For over a year we’ve been building curriculums and courses around “upskilling” for the audit and finance teams of the future. We were actually getting ready to launch our own live seminar training programs on data analytics and advisory skills this summer. Then the pandemic hit and everyone’s plans for live seminar training came to a halt.
Instead, we spent the spring helping businesses rethink their training programs and converting live seminars to distance learning.
We’re now faced with the question of what to do with our own upskilling curriculum. Should we spend resources to convert courses we’ve already created to distance learning? Or should we build new content based on the skills required post-pandemic? We decided to convert existing courses learning for one simple reasons.
The critical upskilling we identified pre-pandemic will be even more important in the future.
We think that post pandemic large majorities of the workforce will continue to work remotely, at least part time. Those conditions will place a premium on personal productivity and project management, and the development of these skills will require concerted effort and practice. Directing staff to read an article of “top tips for working at home” won’t be enough.
The ability to communicate effectively will be more important than ever. Old patterns of communication, for example the chance encounter in the hallway or dropping by a colleague’s office, will be infrequent at best. Zoom fatigue has already set in, and it is clear we will have to develop new ways to share ideas and needs, guidance and direction.
At the core of these two most obvious skills lie the foundational thinking skills we’ve been championing for years. The ability to analyze facts, solve problems and make evidence-based decisions all lead to the clear thinking that is the basis for effective communication, self-directed action and providing guidance to others.
Clear thinking leads to clarity of purpose. The absence of clarity leaves people rudderless, which can’t be overcome simply by teaching project management and communication techniques. The need for foundational skills more vital than ever. And organizations that are successful building these competencies across the organizations will shorten the learning curve they’ll encounter to get back up and running post-pandemic.
So off we go, still committed to helping organizations develop the same future-focused skill sets, only this time from a distance.
We live in interesting times.