White Paper Overview: Old Dogs & New Tricks

People have always been willing to change in order to improve the future. Consequently, old dogs can learn new tricks as they find more effective ways to adapt and leverage new technology, methods, processes, ideas, and social networks that help them improve the return on the investment they make in human capital. But can they create new tricks?

According to Ron Baker, author of the white paper “Old Dogs Can’t Create New Tricks,” it’s not likely. Basically, what he means is that the older we get the less likely we are to create a ground breaking innovation. He supports this conclusion with historical evidence, although elder statesman Benjamin Franklin often skews the averages, and examples from the modern business world.

Even more importantly, he discusses the implications of his conclusion on the accounting profession. The accounting industry has a 27-year (and counting) innovation curve and he cites an AICPA statistic that 62 percent of their members are 40 or older. The risk of this is that the profession will stagnate and become irrelevant without an influx of new, younger members. A better question is whether the old dogs will allow the puppies to create new tricks.

To read the entire white paper, “Old Dogs Can’t Create New Tricks,” go to:
www.accountingweb.com/library/old_dogs.pdf

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