Un-learning to move forward
No matter where you are around the world the same principles apply to learning and making the most of your software. For some, learning new technology is easy, for others there’s some “un-learning” of familiar software – especially if you’ve been using it for a long time.
Recently we held a global training summit with our regional training managers travelling from UK, US, and Australia to join the NZ training team. There were 11 of us in total gathered together to learn and share ideas from our collective relevant experience of 145 years. Our common goal was to make the learning experience for both partners and customers as valuable and interactive as possible.
Across the week we covered a wide range of content and shared common experiences. One comment from our training managers that really stood out was that many people imagine that Xero will work much like their old desktop system. This was echoed around the world.
So why is this? There are different brands of accounting software in each market and we all get used to doing things a certain way and make assumptions that are not about accounting, but rather are based on how the software works.
Desktop accounting software has not changed dramatically over the past 20 years. Sure it was great at a point in time, but it hasn’t progressed at the same rate as the technology around it. Many accountants, bookkeepers and business owners have used a particular desktop package for a long time and have become well accustomed to it’s quirks and limitations – even justifying their “old technology” because it is familiar.
We recognized during the global training summit that our training courses involve as much “un-teaching” as they do teaching. Sure it’s a new system and it’s really intuitive and easy to learn but it’s often the un-learning that is challenging. For example, some course attendees are puzzled by Xero credit notes. There are two ways to create a credit note – one from scratch, which we’re all used to, and another where the system replicates invoice data for you and you simply enter the date! Too easy, saves you time … but it’s different.
For some the move to the cloud is scary and for others it’s simply unfamiliar and they welcome the change. As with anything new, there’s a period of readjustment, re-aligning of thinking, some sort of learning curve involved. It’s comforting to know that across the world, the same thoughts arise; How easy is it? How long will it take to learn a new system? If you’ve been procrastinating about switching to the cloud, give it a try – I’m sure there are many people across the globe who can comment further on their experiences of making the change.
If you are using cloud technology, I’d encourage you to check out our training courses – we’re always learning and you may even be challenged to un-learn some things and find there is an easier or quicker way.
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7 May 2013 #