Business Strategy | Leadership / Management | Organizational Development | Training & CPE

Report: 2015 will be ‘tumultuous, transformational’ year — and skills can calm the waters

We’ve seen the trends that others are watching in 2015, but they were just an appetizer.

For the CPA profession, the main course, as usual, comes from Bersin by Deloitte.

A research arm of Deloitte Consulting, Bersin has released its annual and eagerly awaited “Predictions” report for the coming year. The report includes Bersin’s list of the 10 key trends to watch in the coming year, and the results are eerily familiar; thought leaders have been talking about a lot of this stuff for a while now, and so have we — but that doesn’t make the issues any less daunting or important.

Take a look at Bersin’s 10 trends to watch in 2015:

  1. Engagement, retention, culture, and inclusion have become front-burner issues.
  2. The redesign of performance management will likely continue.
  3. It’s time to address the overwhelmed employee. How do we redesign and simplify the workplace?
  4. Skills are now currency; corporate learning takes on increasing importance.
  5. Invest, refocus, and redesign talent acquisition, leveraging network recruiting, brand reach, and new technologies.
  6. Talent mobility, career management, and the leadership pipeline become a top priority.
  7. Accelerate and globalize the leadership pipeline.
  8. Take the plunge and invest in talent analytics and workforce planning. This area is now an imperative for competitive advantage.
  9. Revisit your HR technology plan, reduce core vendors, and look for innovative new solutions that drive high levels of value.
  10. Review and redesign the roles and structure of your HR team and invest in HR professional development.

So yeah, we’ve seen a lot of this stuff before. Why do we keep talking about it? Because many organizations are still struggling with how to address these issues.

Take talent and career management, for example. The intersection of demographics, technology and the social movement have changed the game for organizations everywhere.

“All of this interconnectedness and transparency, coupled with a shift in demographics, means that businesses must think about talent very differently,” the Bersin report states. “Employers, once in a position of power over employees, are no longer in control. … The concepts of ‘employment brand’ and ‘employee engagement’ have merged into one. Employees communicate your brand externally every day, whether you like it or not. As we sometimes say, ‘the war for talent is over — and talent won.’" Employers are realizing that they must be increasingly flexible, nimble, and dynamic if they hope to engage and retain top talent.

As organizations scramble to keep pace with these new trends, many traditional challenges remain — like bridging the leadership gap, keeping up with near-constant change, globalization, and recruitment.

All of these things — a perfect storm of traditional issues with newer, transformational challenges — make one thing very clear: The importance of constant, lifelong learning has never been greater. Bersin said as much. Coming in at No. 4 on its list of trends to watch: “Skills are now currency.”

Warren Berger agrees. In his book A More Beautiful Question, Berger said we’ve entered an age of “serial mastery,” where “the need to constantly adapt is the new reality for many workers.”

That means corporate training is increasingly important — even as it undergoes radical changes of its own. The popularity of digital, online, on-demand, and just-in-time learning tools has skyrocketed, and with good reason: In an increasingly connected, digital and mobile world, these are effective and convenience ways to learn. But the Bersin report warns us not to overlook traditional, high-touch learning models, which are particularly effective in the leadership-development arena.

I could go on for days — there is a ton of great stuff here. Read the report — it’s full title is “Predictions for 2015: Redesigning the Organization for a Rapidly Changing World” — in its entirety.

BLI can help
In the meantime, if your organization needs a hand with its learning initiatives, check out our own Business Learning Institute. We provide strategic learning that moves careers forward and fills your leadership pipeline. Here’s everything you need to know about BLI:


Bill Sheridan