Education Improves Your Effectiveness and Training Improves Your Efficiency
Are you thinking about improving your effectiveness or efficiency? Education helps you with the big picture and training helps you do something better. Both education and training serve a purpose. You should select the right way of improving yourself and your business. For unknown reasons, I’ve been asked this question every week so far this year. Today, the reason why is more clear. With today’s rapidly changing technology, people are frequently choosing training over education, going for efficiency over effectiveness. It’s not that you don’t need both, you do.
Doing the Right Thing
What’s the saying? Doing the right thing is more important than doing things right. “Doing things right” means doing things in the manner they are expected, needed, or required to be done. It, then, relates to the ‘how’ aspect of an action. For example, to ensure proper compliance, an accountant must file a tax return correctly. “Doing the right thing” means making the right choice, choosing the right path, and displaying high ethics and moral rectitude. It, therefore, relates to the ‘what’ aspect of action. For example, by rejecting a client’s desire to pay less taxes by filing a false but proper tax return, an accountant does the right thing and earns our respect. For accountants, respect comes from independence, knowledge, effectiveness, and efficiency.
Education and Training are Investments
Consider this point: both education and training should be viewed as an investment, not an expense. Further, properly implementing the latest educational techniques and technology into key operations of your business can set your business apart from the competition. Therefore, the investment you make in education, training, and technology should yield returns many times over the price paid. Following are four ways you can update your education and training for both personal and business gains and achieve outstanding returns in the process.
Decide the Right Thing to Do
This decision drives effectiveness. In business, there are reasons for both strategic and tactical plans. For individuals, there are reasons advisor and pundits recommend having a list of personal goals. What is the right thing to do for you and your business? Do you have a time that you stop to consider the big picture with an annual planning meeting? Have you reviewed your plan on a regular basis, so you continue to focus on the right thing? Do you have an education and learning plan? If not, consider creating a learning matrix (https://k2e.fyi/learningmatrix) or a learning ladder (https://k2e.fyi/learningladder).
Note that this article is not suggesting what is the right or wrong thing for you to do. The guidance is simply that you should take the time to plan and choose for yourself. By the way, this does help me fulfill my personal mission: “To help as many people as possible to use technology in the way that benefits them most.” Our entire K2 team operates the same way.
Locate an Independent Advisor
If you are going to improve your education and work on the big picture, you need top consultants, mentors, or advisors. Plus, they should have your interest in mind, not their personal gains. While many of today’s thought leaders clearly value independence, others think there is no conflict of interest at all from taking undisclosed profits from software providers. This was a shock to hear and it was interesting to listen to the reasoning. In this post-fact, post-integrity world, accountants must guard their ethics to maintain the trusted advisor role. This also relates to those whom you enlist to assist you in your education and training efforts.
Plan Your Education
A formal education is beneficial to many people. However, the most helpful type of education is life-long learning. Are you fortunate enough to have one or more college degrees? Did your education make you a better person? Are you able to do things that others can’t do because of your knowledge? On the other hand, I know people that are wonderfully ethical, hard-working and providing wonderful services that did not complete high school. They are living a good life, providing for their families and active in their community. Are they any better or worse than you?
Whether you are a professional, have a trade, or are a laborer, it is wise to consider what you enjoy learning, and how you learn something new every day, every week and every year. Just because you have completed a degree or have a certificate, that does not mean your learning is complete. In fact, these milestones simply mark completion of one phase and a transition to another. What are your educational goals for this year and this decade?
Respond with Training when Needed
Sometimes work just must get done. This is when your education and background come into play. You apply your prior education to complete the task. However, most of us are not blessed with total recall. While in some ways access to internet information has made us lazy learners because we can search for so much information, the internet is a blessing because of the amount of information available. Consider K2’s YouTube training channel at https://www.youtube.com/k2enterprises. There are a wide variety of knowledgeable answers on how to perform a specific task. This “just-in-time” training helps complete the task at hand, and helps you “do things right”, but may not be the best way.
Further, completing a repetitive task inefficiently does not provide the larger framework of “doing the right thing” or being effective. In fact, one of our design goals of our continuing professional education (CPE) courses, is that you can apply new knowledge as soon as your course is finished. Consider our current offerings here: https://www.k2e.com/training/. As you will see our intent is to offer both education (what and why “Doing the Right Thing” is important) and training (how to “Do Things Right”) on a wide variety of topics that apply technology to the practice of accounting.
By upgrading your knowledge, you can power your life and your business. You can use technology in a superior way that can help boost yourself and your company to the next level of success. Education and training, driven by technology has the power to promote growth, increase profits, improve client satisfaction, and streamline daily operations. However, to be successful, you need to know which knowledge to focus on first. So, keep this education and training guide handy, so that you will know which education and training investments make the most sense for the success of you and your business.