The CPA Desk

A Thought Leader Production by PKFTexas

Change Readiness as a Segment of the Change Success Model

Hi, my name is Byron Hebert. And this is another Tool Time update brought to you by your friends at PKF Texas and the Entrepreneur’s Playbook. This week, I want to follow up on our Change Success Model that I started explaining to you last week. As I said last week, there’s three main components of a Change Readiness Model, and that is your readiness, your capability, and your beliefs in an organization. Readiness, 30% of the effective change. Capability, 40%, and beliefs are 30%. So I want to focus this time on change readiness. We talked about that being 30% of the overall change process, and that’s broken down into five critical areas.

So each one of those we weighed at 6% each to get to our 30% effectiveness.

Six percent is leadership support. How involved engaged is the leader in the change initiative, emotionally and operationally. Are they involved in the change?

The need for change. Do all change participants realize the need for this change, understand why it needs to change, and what we’re shooting for as our goal.

The WIIFM is “what’s in it for me?” That’s the third component of five. What’s in it for me? Have we addressed for each of the change participants what’s in it for them in this change initiative? It may be monetary, and it may be not be. Maybe in a better work environment, better equipment, whatever it may be.

Change process, do all the change participants understand and believe in the change process that we’ve adopted to get this success model?

And last is confidence. Individual confidence and organizationally, do we have the confidence to affect this change? Past performance may be an indication of a play into that. So that may be something we have to address.

So again, change readiness, 30% of the effective change model. Leadership support, need for change, what’s in it for me, change process, and confidence are the components that make up change readiness.

And we will be back next week for more change detail talking about capabilities and beliefs and we’ll go into more detail on those as well. This is Byron Hebert. This has been a Tool Time update brought to you by your friends at PKF Texas and the Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Using the Change Success Model to Implement New Initiatives in Your Business

Hi my name is Byron Hebert, and this is another Tool Time update brought to you by your friends at PKF Texas, and the Entrepreneur’s Playbook. What I want to talk to you about today is a change success model, and the importance of having a good change success model in your business. Unfortunately, the statistics show us that only about 30% of change initiatives in companies succeed. That means 70% of them fail, cost a lot of money, cost a lot of heart ache, and also frustrations with companies that can’t seem to get over the change model to change success. So what we’ve done is come up with a successful change model that addresses all the elements that are needed to have an effective change in your business, and I’m going to go into greater detail in these in other Tool Time updates, but first I want to just talk to you about the three main components.

Change readiness, how ready is your company for change, and we can break that down further. What are the capabilities with your organization? That’s where your sustainable competitive advantage lies, and in other areas, but from an organizational and a personal standpoint, what are your capabilities in that organization? Then last, which we always have to address are the beliefs. Do you believe that your company is able to make these changes? Do people believe that they can make that change in your company?

So we’re going to go in much more details in this, but about 30% of the issue lies in readiness, 40% in capabilities, and 30% in beliefs. So a good change model can help you succeed in your organization, and help you get those change initiatives in that you need. We’ll be back next week to give you some more details in each one of these change areas to help you affect change positively in your organization. This is Byron Hebert, and this has been a Tool Time update brought to you by PKF Texas, and your friends at the Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

Meeting User Needs Should be Paramount to Product Design

Jen: This is the PKF Texas: Entrepreneurs Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m here again with Kelsey Ruger, the Chief Experience Officer at CogMine and the President of the Houston Interactive Marketing Association. Welcome back to the Playbook, Kelsey.

Kelsey: Thanks, Jen.

Jen: So when we talked about your title as Chief Experience Officer, you mentioned design and design thinking. What does that mean?

Kelsey: Think about design and design thinking as a different way of solving problems. Typically when people think about design, they think about the way things look or the way they feel. But that’s just really the façade. Like there’s a lot that goes into getting to that endpoint, and the example I always like to use is how we define what users want from a system.

Typically, the way users are defined from a business perspective is what we call an inside-out perspective. So the business defines their goals and then they build software out to the user to meet those goals. When we’re thinking from a design perspective, we’re really starting from what the user is trying to accomplish and building in from there to meet those business goals.

So if you’re a user, your primary concern is, “Does this software help me get my job done?” There’s some business metrics in there; but what we want to do is make sure that we’re accomplishing what the users need so that you can actually end up with a happy medium.

