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Agility has taken on a new meaning

Written on Jan 27, 2022

By Jessica Salerno-Shumaker, OSCPA senior content manager  

Agility has always been an important skill for professionals but coming up on two years of the pandemic, it’s even more crucial to success. 

“Agility is grounded in core competencies,” said OSCPA President and CEO Scott Wiley, CAE.  

 “Most importantly, understanding what your core competencies are, and how you can really leverage those. But at the same time understanding what they're not. And what that empowers and creates for you to say no to.” 

While a part of being agile is adjusting to new or unexpected opportunities, it’s not helpful if those core competencies aren’t recognized. That makes the efforts intentional and will result in greater payoff later. 

At The Ohio Society of CPAs, Wiley said the past year has been a focus on core competencies which have narrowed down to advocating for the profession, developing talent and helping the profession acquire future talent. 

“There's a lot in those three portfolios, but that is specifically where we focus,” he said. “How we develop content, how we develop opportunities, how we're building relationships – that's really where we're investing our time.  

That doesn’t mean work outside of core competencies isn’t worth doing, he continued, but it instead means reconsidering how they’re being done. Maybe efforts could be refocused or lessened to devote greater time to the core competencies without sacrificing other outside work.  

Being purposeful in those core competencies strengthens agility and gives leaders a clearer picture on when to pivot and adjust because the core work is being done. 

Wiley said looking ahead to the future will always be vital, as being agile will be a necessity for businesses to survive. Now we’re going through a pandemic, but there will always be future disruptors. 

“We know that the future is going to be increasingly complex, increasingly driven by digital transformation, and one where people and relationships will be our most valuable commodity,” he said. “But it’s also one where new ways of thinking and doing things have gotten greater flexibility because we've been able to try them out in a way that we really didn't envision, but really didn't have an opportunity to ignore. Hearing people say, ‘Yeah, because of COVID,” has become a flip thing. But it's also extended us all an opportunity.”