The Audit Advantage Series
Published: 29 Sep 2014 By CareersinAudit.com and the Audit Agony Aunt
Welcome to a brand new professional development series, created, crafted and customised to the needs of the audit professional. We are excited and delighted to bring you a monthly discourse, designed to fill those crucial gaps in your CPD; namely, the professional, personal and business skills and competencies that are sometimes over-looked in the quest for technical greatness!
You cannot have failed to notice that we live in times of unprecedented change. As one commentator put it - we are in a world of 'isations'! From urbanisation to mobilisation, globalisation to glocalisation, digitalisation to commoditisation, we're experiencing exponential evolution of the professional landscape. This is a turbulent, shifting landscape, transforming before our very eyes. We are on a journey where ambiguity, complexity and challenge are our constant companions and uncertainty is the only certainty
We've always had change but what's different today is the sheer pace of change, the complexity, the density and the tempo of change and this decrees a whole new set of competencies, attitudes and behaviours for the audit professional. Audit excellence is a great start, but you need more than just technical prowess to become a successful twenty first century professional. The environment demands a rounded skill-set, and while this has always been so, an era of chronic change elevates these broader skills from 'nice to haves' to essentials.
The future looks T-shaped
The concept of the T-shaped professional used to be confined to the consultancy world, which has been using the term since the 1990s. But today the T-shape is mandated across the professional board. If you want to progress and develop in audit, be promoted, lead and manage, you too will need to embrace the T.
Think of the vertical as your technical audit skills; this is your in-depth specialisation and represents the core of your professional identity. But this alone is not enough; the horizontal represents all the other skills you need to get on in today's marketplace, to collaborate with experts in other areas, to think, and to be, commercial, and to leverage your other transferable skills. We are talking expert communication skills that facilitate an appreciation of needs of all your stakeholders and enable you to deliver meaningful value. There's a requirement for a honed ability to build and nurture relationships, vital for managing your team and building rapport with internal and external clients. More and more there is an expectation for big picture thinking, the capability to draw knowledge from a breadth of areas to support problem solving and to think laterally and apply this knowledge to new settings. And you will recall from our recent highly popular series 'The Resilient Auditor' that attitude and a flexible mind set, bolstered by self-confidence and drive are also key to navigating the demanding, challenging and highly stimulating twenty first century work place.
And the future looks bright
Do not be daunted, intrepid auditor. You are well-placed to adopt the T-shaped model. With your technical depth already well embedded and a good smattering of the horizontal competences you are in pole position to develop further, this broader base of skills and capabilities.
And CareersinAudit are eager to support you on this developmental journey. We have designed Audit Advantage to help you build horizontal skills across a broad plane. We'll be looking at the core areas of leadership, coaching and adaptability from the perspectives of attitude, management and communication and each month we will drill down into a granular area of competence. Take a look at the diagram and you will see the detail of the topics we will be considering. We've designed this initiative as a collaborative venture, which means that we want you, CareersinAudit.com members, to choose the hottest topics for us to shine a light on.
And so now, it is over to you guys, the voting is open. Which topic would you like to be reading about next month? Which area of your career would you like help with? We begin with Management and you have a wide choice; where would you like to start? Managing upwards perhaps? Or maybe time management or even just the specifics of prioritisation? You get to choose. Just email us and we'll go with the majority vote to bring you a fresh, practical discourse on the hottest topic, this time next month.
We look forward to hearing from you.