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

Have you thought about learning as a competitive advantage?

"In today's rapidly changing and increasingly complex world, the winners will be those who can keep their rate of learning greater than the rate of change, or L>C."

Yet, as a profession, we have focused so much on compliance and CPE for licensing, have we lost sight of learning?


We are seeing three mega-trends across all sectors:

  1. Top talent is demanding to "see" their career path in organizations.
  2. Top talent wants to know how your organization will help them progress in their careers.
  3. "Soft skills" (we prefer the term "success skills") like strategic thinking, leadership, and collaboration are in high demand.

You came to the right place!   The MACPA and our subsidiary, the Business Learning Institute, have been researching and developing a career / competency framework for the past 10 years, combining the core research from the CPA Vision Project (1999) and the CPA Horizons 2025 Project (2011) and checking that against current research reports in the L&D and talent industries. We have also created a community of learning leaders who are helping us collect best practices, validate and update our findings, and help us keep our L>C in ther L&D and talent management areas. This group will be meeting again around our Innovation Summit on May 16-17. Download our 2013 catalog here.

Our research has shown that the right approach is to systematically and strategically approach learning with the 5 Cs:

  1. Career ladder / paths: A way to communicate how careers progress at your organization (example: The Bounce).
  2. Competency: A competency model customized for your organization and linked to strategy. (What are the critical competencies you need now?)
  3. Curriculum: A curriculum that is based on career paths and competencies and linked to your organization's strategy.
  4. Compliance: A system that can track regulatory and licensing compliance with today's multiple jurisdictions.
  5. Content: Proven learning and development programs in multipe formats. 

This BLI Guide to Learning as a Competitive Advantage covers these 5 Cs and shows how the Business Learning Institute can help you keep your L>C. It starts with our research on critical CPA / finance competencies, our Bounce learning framework, and our world-class content being provided to the many of the best CPA firms and corporate finance / accounting teams in the world. 


The BLI Guide to Learning as Competitive Advantage from Tom Hood

We have also worked with the AICPA to partner on a learning management system (LMS) that can automate this in a customized learning center for your organization or firm. It involves a full-featured LMS on top of a compliance engine, which tracks CPE in multiple jurisdictions. This is called the Navigator, and can be bundled with a library of on-demand learning covering both sides of The Bounce -- technical and leadership. We also can work with your LMS to load the framework and learning programs. 

We are seeing organizations begin to differentiate themselves competitively around learning, especially from talent development, recruitment, and retention perspectives. The need to systemitize and make this approach explicit are key to using it proactively for talent management.

What do you think? Are you using your learning investment as a competitive advantage, if so, how? If not, why not?

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