Quickbooks Connect is the premier conference for all things Quickbooks related. This year, it was held in person for the first time since 2019. The traditional location is San Jose, close to the Intuit main campus, but it was at the Aria Las Vegas this year!
Another thing different about this year is attendees were App partner developers and Quickbooks ProAdvisors. No small businesses this time around.
For me, attending this conference is about learning and networking. It was wonderful to see colleagues and friends in real life again. More importantly, it was amazing to learn from the breakout sessions and the main stage speakers.
This year’s main stage speakers had some serious clout. Serena Williams, Simon Sinek and Malcolm Gladwell, hosted by Carla Hall. We also got a lot of product updates about what is coming down the pipe and the direction Intuit is taking Quickbooks from the Quickbooks leadership team.
And, of course, it’s in Vegas, so the after-hours events were a ton of fun!
Now for my top 3 takeaways…
Play the Infinite Game
Simon Sinek, renowned author and speaker, and eternal optimist discussed the idea of infinite games versus finite games.
Finite games have known players, an agreed-upon set of rules and a set end-point. Think Basketball or Hockey. In a finite game, the objective is to win by beating the other players. This means there must be a winner of the game, and by default, losers.
“Infinite games have known and unknown players, the rules can change, and the objective is to stay in the game as long as possible.” This is what businesses, and frankly, society, need in general. To keep the game going.
Within the infinite game, there are finite games. Elections and fiscal year-ends, for example. Although these games are important, they are only one part of the larger whole. You don’t win at business by having a better fiscal year-end than your competition. You don’t win at politics by winning a single election.
Playing the Infinite Game
By playing the infinite game, objectives evolve to be less about short-term results in a finite period and become more about creating a culture of progress and continuation.
When two finite players compete against each other, the system is stable. The rules are defined and the objective is clear, and when the set period is over, so is the game.
When two infinite players compete, the system is also stable. Though the rules may change and players may enter or exit the game, the objective is to keep playing for as long as possible.
“When a finite player competes against an infinite player, they find themselves in a quagmire.” – Simon Sinek
The finite player’s objective is to win, but the infinite player’s objective is to keep playing.
Many of the games played in society, such as business, politics and education, have finite and infinite components. For instance, a university that is “Number 1” or a business that “Beat the competition” is attempting to play a finite game in an infinite game environment. How they measure these things can drastically change how they behave to achieve that particular finite goal. When one is playing just to keep going and continue improving, they are playing the infinite game.
KATA Plays the Infinite Game
I didn’t realize this.
In martial arts, a kata is a series of movements and motions that help the student learn and develop their skill as a martial artist. When KATA Accounting Solutions was founded, we took this idea to heart – Mastery through practice.
We continually look for feedback from teammates, clients, governing bodies and the businesses we work with to find ways to get better. Attending Quickbooks connect was part of that strategy. We learn about what the best are doing, what is coming down the pipe, and how we can position ourselves for the future to serve our stakeholders better. For us, this means our team, our clients and our ownership.
If you have any suggestions or ideas about how we can do and be better, we’re open to listening to them, evaluating them and incorporating them into how we do business.
We’ll keep playing the infinite game.
A 3 Parter
This was gratifying.
Alex Chriss, Executive VP and General Manager of the Small Business and Self-employed group, during his speaking opportunity espoused:
- Take ownership of who you are
I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to see numbers 2 and 3 mentioned on the main stage.
Our top 2 values at KATA are to communicate and collaborate. We can’t help you without your input, so hearing number 1 made total sense.
When we take ownership of who we are, we also take responsibility for our actions or inaction. This is what builds a successful businessperson. The “Woe is me” individual probably shouldn’t take an entrepreneurial path. If you blame your success and failure on outside factors, it won’t be easy to succeed. If you take responsibility, you will be successful.
For us, this being one of the key things said by senior leadership helped us recognize that we’re on the right path. We’re playing the infinite game, we’ve taken ownership of our actions, and we communicate and collaborate regularly.
You’re Only as Good as Your Team
Serena Williams had a lot of interesting anecdotes and comments. My biggest takeaway from her main stage fireside chat was, you’re only as good as your team.
She has a lot going on. She’s a mom, she runs a fashion line, she has a venture capital company, she’s highly involved in philanthropy, and until recently, she was a professional tennis player. To be successful, she needs to have good teams, and she gives them a lot of credit for her success.
At KATA Accounting, we’re trying to be better. We know that we can’t do it alone. We’re on the hunt for good candidates to join us.
We have a solid team now, but we’re looking to expand our team’s knowledge base and get new people to join us who share our vision. If you think you’re a good candidate, check us out at https://kataaccounting.com/careers.
To be successful, we need to work together, we need to teach each other and learn from each other. To do these things, we need to go forward together. This is why our top two values are communication and collaboration. Together, we can create a brighter future for all of us.