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A+ for Attitude

Posted By Michael Wherry, Consultant, Boomer Consulting, Inc., Monday, August 29, 2016


At the Australian Open in January of 2014, a heat wave had daytime temperatures reaching 42°C (108°F), yet officials did not invoke the “Extreme Heat Policy.” A few players experienced mild heat-related illnesses, but spectators and especially the press were appalled at the conditions and criticized the organizers for letting the matches continue. Roger Federer, on the other hand, chose to demonstrate the attitude that has made him one of the greatest tennis players ever. “It’s just a mental thing. If you’ve trained hard enough your entire life or the last few weeks and you believe you can do it and come through it, there’s no reason. If you can’t deal with it, you throw in the towel.”

When we help firms transition to Lean organizations, we use a mnemonic D-O-W-N-T-I-M-E+A. The letters in DOWNTIME represent examples of waste in an organization, but the +A may be the most important part of the equation because it stands for Attitude.

At its core, Lean is about changing mindsets. To change mindsets, leaders have to be an example for the rest of the team. People observe and follow actions, not words. If firm leaders seek to change a company’s mindset, it starts with leading by example.

So take a good hard look at your attitude in regards to running a Lean firm. Can you take the heat, remaining focused on possibilities and positive outcomes? Or do you tend to focus on the reasons changes can’t happen or won’t succeed?

If you need a tune-up, start practicing the Three Ps:

  • Positive – Be aware that remaining positive is entirely within your control. Practice positive thinking by becoming aware of negative thoughts and words and making a real effort to push them aside and replace them with positive ones. Keep negative people at arm’s distance whenever possible. When you must deal with negative people, recognize that their effect is up to you.
  • Persistent – Few people accomplish worthy goals on their first try. If you’ve already tried one method that didn’t get you the results you desire, try again with another approach. On the days you feel like giving up, focus on the immediate moment. Can you take one action that will bring you even the slightest bit of progress by the end of the day? Sometimes the smallest success can help get you back on track.
  • Patience – Transforming your firm will not happen overnight. Developing a Lean culture can be realized only through a patient devotion to what you are trying to achieve. When we practice patience, we are better people, better managers, and better leaders. Practicing patience is a mindfulness habit. We have to learn to recognize impatience and make a conscious choice to change our mindset.

The success of your shift is in direct correlation to how many people in the company take on the Lean mindset. Make sure your attitude is in the right place, and the rest will follow. When you reach critical mass, your firm will take off.

By Michael Wherry, CPA, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt
Boomer Consulting, Inc.




Tags:  Attitude  CPAs  Lean Six Sigma  Michael Wherry 

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How Firms Use Lean Six Sigma

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 8, 2015

"We encourage firms to also start looking at some new, what we call Lean metrics, such as turnaround times. If you’re focused on client service, part of that needs to be not be sitting on their work for months and months at a time. What are you actually getting done? Looking at throughput and output. How much capacity did you create? Did you free up time at a busy season? Did you get your team a bit of a break?

"Our industry, you know every firm I go in to, as a general industry statement, there are a lot of people burnt out in our firms. And to give them some hope that we don’t have to keep working harder and harder each year to get the same work done, that is a big objective of a lot of the project teams I work with. So finding ways of, I know it’s cliché, work smarter, be able to get more done by working smarter without working crazy hours to get that same work done."

Our Senior consultants answer questions about Lean Six Sigma at the 2015 Boomer Technology Circle Summit. Current members can access video recordings of Summit presentations at Videos for All Circle Members (must be signed in).

7 minutes


Tags:  2015  BTC Summit  Lean Six Sigma  processes 

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Four Step Training Model

Posted By Dustin Hostetler, Thursday, June 4, 2015

"One of the areas that we are seeing a significant, positive trend within firms that we work with and who go through the Flowtivity Process is the upfront training that new employees to the firm receive as a compliment to a better process, a more defined process.

"Investing time in training and development, collaborating with those new employees leads to great productivity benefits. You have to invest time to save time."

Dustin Hostetler describes one benefit process improvement brings to a training program. To learn about implementing a process improvement project, click on the "Flowtivity Process" logo.


To learn about Leadership development, click on either logo below:


7 minutes


Tags:  2015  blog  Dustin Hostetler  Emerging Leaders  leadership  Lean Six Sigma  performance management  process improvement  Talent  Training and Learning 

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Meet Dustin Hostetler

Posted By Dustin Hostetler, Thursday, April 30, 2015

"The feedback we had from that office was incredible; comments like "this was the best busy season that we've ever had." At that point I knew we were on to something. It was extremely rewarding to hear the positive feedback and that these process improvement techniques, that started off in other industries, could work and do apply to tax returns processes, audit processes, you name it within a CPA firm..."

New Shareholder Dustin Hostetler describes his background and shares how he applied Lean and Six Sigma concepts to the accounting profession.

4 minutes


Tags:  2015  Blog  Dustin Hostetler  leadership  Lean Six Sigma  Processes  Trends 

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Process improvement from the viewpoint of a Managing Partner

Posted By Dennis Sherrin, Friday, February 6, 2015

"We went through the process, and you’ve probably heard of it, Lean Six Sigma, Lean processing.  They’re manufacturing terms that have been applied, not just to the accounting industry but engineering firms, architecture firms; a lot of different arenas.  Just like anything else..."

Dennis Sherrin, Managing Partner of Hartmann, Blackmon & Kilgore P.C., speaks about his firm's experience with Lean Six Sigma during a Boomer Technology Circles™ meeting session called "Idea Factory," a session where members share an idea that has made a positive difference within their firm.  Recorded in May, 2011.

5 minutes


Tags:  2011 Spring  Audit Process  boomer technology circles  Dennis Sherrin  Hartmann Blackmon and Kilgore  Idea Factory  Lean Six Sigma  processes  Tax Process 

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Process Improvement

Posted By Jim Boomer, Thursday, January 29, 2015

"So what are the results you can expect?  Well, you can identify wasted time and money; hidden dollars start to show themselves.  Moral and job satisfaction improve because people are more efficient and aren’t wasting time doing meaningless tasks or redundant tasks.  You have more consistent and effective work.  And really, you can ramp up new hires or people that transfer within your organization; the amount of time that it takes to get them up to speed is reduced.  Another question I often get is..."

 4 minutes


Tags:  2014 Blog  Audit Process  Jim Boomer  Lean Six Sigma  Processes  Tax Process 

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