There are times in history when people make predictions that turn out to be completely and utterly wrong. Here are three predictions;
- Western Union originally rejected the plans for the telephone saying in an internal memo in 1876, “The device is inherently of no value to us.”
- In 1889 the commissioner of the US Patent Office asked that his own job be abolished, arguing that, “Everything that will be invented has been invented.”
- The president of Digital Equipment Corporation assured a group of experts in 1977, that, “…there is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.”
History books are filled with predictions by people convinced that this was the way the world would always
be and that it was silly to imagine otherwise, followed soon after by being proven spectacularly wrong. We
tend to be short sighted, convinced of our own limitations, unwilling to reach for more, or teach others
who could profit from our experience.
You must consider all the many opportunities you have to take progressive action and consider the future of our industry if you don’t take corrective action now. We spend much of our lives avoiding what we should do. Allowing inertia and convention to hold us back from stepping up to our responsibilities and our potential. Do you see what is rather than what could be?
You have an opportunity to make a difference, to affect others, to be part of creating better environments. You have endured difficult business and employment cycles a survived the challenges together through your Association. We forget that we have responsibility to use our experience and knowledge to innovate and teach, encourage and promote our trade. We need to instill in our apprentices and students that there is a bright future awaiting them. People who do change the world don’t do it all at once. They do it one step at a time.
You or I may not be the person who will change the entire world but each one of you has the power to
strengthen your industry. It only takes one step to start change, only one step to start the strengthening by
encouraging apprentices, exchanging ideas, and telling your story of career satisfaction and personal growth. Seek out candidates, tell them your story. If you don’t, who will?
by Stan Swartz, CPA, CMA, CFP, CMC
Partner, Sloan Partners LLP, Chartered Professional
Accountants and Advisors