Developing a sound strategy is critical to a firm’s viability. Yet we are so influenced by what happens within our industry, we’re dubious about stepping outside of it.

As a result, most firms develop a strategy based upon an “in-the-box” thinking. Within the accounting industry microcosm they will host industry conferences, submit to industry journals, and send industry-related emails. They also tend to duplicate what other firms do when they deem the method successful.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten

Tony Robbins

Those firms that want to be better develop an “out-of-the-box” strategy by going where other firms won’t or don’t dare to venture. These leaders do things like read other industry journals and attend conferences (legal, communications, investment, insurance); meet with clients and learn how they achieved their success; and ask partners and staff what they’re seeing or hearing that holds their attention.

Those leaders who get out of the comfort of their own seats and stop looking at things from the same angle are able to be the most effective. When they have different views, they can create a better strategy.

Being unconventional has not always been acceptable in our conservative industry. But it is an effective differentiator. So get uncomfortable to help your firm stand apart. Take a chance. Create uniqueness. Say something different. Be unoriginal.