Blog Article

Do you really want training?

Wednesday 19 October 2022

Are you familiar with the saying “people don’t want a quarter-inch drill; they want a quarter-inch hole”? This quote from Harvard marketing professor, Theodore Levitt, highlights that what we want is the outcome not the means of achieving it. So how might this be applied to accounting training? We could say “people don’t want accounting training; they want ...”. Is it easy to complete this sentence? When people attend a training course what are they actually trying to achieve: increase professional competence; find a route to promotion; be confident to do a job competently; discuss challenging work situations with people in a similar situation; keep up-to-date with the latest standards; or even take a break from work in an interesting location.

This way of thinking is sometimes called the jobs-to-be-done approach. Many people use this approach without necessarily defining it explicitly. However, it is worth taking time to analyse your own jobs-to-be-done. It’s not always a simple task. Sometimes the job to be done is not a discrete, definable task. Sometimes it is a major change in your working approach or tools or environment that makes it possible to complete all jobs more effectively. Once you understand all the jobs-to-be-done you can analyse what tools you need to complete these jobs. I almost wrote “tools you need to help complete these jobs” but that is not what most people want. They want a complete solution not a tool for part of the job that leaves them still needing another tool to get the job completed.

Jobs are often functional, in fact many people think of them as totally functional, but many jobs also have powerful social or emotional dimensions. For example, jobs are often carried out by a team so that they are completed successfully when roles and responsibilities in the team are both effective and satisfying.

What does this have to do with IASeminars training? Once someone has decided what are their jobs-to-be-done they then look for the tools to complete the jobs. So, the first step is to identify the jobs-to-be-done. Typically, a jobs-to-be-done statement has the form [verb] + [object of the verb] + [context]. Below are some examples of financial jobs-to-be-done. Please select the one that is most like your own job-to-be-done.

  1. Construct a successful hedge and use hedge engineering to achieve better results
  2. Analyse contracts to determine whether they contain leases
  3. Apply tools (SDG indicators, materiality matrix, carbon accounting etc.) to real life cases to prepare ESG reports and disclosures
  4. Apply the monitoring requirements in quality management
  5. Comply with US GAAP 'fair value' measurement requirements

Next, we want to find training tools to learn how to complete these tasks. On the IASeminars web site this is easy because every course has a list of learning objectives. In fact, the jobs-to-be-done above are all examples of learning objectives from IASeminars courses. If you chose one of these that is closest to your interest, then the course that will give you the required training is one of those below – the courses are in the same order as the jobs-to-be-done above.

  1. IFRS Overview for Derivatives and Hedging
  2. Essentials: a Focus on IFRS 16 Leases or Accounting for Leases under IPSAS 43
  3. Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) - Data, Accounting and Reporting
  4. International Standards on Quality Management – Workshop
  5. US GAAP Essentials

If this approach appeals to you then you may like to define jobs-to-be-done for yourself and your team. It can help with finding the right tool for the job – not a quarter-inch drill but a well-designed training course!

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