Jen: So anybody who has client service responsibilities can use this design thinking to really help them think about what their client actually needs. Is that right?

Kelsey: Yeah, they can think through that. And the other thing I will tell you is try to avoid asking users what it is they want. Instead, ask them what problems they need to solve, and then you design for that.

Jen: That’s cool. That’s really cool. Well, thanks so much for sharing that with us today.

Kelsey: Thanks, no problem.

Jen: This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by the PKF Texas: Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

UH Energy Symposium Series: Critical Issues in Energy Featured in Forbes

PKF Texas was proud to co-sponsor the reception for the first UH Energy Symposium of year. This year’s series is focusing on Critical Issues in Energy. Tuesday’s event featured a panel speaking about US Energy Independence: Good for the Nation?. The panel included:

The event was featured in a great article, “Economist: To Protect Frackers, U.S. Should Restrict Oil Imports” in Forbes magazine yesterday. Friend of PKF Texas, photographer Kenn Sterns took some great shots, which are posted here: x.kstearns.com/uhsymposium.

The next event will be held on November 11, 2014 and will feature Charles Esser; Steve Magness, Pipeline Safety Trust; Carl Weimer, Cogent Energy and will be moderated by Candace Beeke, Houston Business Journal. To register or for more details visit the UH Energy Symposium website.

 

Keeping the Big Picture in Mind – Advice from an Entrepreneur

Jen: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneurs Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Rassul Zarnfar, the Founder and CEO of Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company. Welcome back to the Playbook, Rassul.

Rassul: Thank you so much for having me.

Jen: Now, you’re an entrepreneur.

Rassul: Yeah.

Jen: You get to be your own boss.

Rassul: Yeah.

Jen: Kind of tell me about that. How is that?

Rassul: You know, it’s funny. Everyone always says, “I want to get into entrepreneurship so I can be my own boss.” I don’t think it’s actually like that at all. In fact, you start thinking about it as like I’m not the boss of anyone. My investors tell me what to do. My customers tell me what to do. And an employee comes in; they’re having a bad day; I’ve got to cheer ‘em up and get ‘em the equipment or the tools that they need to get their job done and do it so that everything keeps flowing smoothly. So you get to the end of the day and you’re like, “I’m not really the boss of anything.” It’s like everyone’s my boss.

Jen: Now, is there anything that you kind of wish you had known before you started this?

Rassul: I think the biggest thing that took me a while to figure out was to keep your eye on the big picture and don’t tie your ego up in every little thing because, you know, we’ll be having a really bad sales week, and then we’ll turn around and we’ll have an incredible sales week the next day. Or something will cut against it, and then it’ll work out to where it works out in our favor in the long run. And I think when I’ve tied my ego and my self-esteem to the day-to-day, the tumultuous aspects of the day-to-day, like you just get caught in this roller coaster ride that you just can’t recover from. So you really have to – you really have to keep your eye on the big picture and have your mission statement ahead of you so that you know that you’re always making progress, even with a little bit of a setback.

Jen: That sounds great. Well, thanks for being back with us.

Rassul: Thank you so much for having me.

Jen: This has been another thought-leader production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneurs Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

PKF Texas Recognized for Workplace Excellence

Best of the Best, Top 200, When Work Works logo

PKF Texas is proud to announce we have been recognized by INSIDE Public Accounting(IPA) as one of the 50 Best of the Best Firms in the U.S.

The Best of the Best firms are ranked on more than 70 criteria; IPA’s formula removes imbalances, such as firm size or location, which can skew comparisons among participants in the annual IPA survey and analysis of firms. These 50 firms are regarded as the most successful in the profession.

We have also been named to IPA’s annual top 200 firms list. PKF Texas has been a Top 200 firm since the list was first published in 2010.

Finally, PKF Texas has been honored with the 2014 When Work Works Award (formerly the Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility) for its use of effective workplace strategies to increase business and employee success.

This prestigious award, part of the national When Work Works project administered by the Families and Work Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management, recognizes employers of all sizes and types in Texas and across the country.

Export Financing – Using the Right Team

Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host. Today’s topic is export financing, and I’m here once again with Cynthia Flake, senior vice-president in Comerica Bank’s Houston Middle Market group. Well, welcome back again, Cynthia.

