In Philadelphia, we know a thing or two about innovation. Among my favorite Philly innovations are the country’s first hospital, university, postal service, zoo and computer. Likewise, over time, we have seen our great City of Brotherly and Sisterly Love grow and emerge as a leading professional destination for millennials.
Values are an integral driver of innovation.- Jane Scaccetti, Co-Founder & CEO
Philadelphia is ranked as the best city in America for diversity in science, tech, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, by SmartAsset. As one of the nation’s hubs for higher education, Philadelphia has over 100 degree-granting institutions enrolling 440,000 full and part-time students and 90,000 degrees annually, according to Select Greater Philadelphia. As an entrepreneur and lifelong Philadelphian, this is exciting!
The growth and change in Philadelphia is a driver of our ability to fuel and support innovation. This is vital to the growth of a professional service firm. Our greatest asset is our talent. We need talented, market-ready graduates schooled in the latest technology. Our firm almost exclusively hires from the local universities.
In 1990, when my business partners and I opened our firm from the ashes of Philadelphia accounting giant Laventhol & Horwath, we focused on exclusively offering tax consulting and compliance services for family-owned and entrepreneurially driven businesses and wealthy families. We were told we would not survive as a tax only firm—no one had done it before. Like most innovators, we had the core belief in our vision, and now, 29 years later, we are in the biggest growth phase in our firm’s history following many years of sustained growth. Our success depended not only on becoming thought leaders in taxation, but also becoming students of leadership.
I studied, befriended and learned from so many of Philadelphia’s greatest innovators in business, education, medicine and technology. This city offered a deep pool of resources. Competitors understood the ‘Philly way’ of sharing and helping one another achieve success. We could compete, but we could also help one another, share best practices, and make the pie larger for us all. From many of these relationships, I learned the power of living our core values. Values drive the best innovators and give a clear vision for those that follow them. Our core values are a big part of our growth, focus and approach to our talent and our clients. They are common values of innovation for innovators all around the globe.
ONE FIRM – a common understanding that we are better together when we collaborate, motivate and mentor each other. Our firm owns the client relationship, not just one employee.
ALWAYS GROWING – Whether it is our long-term vision of a global player in tax consulting, a more inward focus on the professional and person growth of our people, or the growth of our community, we are in a state of perpetual growth.
BE ENTHUSIASTIC – Approach all endeavors with the zeal and sagacity that embodies so many of the greatest innovators. Find the excitement in every challenge.
BE CURIOUS – Ask the additional question. Poke around a little more for an answer. Listen—really listen—to what’s being said around and to you.
SOLVE PROBLEMS – For each other, for the firm, for our clients. Be agile and bold and think strategically. Have the grit to excel. If necessity is the mother of invention, being better is the mother of innovation.
Our values guide us as innovators in the Philadelphia business landscape. And, the strong outlook for our city as a global innovator, will help fuel our growth.
Bottom line, Philadelphians get things done. We are the original underdogs, comeback kids, and street fighters. Without that grit, without that can-do attitude, innovation often remains just as ideas. That’s not how Philadelphia rolls! Tap into your ‘core values’ and get excited about innovation. When your vision causes eyes to roll, simply pretend you don’t see it and press on. As Philadelphians, innovation is in our DNA and the world is taking notice.