Your CPA firm has a secret weapon to launch it into the stratosphere in 2013 – but do you know the code to unlock it?
No, you won’t find it in your safe or bank deposit box. It’s not hidden under your receptionist’s mouse pad or taped to the bottom of your senior accountant's wastebasket.
In fact, your secret weapon may very well be your receptionist or your senior accountant.
Nobody has better insights into how your firm can grow than the people who work in it every day, and at every level. Each of your team members holds within them the next groundbreaking idea or the best untried approach.
The “launch codes” to unlock these secret weapons come in the form of creativity – or more specifically, exercises to evoke creativity. Your team is fertile ground for genius under the right circumstances. How, then, can you cultivate those optimal circumstances and rocket your practice ahead? Here are 3 easy ways to get your team members out of their “brain ruts” and thinking in fresh, innovative ways:
Employees think more creatively – and are more forthcoming with their ideas – when they know they’re welcome to share.
You might take it for granted that your firm is a place where open communication is encouraged, but sometimes people need to be reminded. Make it clear that you are open to suggestions. And what about supervisors below you? Do they give the impression that they’re available and willing to hear from those they oversee?
Consider setting up a system to collect ideas. It could be as simple as a suggestion box, or as elaborate as a quarterly “brainstorming meeting” where everyone, from the senior manager to the receptionist, are invited to share solutions.
Food for Thought
Food is energy-giving. It can also be aesthetically pleasing, appealing to one’s sense of beauty. Foods prepared by your team members also showcase – and encourage – creativity.
Invite your team members to bring in “brag” dishes to share, from cookies to casseroles. Perhaps turn it into an event – an office cook-off! Those who don’t wish to cook can serve as judges. This builds camaraderie, too.
And what about supplying some free snacks for the crew? A big bowl of granola bars, individual bags of pretzels and mixed nuts in the break room keep everyone motoring, body and brain.
Games People Play
Games do double-duty. They loosen everyone up and promote higher thinking.
I’ll bet someone in your office is a natural-born party planner. Ask him or her to organize a monthly game day. Stimulate those synapses with charades, Scrabble, Pictionary, hangman, or a CPA-centric version of Mother May I.
Then, immediately after the party, send out an e-mail seeking suggestions on how to improve some aspect of the firm. For example, you might ask, “Does anyone have any ideas for how we might market our firm to chiropractors and other wellness professionals?” Watch the quality feedback come rolling in.
And isn’t it great to know your people are invested in growing the firm right alongside you?
Learn even more about growing and strengthening your practice! Check out my book The Ultimate CPA Practice in the New Economy: 10 Secrets to Attract More Clients, Boost Profits and Live Your Ideal Lifestyle.