It’s the big things that make the big differences, we are led to believe. And that while change can be tumultuous, the ends justify the means when it comes down to it.

But what if that theory is flipped on its head? Sometimes change by small increments can have as transformative an effect over time, as one big, sweeping change.

Is there proof that big isn’t always best? The answer seems to be that at certain times, in certain circumstances, the answer is yes.

It’s called incremental gains or the theory of one per cent. It was pioneered by Jan Carlzon, former President of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which had been suffering disastrous results.

He argued that instead of improving one thing, by one thousand per cent, you improve a thousand things by one per cent. The airline went on to great success.

Theory is great, and clearly, it has been practically applied in the case of SAS, but what can accountants take away from this about their approach to delivering services?

Well, first of all, some change, however small is clearly better than no change. Is there a single part of your business that doesn’t function well?

Perhaps it is your ability to cross-sell services or you just aren’t managing the client relationship as well as you would like.

While it might seem overwhelming to make big changes, are there small things you can change slowly over time to make improve the way you work?

Secondly, you do not need to take a leap into the unknown and entirely change the way that you work overnight.

If you know a particular part of your practice isn’t functioning as well as it could, focus there. If your client onboarding is complex, disorganised and ineffective, address each issue a small bit at a time.

Implementing these changes can be hard, especially when you have established processes and systems in place but doing nothing achieves exactly that – nothing.

As we enter a new year, if you are planning to make changes to your practice and its procedures, it is important to consider how automation can be utilised to save time and reduce inefficiency. 

Technology is Easier to Adopt When Everything Works Together as One

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Finalist for software Innovation of the year 2019