Future-proof your career: be more human

By Clar Rosso, Vice President- Member Learning & Competency, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

Work is changing. More and more tasks are becoming automated and artificial intelligence is improving. Industries are being disrupted. While change has been a constant over the past several decades, the pace of innovation is increasing.

The World Economic Forum predicts that 5 years from now, more than a third of skills considered important today will no longer be relevant. And that all jobs will require new core skills as early as 2020. You’ll need to evolve or you risk being left behind. I know this seems scary, but as a species we are adaptive. And, the solution is quite simple, “to beat the bot you need to be more human.”

The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, the united voice of CIMA and AICPA, is creating learning opportunities to help you prepare for the future workplace with our new Human Intelligence Series. Thought leaders will be coming to you live via Facebook to provide you with information about the competencies that will be most valued for our profession moving forward.

The learning will help you develop the World Economic Forum top 10 skills for 2020. Here they are in order:

  1. Complex problem solving: Work is often about solving problems and as businesses get more complex, the problems will too. The future workplace will require you to solve new kinds of problems that may not be well defined.
  2. Critical thinking: Objective analysis of facts and issues will be key in exercising your judgement.
  3. Creativity: When you think of creativity you probably picture an artist, but the kind of creativity we’re talking about here is what’s called technical creativity. This is what drives new ideas, theories or technologies.
  4. People management: Getting the most out of your team will continue to be valued in the workplace.
  5. Coordinating with others: As you organize your work, it will be important to think about how it fits your organization’s strategies.
  6. Emotional intelligence: Success will require you to identify and manage your emotions and anticipate the emotions of others around the office. Handling your interpersonal relationships with empathy is key.
  7. Judgment and decision making: Developing strategies for making better decisions and overcoming biases will come in handy for all aspects of work.
  8. Service orientation: You’ll want to develop a talent for anticipating the needs of others and the desire to help meet those needs.
  9. Negotiation: Whether the objective is to reach a compromise, settle a difference or come to an agreement, work will still require employees to negotiate.
  10. Cognitive flexibility: This doesn’t mean that you should stretch your brain. Cognitive flexibility is the ability to switch between concepts and tasks and hold more than one concept in your mind at the same time.

All 10 of these skills are innately human, and the good news is you can strengthen and develop these competencies. The top 10 skills also align with the CGMA Competency Framework, which includes both people skills and leadership skills, in addition to the technical and business skills you’d expect. You’ll see things like decision making, communication, team building, coaching and mentoring, negotiation and influence on the framework. And, it’s not just CGMAs who use these skills. CPAs also rely on problem solving, critical thinking and judgment and decision-making skills.

Human Intelligence will provide you with regular learning events on our Facebook pages. In just 10 minutes you can begin to learn new skills and start preparing for the future workplace. And, for those of you who want to take a deeper dive into a skill set, we’ll share additional resources for continued competency development.

So maybe it’s not just about beating the bot, instead the goal should be to complement artificial intelligence with our human intelligence.

I ask you: Wouldn’t you rather evolve than risk being left behind?