Overheard At The 2015 Winning Is Everything Conference

Leaders across the profession attended the annual “Winning Is Everything” conference in Las Vegas in January, presented by The Advisory Board. Below is a sampling of the insights shared.Winning is Everything 2015

Staff Issues

“To get the best Millennial employees, you are going to need to make a commitment to high maintenance.” Keynote speaker Bruce Tulgan on the realities of working with the next generation’s best and brightest.

“Sink or swim is the enemy when it comes to the new work force. No one has ever left them alone for a minute – they have had structure all of their life. What they expect from older people is leaders who can set them up for success. Sink or swim is not empowerment – it is negligence” Bruce Tulgan

“Every professional working at your firm can secure the same job for a significant increase in compensation within two weeks.” Gary Shamis, senior managing director, SS&G, on the realities of a profession with less than 1% unemployment.


“Too many leaders managers and supervisors are not doing enough leading managing and supervising.” Bruce Tulgan explaining what he believes is the No. 1 issue in the workplace today.

“Rainmakers: Stop clogging your arteries with a lot of client work and billable hours!” Consultant Allan Koltin on freeing up partners who are great at landing business to go out and land new business.

“If you don’t have female role models – men can do it! Pay a coach!” Consultant Rita Keller explains how men need to be partners in developing women in the workforce.

“Bad news doesn’t get better with age. If you talk about the same person over and over, you need to make a decision about them and move on.” Wayne Berson, MP of BDO, on the need to make faster decisions.

“Everyone needs to do a little more next year than they did last year if they want to make more money. We’ll have a big pool of bonuses – the question is, ‘Do you want to participate in it?’ ” Larry Autrey, Whitley Penn MP, laying out the rules of the game at his firm.


“If your firm was 10 times larger than it is today, how would you think about technology?” Gary Boomer on how firms should be approaching the internal discussion about technology.

“In a mature market, with technology changing all the time, business model innovation will be THE foundation for sustainable growth.” Consultant Gale Crosley on how to succeed in business in 2015.

“We all suffer from TOMS Syndrome (Terrified of Missing $H!T)” Consultant Jim Boomer on why we are connected 24/7.

Client Responsibilities

The intersection of innovation and marketing “requires us to make an uncommon service common, and a common service uncommon.” Michelle Golden and Kathleen Walton on how K-Coe Isom attacks innovation.

“I need my accountant to help improve the performance and profitability of my business.” Gary Shamis explains one of BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES identified on every client loyalty survey they do.

“It’s really easy. I just want our team to make our customer’s day a little easier.” United Airlines pilot Capt. Denny Flanagan, on customer service.

“Cross-selling is the absolute responsibility of equity partners. If you choose not to act in that area, you should be a non-equity partner, not an equity partner.” Allan Koltin delivers the cold truth about partner roles.

Profession Trends

“Don’t tell anybody, but here is a firm in California that is in a revenue share with ADP.” Gary Shamis shares a little-known secret in payroll service partnering with large providers.

“At some point Grant Thornton will be a part of one of the Big 4 – it is just a matter of time.” Allan Koltin, surveying the landscape of the largest firms.