Future of Learning III

The final Future of Learning (FoL) task force meeting took place last week.  The next step will be to complete the white paper with recommendations and proposed actions for the profession to take as it look to how continuing education should meet its core purpose of enhancing the skills and competence of CPAs in the future.  One of the benefits of serving on a task force like the FoL is that you get to see what others are doing today to move toward the vision of the future.  At this meeting we got to tour Deloitte University outside of Dallas.

The first of two most important takeaways I had from the visit was that even in the virtual world of today, face-to-face time can have a significant impact on an organizations culture.  The second was that integrating technical and “soft skill” training is critical for our profession as we are required to do that every day in what we do and siloing soft skill training results in lost effectiveness.

While videos, social media and other electronic forms of communication are important ways to develop an ongoing sense of community in an organization that is always out of the office, human to human interaction can have a much more lasting effect on people, even if it is only for a few days every year. This is an important take-away for the committee.  While we need to understand and utilize all of the new technology tools, we can’t forget the importance of face-to-face interaction for at least some of the training.

The second takeaway was that integrating training to include not just the steps to audit cash, but also how handling the follow-up interview on questions that came up during the audit work.  This shows that the soft skills are just as important to being successful in our profession.  It also makes the skill much more applicable when you see how they fit in with what you actually do in your job every day.  This is not easy.  Developing simulations and case studies is much harder than putting together a lecture, but can have a much more lasting impact on the skill and competency of those of us taking the training.

What training has had the most impact on your skill development?

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