A one trick pony. That’s what we’d become. For the first 15 years of our existence, we were very good at developing and facilitating instructor-led training (ILT) in both accounting and auditing for, basically, one client around the world. “You got to do something about that,” my father would tell me every time we were together. “You have a responsibility as the CEO to protect the company and, more importantly, the people it employs.” Of course, he was right and that’s why in 2016 we made it a priority to diversify our client base and product offerings. But how do we guarantee the success of our company for years to come? Our answer, a blended learning solution we call “the Revolution,” came from brainstorming sessions with a much-maligned group – Millennials.
Born between 1980 and 2000, they are the biggest generation in history and, according to this cool Goldman Sachs infographic, millennials “have grown up with the internet and smartphones in an always-on digital world.” They expect instant access to information. In addition, millennials are reluctant to buy homes, cares, music and luxury goods. According to Goldman Sachs, they’re turning to a new set of services that provide access to products without the burdens of ownership, giving rise to what’s being called a “sharing economy.”
And they’re a force to be reckoned with. By 2020, nearly half of the workforce in the U.S. will be comprised of millennials. This trend is even more pronounced in public accounting, a key customer base for GAAP Dynamics. According to PwC, approximately 80% of their workforce is under the age of 36.
According to a Bloomberg article cited by Going Concern, PwC surveyed its millennial workforce and found that over 70% said that their jobs “interfere with their personal lives” and nearly as many said they wanted the ability to work from home. According to Deloitte’s 2017 Millennial Survey, nearly two-thirds of millennials surveyed are now able to work at locations other than their employer’s primary site. This is a whopping 21 points higher than the same survey taken one year earlier and reflects how rapidly changing technology is facilitating mobile working, and how employers are becoming increasingly comfortable with such arrangements.”
These trends scream online learning. Nothing interferes more with your personal life than packing up on Sunday afternoon (and missing that ultimate Frisbee match) and heading out for a week-long training. Therefore, in August 2016, I gathered our millennial workforce and headed to the Outer Banks for a strategy session where an idea was born – The Revolution!
“You say you want a revolution. Well, you know, we all want to change the world!”
Millennials are committed to their personal learning and development, demanding better training delivered at their moment of need. According to this PwC publication, “Millennials expect to keep on learning as they enter the workplace and spend a high proportion of their time gaining new experiences and absorbing new information. Thirty-five percent said they were attracted to employers who offer excellent training and development programs and, for this reason, saw it as the top benefit they wanted from an employer.”
A one-sided lecture is less likely to hold their attention (remember our affinity towards ILT). However, given they are comfortable with technology, they respond well to a range of digital learning styles and delivery methods. The PwC article notes “they are innately collaborative and accustomed to learning in teams and by doing.”
And we have the solution! Powered by GAAP Dynamics, the Revolution is a learning platform that brings together engaging content and motivated learners in an online environment. Our vision is that it will consist of the following parts:
Launch is a great place for anyone, at any level, to begin learning a new topic or revisit a topic they haven’t seen in a while. It may be comprised of:
- Pre-course assessments
- Recommended reading
- Explainer videos
- Introductory-type eLearning or ILT modules
In Explore, learners can learn what they need, when they need it. It may be comprised of:
- Application-based eLearning or ILT modules
- Explainer videos
- Job aids
- Additional reading and other resources
Want to prove to yourself (and others) that you mastered the topic? Then Challenge is the place for you! It may be comprised of:
- Post-course assessments
- Gamification elements
- Badges and certification
In Connect, learners are able to build a network with their peers allowing them to learn from each other. Learners will have the opportunity to:
- Share resources and information with peers
- Collaborate and interact with peers
- Ask questions and find out answers through a closed and private forum
- Use tagging so that information is easily searchable
- Filter through previous discussions and materials
“You say you got a real solution. Well, you know, we’d all love to see the plan.”
We are busy producing content that will be included in the Revolution and, in December 2017, we took a giant leap towards making this vision a reality by signing up with Thought Industries and their learning business platform to host this content.
We expect to “soft” launch the Revolution by June 2018 and fully unveil it in time for the fall 2018 training season. Stay tuned!
“Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright. Alright. Alright.”
And will we succeed? Yes, indeed. 98 ¾ percent guaranteed! This team can move mountains!
In 2017, we made significant strides towards our diversification initiative and making the Revolution a reality. However, in 2018 our only resolution is launching the Revolution. It’s going to be a challenging, but fun year!
From our family to yours, we wish you a happy, healthy and safe 2018!
This post is published to spread the love of GAAP and provided for informational purposes only. Although we are CPAs and have made every effort to ensure the factual accuracy of the post as of the date it was published, we are not responsible for your ultimate compliance with accounting or auditing standards and you agree not to hold us responsible for such. In addition, we take no responsibility for updating old posts, but may do so from time to time.