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What We’re Reading – 4/19/17

April 19, 2017By Jess Halverson BowyerUncategorized

This week’s recommended reading on technology, innovation and strategic succession planning:

Wondering how AI will affect business? Learn from those who are already using it: http://bit.ly/2pChQdy

Need some innovation inspiration? Read this article from FastCompany: You don’t have to be born with it, but there are things you can do to help your brain to think of: https://www.fastcompany.com/40405480/how-to-train-your-brain-to-be-more-innovative

Great successors need to be found and nurtured. Here’s one take on bringing strategic thinking into your succession planning: https://www.strategy-business.com/blog/Strategy-Talk-How-Do-I-Build-a-Strong-Pipeline-of-Future-Leaders

Here’s one way to implement the opportunities available from automation (instead of fearing the risks): http://cpatrendlines.com/2017/04/07/patil-dragon/comment-page-1/

At the CPA Center of Excellence®, we help CPAs and service professionals with stay ahead of change and in front of innovation. Look for our recommended reads on topics like critical thinking and non-technical skills, the future of work, innovation, talent management, leadership, and the changing role of the CPA each Wednesday.

Now trending — for good

December 15, 2015By Jess Halverson BowyerBlog, Learning and Career Development, Uncategorized

Then there is autodidactic learning. That does focus on learners and recognizes that people can (and do) learn in many ways. Again, a focus on the learner. Not an arbitrary system that force fits everyone who wants and needs to acquire new skills and abilities into a rigid system.

The U.S. Department of Education is devoting space on their website to competency-based, or what they also call, personalized learning.

New Hampshire, Michigan and Ohio all have initiated programs with various approaches to competency-based learning for public schools. There are also local school districts in Alaska and rural Colorado implementing “performance-based” or “learner centered” education.

It was announced in January of this year that the Department of Education will allow up to 40 colleges and universities to test the competency-based water. But it is complex (I guess I said that already) … “This is much more complicated than any experiment they have done.” (said Amy Laitinen, deputy director – New America Foundation higher education program).

And of course, the U.S. Congress feels like they need to play in this space as well. While it didn’t make it to the White House for a signature (well it didn’t even make it to the Senate), the House of Representatives did pass H.R. 3136 – Advancing Competency-Based Education Demonstration Projectduring the 113th Congress.

And finally, there was a pretty interesting Huffington Post blog in April … Sparks Fly: Competency-Based Education Catches. Julian Alssid does a great job of making the case of “workforce relevant education” and outlining benefits for working adults, while at the same time noting that not enough businesses in the U.S. understand the competency-based approach.

If our public schools and colleges are moving (and it seems swiftly) to a competency-based approach, the CPA profession needs to move as well. Let’s be innovative. Let’s be flexible and maybe have a little patience. And don’t feel threatened. If your preferred way to learn is in a seminar or conference, no one says that has to change. But at the same time, we must provide avenues for professionals who learn best (and more efficiently) in other ways.

Let’s just all agree that we need to focus on the learner and the outcomes. Not the system and the hours.

Are you listening to the new generation and its view on the future of work?

May 20, 2015By Jess Halverson BowyerBlog, Uncategorized

I recently hosted a discussion panel with the emerging workforce, all future CPAs. The focus was on the future of work and knowledge and learning development in organizations. The panel was held at the May Leadership Cabinet and Emerging Leaders Alliance meeting through the Indiana CPA Society and the panel included a high school senior (an INCPAS Scholar) and three university students (junior/seniors and one a former INCPAS Scholar).

These are some of the things they talked about:

  • Don’t ask for my opinion unless you are going to listen and demonstrate that you care — be authentic and show me my opinion matters.
  • Why do I have to conform to a 9-5 or 8-4 work schedule. I don’t work well between eight and 12, so why are you going to pay me for four hours of low productivity?
  • Treat me as an individual — I don’t like one-size-fits-all solutions
  • Family is important. What happens if I need to care for sick children? Can I work from home? Why do I need to be in the office and why do I need to work nine to five? These comments were from a male student.
  • Understand me and my situation. Nurture me, be transparent and show me a path for progression.
  • I like to collaborate, don’t stick me in a cubicle!
  • When you position a problem in my world “it is like being punched in the face,” but when you speak in general terms that don’t relate to me I just lose interest.
  • Don’t give me “tests,” give me real world problems to solve.
  • Put trust in me and don’t feel as if you have to control me.
  • Show me you care!

Times are changing. It is not up to the emerging generation to conform to the ways organizations currently work. Organizations operate in a competitive knowledge and talent economy. It is up to leadership and management in organizations to adapt to the needs of the emerging workforce.

What are you doing now to prepare your competitive advantage in 2020-2025?