Innovation Narratives at the CPA Western School of Business

By: Shannon Cuthbert  

The past five years have been a time of tremendous change in Canada’s accounting community. In 2016, after years of effort, unification of the three legacy accounting designations was essentially complete, with legislation underpinning the new single Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) designation in place across the country. With change to the profession came associated changes to graduate accounting education. The CPA Western School of Business (CPAWSB) succeeded several predecessor organizations, and now delivers the CPA Professional Education Program (CPA PEP) in Western Canada, as well as a suite of preparatory courses. Though the work of the merger has now been accomplished, CPAWSB approaches to education administration and delivery have continued to evolve, as we endeavour to keep pace with a changing business landscape and provide offerings that meet the diverse needs of our learners. The leadership at the School recognizes that the long-term success of the organization is tied to its ability to not just manage change, but to embrace change as an appealing feature of its work. Building a culture of innovation and resilience at the organization is critical, and that culture rests on the norms and narratives that knit our employees together. The LEAP! continuous improvement program was launched at CPAWSB to promote staff development and empower individuals to think creatively about their work. Employees are learning to use a new language to talk about change, and the growing shift in mindset from reactivity to agency has been tangible. Narratives build identity; and identity drives action.

Innovation, Culture Change, Narratives
2019 Special Focus: The New Story of Organizing
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Shannon Cuthbert

Director, Strategic Innovation, Strategic Innovation, CPA Western School of Business, Canada