Laughter, changes and a little REM: The MNCPA is feeling fine

Apr. 24, 2017  |  Linda Wedul

Happy New Year! That’s right, April marks the start of a new fiscal year for the MNCPA.

For several years, we've held an annual all-staff meeting to kick off the year. It’s an event we all look forward to and enjoy planning. However, the most difficult part in the planning process is coming up with the meeting’s theme and determining key messages.

We've learned a few things about holding a successful all-staff meeting over the years:

Include laughter. Yes, this is first and foremost. Doing a good job means enjoying your work. 

Set boundaries. Each department gets six minutes -- that’s right, just six minutes -- to present what is most important.[1] Six minutes is hard, but it encourages focus by both the presenter and the attendees.

Incorporate music and movement. Music sets the tone at the start of the meeting, and movement throughout the meeting engages the mind, increases information retention and raises the energy level in the room. We don't have enough time in our day to waste it on a dead meeting.

Now back to the theme. Just like the profession, the MNCPA struggles with change: leadership transitions, retiring instructors who are leaders in their field, changing preferences for how CPE is delivered, and an increasingly uncertain political/regulatory environment. Then there’s changes in technology -- the fourth industrial revolution, a phrase coined by Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum, is fundamentally changing the way we work, live and relate to one another. Driverless cars, biotechnology, artificial intelligence and nanotechnology will change virtually everything.   

It's the end of the world as we know it ... and I feel fine. If you grew up in the 1980s, you know the REM song. When we recalled how much has changed in the past year, we realized that song had to be our meeting theme.

Our staff meeting wasn't apocalyptic, but we did acknowledge that our world is changing. It will be scary and frustrating at times, but it will also be exciting. We are in this together with our members. Change is here and there’s nothing a room of smart CPAs and MNCPA staff can't tackle. What can be finer than that?

It's the end of the world as we know it ... and we feel fine!

[1] We make an exception for the finance department; they get 10 minutes because of the charts.

Topics: MNCPA programs and activities, Workplace trends

Linda Wedul

Linda Wedul is president and CEO of the MNCPA. She’s usually spotted at MNCPA events, introducing herself to members with a warm smile and memorable laugh. Mixed among the Footnotes, accounting journals, leadership books and three monitors in her office, you’d be surprised to see a dog kennel. Her unpaid job is volunteering as a foster family for service dogs in training through Can-Do-Canines. She and her husband have two adult children and live in Farmington. Linda can be reached at 952-885-5516 or

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