So, I was given an article from Harvard Business Review and asked to blog about it. When I normally write a blog post, it’s usually related to something I’m working on or a topic I pick that I have an interest in. I wasn’t sure how to write about a topic just given to me and make it feel like it was something I had a real feeling about. Of course, the Society and the CPA Center of Excellence® have been focused on new learning methods and approaches, so I was intrigued when I saw the subject.
I figured it made sense to start by actually reading the article. It is titled How Learning and Development are Becoming More Agile. So at first I started thinking great, a buzz word article about a buzz word topic. Well, I started reading, and found some interesting points in the article.
The first good take away for me was the comment that “the future of learning is three ‘justs’: just enough, just-in-time and just-for-me.” That rang true to me. I don’t know about other CPAs, but I find it so tough to sit in a classroom for eight hours to listen to an instructor talk one topic. Most classes like that are not interactive, and are more for general knowledge and not always the specific knowledge that I am looking for. We all have specialized roles in our organizations, whether in industry or public accounting … wouldn’t it be great if we had the ability to get more specialized knowledge that is suited to our individual roles?
Another interesting point from the article was that “team-based learning is providing more benefits.” That makes sense. Why not put a diverse group of people together to work on a case study or assignment? Every person in the group brings a different skill or perspective to the group. The group can learn from each other and learn to work together at the same time. It’s a subtle way to provide more meaningful learning through interactions with others. We just had an assignment here at INCPAS to work together on a project with a group of members of staff from all different departments. It was a great experience because we all brought different knowledge and viewpoints to the table and everyone hopefully gained additional knowledge from hearing the different perspectives of our fellow staff members.
A final good point from the article was that “life-long learning is a critical element of the workplace” and that young workers seem to get that point better than the rest of us. Part of that is probably due to how they are being taught compared to how those of us who aren’t considered young workers were taught. There are so many more options available for learning now; we didn’t have MOOCs or other online courses available when I went to school.
Technology has facilitated so many more options in the delivery of learning and development that it makes it easier to get learning when it’s convenient to you on topics you want to learn about. Now if only we could do the same with our professional development and create more of a three ‘justs’ model for CPAs so we could learn just enough, just-in-time and just for me. Fortunately we are headed in that direction with the movement toward competency-based education for CPAs in Indiana and other professionals.
We are confronting the future of learning at the CPA Center of Excellence, and I see the benefits. What are your thoughts?