Charting the course beyond the virtual classroom

Today, as parts of the world are re-emerging from the pandemic, global companies have a tremendous opportunity to partner with Accenture for a reset—of their cultures, workforces, and ways of learning. Clearly, how work gets done and what learning will look like will never be the same as they were pre-pandemic. It’s time to look beyond the virtual classroom for innovations in learning. We’ve seen firsthand the need to prepare our people to be flexible and future-ready—particularly when the future is still highly uncertain.

I am pleased to announce that Accenture was recognized by Everest Group in its recent report, Learning Services PEAK Matrix® Assessment with Service Provider Landscape 2021*. Everest Group positioned Accenture as an overall leader, pointing to two strengths that help clients achieve agile learning: our flexible, end-to-end capabilities and customer-centricity. This recognition reinforces our commitment to both our clients and our own people to create cultures where learning is always on, and human ingenuity can be unlocked.

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“Accenture’s customized solutions transform long-term employee operations with integrated services and technology solutions that enable clients to achieve new levels of talent development”


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Agile learning strategies can help solve unique challenges

From all indications, the hybrid working model is likely to stick around. In our recent Future of Work: Productive anywhere report, 83% of workers said a hybrid model would be optimal. For global organizations, this means greater complexity and uncertainty around what the return to the office—and learning—will look like and what new strategies are needed.

Like every organization that’s re-thinking how learning should now happen, Accenture rapidly embraced agile learning strategies—with their focus on flexibility, collaboration and speed—to help solve some of these challenges both for ourselves and for our clients. We have been pushing ourselves to become more agile, constantly testing new learning approaches and re-thinking how we create a culture of continuous learning. For our diverse, dispersed global workforce of over 537,000 people, agile strategies have shown us the best of human ingenuity and an emergence of the entrepreneurial spirit with new forms of courageous creativity.  By design, these agile approaches help organizations both quickly pivot to market changes that demand new skills now, and achieve step changes to their unique goals more rapidly. The result is a flexible business model that drives lower costs and risks and a more adaptable workforce.

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“Accenture works closely with talent leaders and business executives to improve workforce performance and productivity, boost business agility, increase revenue and reduce costs”

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Accenture recently invested in and formed a strategic alliance with SkyHive, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based start-up that uses artificial intelligence technology and its proprietary quantum labor analysis methodology to facilitate labor market transformation, reskilling and learning. Together, SkyHive and Accenture help organizations re-align their workforce and position individuals to take on new roles through strategic reskilling.


Collaboration and experimentation with a thriving ecosystem are key

As we return and shift to the new workplace, we are seeing greater emphasis around digital technology skills and learning in the flow of work. While many organizations scaled back on their real estate expenditures during the pandemic, they are now reallocating those funds to invest heavily in work/learn fusion and collaborative technologies.

Yet how do you choose given the vast landscape of options? Do you build, buy or borrow the technology? To create agile, future-ready workforces we see many of our client organizations constantly exploring new partnerships to complement and enhance the upskilling of their people.

Going forward, organizations need to thoughtfully consider which skills to build organically and which can be secured through ecosystem partnerships. These collaborative relationships can help leapfrog and accelerate their journey to becoming future-ready.


So, what’s next?

It starts with executive sponsorship of this new reality. Learning happens all the time, not just in a classroom. Leaders who recognize this and give people the space (physical, virtual, XR), the capacity (time to learn), and personalized, engaging experiences, will drive enthusiasm and curiosity to learn, which in turn sets a strong foundation for a culture of learning.

Workforces with a continuous learning mindset and high digital readiness will be able to adapt more swiftly to the next unknown. Organizations that are highly collaborative and use agile learning strategies will be better positioned to reskill and upskill their workforces to meet these future challenges.

Patricia Robinson

Global Lead – Learning BPS

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