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The Smoke Detector: A Letter for Gary

By Corey Stark posted 01-18-2018 16:01


This is not going to be your typical send-off letter, waxing poetic about a great leader.

Instead, I want to attempt to write something for Gary Bolinger who supported so many (including me) and influenced even more. The desired result is not necessarily to thank him for his work - sorry, man - we’ve done that already! - but rather to drive you to take the ultimate proverbial page from his playbook: create change that you will not even see.

Man_Picturing_Future.jpgIt is a new year, a fresh start and a period of change everywhere, especially at the Indiana CPA Society where we welcome Jennifer Briggs to the helm of top leadership. Yet, while looking for the subject matter for this piece, I went through “old” material for inspiration. And there it was, in my leather bound, inscribed reporter’s pad you may see me whip out from time to time - a scribble written from an INCPAS event “Competency-based learning - not until 2035; he won’t see it.”

The “he” was Gary Bolinger.

In my role on the INCPAS Innovation Advisory Council, we are tasked with the looming challenge that is the expanding role of the CPA. What I hope we ask ourselves is how we, too, can forge our own path of change from which we may never experience the full benefit.

The possibilities are endless, time is limitless, and resources are abundant. The challenge is not in crossing boundaries, but in imagining the other side.

We are in a period of history where change has never been such a welcomed guest. Look ahead to see how you can change your firms through development, diversification succession.

Gary has left us with the train churning full speed ahead and competency-based learning becoming the standard for continuing education for CPAs. We need to stay the course because, well … it’s too important not too. But what is next?

The bench players will need to become the stars at some point, the only plan to make is which commercial moving company to select once you close the doors.

What can the profession be? Where can we go? I ask these questions about my own firm given where we stand in our own history. While these answers and their implementations will never be done in a day, innovation only takes a moment - you just need to do it.