepartment Blog: http://www.accountingdepartment.com/blog/accountant-bookkeeper-what-they-do-for-business
- Moving from Transactional to Transformational Client Service – Convergence Coaching Blog: http://www.convergencecoaching.com/moving-from-transactional-to-transformational-client-service/
See inside April 2017
Marketing to Restaurant Clients – It’s All about the Experience
With over $783 billion in annual sales in 2016, the restaurant industry might seem like a no-brainer as an accounting firm’s industry vertical. However, without the ability to speak the language they need to hear, you might be missing out and be ...