Cynthia: Thanks so much, Russ.

Russ: You bet. It’s real easy, when we start talking about exports and export financing, to put myself in the position of a small business person; and it just seems like the details are almost overwhelming.

Cynthia: Well, they can be. Details, for example, like invoicing and payment terms in the company’s sales contract can really make a big difference. If an export contract is large enough and there are glitches, it can really tie up a company’s cash and working capital. And that’s really where the right team, including their banker as a trusted advisor, can help review all of those documents and advise them correctly.

Russ: It seems very important to get a trusted advisor, to me.

Cynthia: It absolutely is, and it takes the right team from the bank standpoint. Not just the lending staff, but also the international trade finance group, that needs to be a very large and experienced group and work as a team with the customer to advise them.

Russ: All right. Well, thanks once again for helping us out on this complicated issue.

Cynthia: My pleasure, Russ.

Russ: You bet. This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

Content Marketing Strategy – HiMA Interactive Strategies Conference 2014

 

Jen: This is the PKF Texas: Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Jen Lemanski, this week’s guest host, and I’m here with Kelsey Ruger, the Chief Experience Officer at CogMine and also the president of the Houston Interactive Marketing Association. Welcome back to the Playbook, Kelsey.

Kelsey: Thanks. Thanks for having me again.

Jen: So we’ve talked a little bit about the Interactive Strategies Conference, and it’s such a big deal for you guys at the HIMA. Tell me, can we dive a little bit deeper into what the content for the conference is gonna be?

Kelsey: Sure. So the big topic is content marketing, and when you think about content marketing there’s basically three things to think about. There’s your planning and strategy. There is your execution and distribution, and then there’s design of the whole thing. And so what we decided was rather than thinking about things like video and social media and blogging, let’s think about the way people work in their process. And so we’ll have some things that are dedicated to the strategy of content marketing, some are all about distribution and execution, and then there’s a track that’s dedicated to design. And that could be visual design. It could be the design of how you put these things together. But the whole idea is to give the audience a holistic view of how you manage your content marketing workflow.

Jen: So I’m sure you’ve got a few speakers lined up. Are there any notables?

Kelsey: Yes. So this year we really wanted to focus on targeting some of the people who are really out there talking about content marketing and pushing this as something that companies should be utilizing as a tool-set. So we have speakers from HubSpot, from Medium. We actually have one of the founders of Medium and one of the early employees that was at Twitter.

Jen: Oh cool.

Kelsey: So we really thought about who should be the speakers and who might be able to present the best information to the audience.

Jen: That sounds like a lot of information. I’m sure there’s a website. Where can people go if they’ve got questions?

Kelsey: Sure. They can go to the Houston Interactive Marketing Association website, which is Houstonima.org. And on that site you can find out more information about the conference, the speakers, and all of the different tracks that we have lined up.

Jen: Perfect. Sounds great. Thanks for being here, Kelsey.

Kelsey: No problem.

Jen: This has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by the PKF Texas: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.

Export Financing Programs for Outbound International Companies

Russ: This is the PKF Texas: Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host. Today’s topic is export financing, and I’m here once again with Cynthia Flake, Senior Vice-President in Comerica Bank’s Houston Middle Market group. Cynthia, welcome back to the Playbook.

Cynthia: Great to be back Russ.

Russ: You bet. So with all of this export business happening right now, what are some of the programs exporters are using to finance their foreign sales?

Cynthia: Well, sure. As you may know, currently there’s a lot of discussion in the press about the renewal of the U.S. Export-Import Bank’s charter coming up. Companies using the EX-IM Bank program should be visiting with their banker and monitoring those developments.

Russ: Okay. So it sounds like a very important time, and, I guess, how can a company navigate through the alternatives?

Cynthia: You know, the EX-IM Bank programs have been some of the most popular and easily accessible programs, particularly here in the Houston and, in general, the Texas market for companies. But it’s really important to know that there’s not just one set of solutions, and the right bank can help navigate a company through all the options to develop just the right solution.

Russ: Okay. Well, I imagine you’re helping a lot of our viewers our right now, so thank you so much for sharing that.

Cynthia: My pleasure.

Russ: You bet. And this has been another Thought Leader Production brought to you by PKF Texas: Entrepreneur’s Playbook. Tune in next week for another chapter.