Does the finance team need to learn a programming language, or not? Perhaps not, but there is certainly an education gap for modern finance professionals.

Finance professionals do not need to learn programming languages, data science and the broad world of IT to benefit from new technology. What finance professional do need to learn is the ‘art of the possible’ – how to work on innovation, how to partner with the technology team (work Lean and Agile) and how to accelerate their finance’s digital transformation.
Here are your priority areas of learning:
Digital Training – “Art of the Possible” Conceptual Level
Aim: identify areas of greatest value to your organisation. Covers all new technology:

  • Data Analytics
  • Machine Learning
  • Data Visualisation
  • Process Automation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Cybercrime / security
  • Blockchain
  • Cloud

Innovation Accelerator Training – “How to” methods and “Mindset” shift
Aim: to work effectively with technology partners, be Agile, assure project outcomes, act as a change leader. It’s dependent on previous training, but areas to cover include:

  • Design Thinking
  • Lean Start-Up Method
  • Agile Method
  • Project Management
  • Programme Management
  • Change Management
  • Communication Management

People and Soft skills – core competencies based on World Economic Forum research
Aim: do what robots can’t do! Again, it’s dependent on the previous personal development stages. Areas of development are likely to include:
Cognitive skills

  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Judgement and Decision Making
  • Cognitive Flexibility

Behavioural skills

  • Problem Solving
  • People Management
  • Collaboration / coordinating with others
  • Service Orientation
  • Negotiation

So maybe hold off starting that programming language course, as there is much more for us to focus on to bring value to our organisations and stay relevant during our role revolution.
Christopher Argent is founder of GenerationCFO.com where CFOs and finance professionals meet to learn more about finance team related innovation and accelerate their teams digital transformation.