Boyd Search is the President & CEO of the Georgia Society of CPAs. Our conversation centers around how he approached changing the organization’s corporate culture, and the impact that the George Society is making on its members, associates, and the profession.
On Boyd’s first day as CEO of the Georgia Society almost seven years ago, I was actually his first new paying member – and I am still a member because his changes haven’t ticked me off yet!
So how (and why) is Boyd transforming the culture in the Georgia Society of CPAs?
- Boyd’s first action as CEO wasn’t actually a big change or initiative – he took time to learn about the stakeholders in the association so that he could better make a plan for the future.
- “As the world has changed, and as time becomes a more precious commodity, associations have, by and large, become more staff-driven.” The association hasn’t increased their staff, but existing staff positions now have new responsibilities, which means they’ve had to hire new staff or learn new skills.
- “When you get to change in an environment where your hair isn’t on fire, it’s a lot more fun.” The change isn’t necessarily easier when it’s not an emergency, but it can be more fun.
- Changing the culture has been a gradual process, and it’s only been possible because the leadership within the organization wanted change – that buy in from the leadership is extremely significant, whenever you’re approaching a big change within an organization.
- There are a lot of things impacting the profession. We tend to undervalue or underestimate the amount of change that needs to happen, particularly from the curriculum perspective. The George Society has taken some time to have “conversations with smart people,” in which they spend time talking to their stakeholders over dinner (That’s right, more listening!). They found a theme: things are changing so often and so fast that no one is sure where the dust is going to settle, so they should continue with an incremental approach to change.
- “There’s no question that the profession is going to face significant changes… but the reality is that there’s going to be tremendous opportunity for those who are in the business of providing validation, verification, and trust.” We need to figure out how to leverage those things, both for the good of the profession and the interest of public trust.
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