The organisation CPA (Certified Practising Accountants) has recently terminated its CEO’s contract after the resignation of almost half its Board. In light of such an upheaval, a few difficult questions need to be asked. Here are some answers to the more interesting ones:
Q: How can an organisation like CPA fail at an executive level?
A: Sadly, even as companies develop, management and board structures tend to remain unchanged. For a large-scale company like CPA, it is possible that the management systems were simply outdated and unable to keep up with community needs. The source of the problem may be an overly centralised and self-interested board and management team (see CEO Alex Malley’s $1.8 mil salary!). Perhaps membership organisations should use a local franchise model, giving incentive to provide valuable services.
Q: Is CPA producing anything of value for their members?
A: Honestly, probably not. The organisation has invested heavily in branding, promotion and overseas growth, instead of the training and guidance their members need. This decision could have serious repercussions for the company.
Q: How can the Board take better control of what is going on in the organisation?
A: Technology is the secret weapon for the modern business. Using integrated cloud software for sharing and reporting information, the management team can get an overall picture of the organisation almost instantly. Using technology, the board can gather member data, respond to it instantly, and prevent large-scale executive failure.
Q: Is CPA meeting members’ expectations?
A:The last ten years have brought significant changes in customer expectations, which have not been reflected in CPA’s structure or membership requirements. Businesses should be able to develop quickly to meet members’ needs.
Q: What leadership role or structure is best for organisations like CPA?
A: Member-led organisations should be at the forefront of industry. The days of professional bodies lobbying governments to change their own policies should be far behind us! Nowadays, members should be the voices and leaders of their own groups.