Wellington and Auckland One Stop Update for Accountants Conference Update

Leadership by Design was asked to speak at the above conference on “Taking the Leap Career Strategies for the Finance professional.” We knew we had taken the right angle NOT to talk about Career Plans when we asked the 150 delegates how many of them had a Career Development Plan?  We don’t seek out to highlight Finance professionals as being any different from any other work groups  to although of course they may be.  Those that indicated they had a plan numbered less than 10 and even allowing for those that have a plan but were reluctant to  raise their hands by any stretch of the imagination  it was a small minority.

Perhaps not surprisingly what research there has been seems to support this view that the majority of mid-career managers do not have a career plan.

It is interesting when you consider these two perspectives:

1. The world is volatile, complex, changing and full of ambiguity

2. Despite endless restructuring and significance job losses in the last few years there is still a talent shortage

The latest Immediate NZ Skills Shortage List from the Ministry of Business Information and Employment has close to a 100 occupations on it. The Long Term Shortage List  for NZ is even longer.

Our angle was to talk about how our brains respond to change, work pressures and increases in complexity. Most of us prefer to spend more time bolstering our current perceptions (or bias)  of the world rather than meeting the challenge of  being disciplined and finding quieter  time in order to reflect on the current realities.

In many work places it feels to us that we feel we are just too busy to think and we tend to get distracted by both detail and urgency. Something we describe with the metaphor of the clock and the compass. The clock represents our task, deadline and activities the compass our values, purpose and direction. It is our view that our brain biology moves us more on autopilot  towards the clock whereas an act of will is required to  reflect and focus on the compass.

Any way we hope you enjoy the slides and our thanks to Daniel Pink for his 6 Career Principles for a changing world.


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