Full Webinar Transcript
[00:00:00] Anna: Welcome everybody to today’s webinar brought to you by the CFI, Corporate Finance Institute. We are going to be discussing how to create high-performance finance teams, and the roadmap to do it. I’m super excited to get started. I’m Anna Talerico, your host, and moderator today. And we’re going to get started with our round table discussion here in just a minute, but while everybody’s getting settled in, I’d like to share a little bit about CFI and why we are so passionate about workforce development.
[00:00:44] Closing the skill gap for financial professionals So my colleague Patrick Gatien is here, and I know I may have bungled that again, Patrick. But Patrick’s here to tell us a little more about CFI for teams, and then the panel will start immediately after that, at about five minutes. So welcome, Patrick.
[00:01:02] Thanks for kicking us off today.
[00:01:06] Patrick: Thank you, Anna. And it’s my pleasure to take a few minutes here to introduce the audience to CFI, which was founded back in 2016 for finance professionals—by finance professionals. And since then, it has already helped over a million-plus students in over 170 countries, quickly launching us to be global leaders in online financial training, which is just fantastic.
[00:01:30] Here’s a small snapshot of the footprint that we’ve left in the world so far. And some of the larger organizations that now rely on us to support their financial professionals in their learning and development journey as well. And our clients come from a variety of industries, including banking technology, finance, and telecommunications.
[00:01:51] We pretty much cover the gamut there. CFI provides industry learning, hands-on relevant skills, and training for all finance professionals at any career stage—from beginner right up to expert, and we’re 100% online. So, you can complete your courses pretty much on your own time.
[00:02:10] A subscription will provide access to our four prestigious certifications and over a hundred courses, making up over 500 hours of practical skills-based videos. Over 300 templates and tools to master your scrap, your craft in, and instant access to our regular stream of new learning content.
[00:02:30] This ensures that you’ll be a step ahead of the latest trending topics in financial services.
[00:02:39] I’m not sure if you’re familiar with Ebbinghaus, but CFI’s mission is to help anyone become a world-class financial professional, and the best way to get there is to have the right tools at your fingertips to help you produce your best work. Herman Ebbinghaus was a psychologist. He developed the concept of the learning curve, also known as the “forgetting curve,” in the late 1800s.
[00:03:03] And now, you’re going to think of the 1800s, but multiple studies since then have also shown that the average learner loses approximately 50% of new concepts learned without the ability to apply the new concepts immediately within 30 minutes of the lessons. So, these studies also show that after 30 days, 80% of the new concepts are a loss, which means 80% of your investment is gone, just like that, through no fault of anyone.
[00:03:32] As a result, CFI was created to provide your students with the resources they require 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And reinforce these new concepts as much as they need or return to them time and time again to ensure that these new concepts are ingrained in their DNA. And I’m sure that throughout the session today, you’ll hear from our panel and then also from our guest speaker at the end with a demo of the platform and where we’ll talk about some of these concepts more generally.
[00:04:05] Anna: Thank you so much, Patrick. I appreciate you kicking us off today and talking about something we’re so passionate about at CFI. You mentioned the phrase “hands-on training,” which is really what it’s all about, learning hands-on. Learning by doing, which is how so many of us learn, is just getting our hands on things and being practical, kind of real world
[00:04:27] experience. And really, that’s the core of what we are all about here at CFI and something we’re all passionate about. So, we’re going to get started. I’m super excited to bring on a few of my colleagues. So that I don’t mess up anybody’s bio… This ’ll be the only time today that I will read to you, but I’m sure
[00:04:46] introduce everybody and tell you a little bit about their background and who they are. We’re going to kick off with our panel discussion. And I should say, if you have questions as we’re talking today, please feel free to use the chat area, and we’ll get to as many questions as we can. But I’m going to welcome Tim, Andrew, and Kyle today.
[00:05:04] Tim Vipond, our CEO, has been an active participant in the capital markets for almost 20 years. He also has extensive experience in investment banking, investment management, corporate development, and significant transaction experience at global banks and public and private companies—working on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and capital raising. His passion for learning, and teaching and modern professional skills
[00:05:37] led him to found CFI in 2016. And so, if you think about the fact that we were just founded five years ago and how quickly we have built a student and learner base across the globe, that’s really fascinating. You can see today everybody we have here from across the world. It’s so exciting to bring students together who are all passionate about developing their skills.
[00:06:01] Kyle is also working with us. I know I’m going to mess this one up. Peterdy. Kyle began his career as a professional educator and a coach in 2008. He transitioned to financial services in 2014. In 2014 he joined RBC as a loan officer on several commercial banking portfolios, where he served as a mentor to support the training and onboarding of new hires
[00:06:27] throughout that time. He joined CFI in 2020 as a subject matter expert, developing and delivering curriculum for our CBCA. Many of you probably know about our Commercial Banking and Credit Analyst program. Kyle loves teaching and designing innovative educational experiences. He’s passionate about serving students and learners around the world.
[00:06:50] And he’s a favorite among our customers to talk to. We’re always happy when Kyle can share his perspective and his experience. And last but not least, I am so excited to introduce you to Andrew Loo. Andrew is VP of capital markets at CFI. Prior to joining CFI, Andrew spent over 20 years in financial services with considerable experience working in the capital markets in Asia, with a longstanding focus on working with the
[00:07:21] largest fixed income investors at leading global investment banks. We are very proud of our professors and instructors here. We are excited to share some of their perspectives on skill development and creating high-performing teams with you. So, I’m hoping that we can get everybody up here on stage to join me.
[00:07:41] We can go ahead and jump right in. And again, audience, as they’re joining, as we’re talking today, please feel free to ask any questions you have in the chat. And we’ll definitely try to get to as many as we can. Look at my very handsome colleagues in their suits and ties. They’re certainly outshining me today.
[00:08:01] It’s so good to see you guys. Thanks for joining us today.
[00:08:05] Tim: Thanks, Anna. Yeah, I am excited to talk about this, obviously. I am very passionate about it.
[00:08:15] Anna: Here I am. So, let’s jump in because we’ve got a lot to talk about, and I’m just excited to pick your brains and continue to learn from you three. And this one, I think about a lot. My background is in online training. I’m very passionate about learn-by-doing and hands-on skill development, but as an industry, finance has historically relied on in-person training for new hires.
[00:08:38] That’s what happens, right? You come into a role in a company, you go through a couple of weeks of in-person training, probably, and then you’re out in the field. You’re outworking me. So, what do you guys think about online training and skill development? Is it a supplement? Is it something that replaces that type of training and, Tim, not to put you on the hot seat, but I’m going to throw that question at you first.
[00:09:00] Tim: It sure sounds good. Thanks, Anna. I’m happy to kick it off. I think this is a great question. And I’ve attended a few of these new hire training programs myself, at a couple of different banks that I’ve worked for. There are really two components to these new hire programs. One is the technical skill development and the training that you’re getting in the classroom there.
[00:09:21] But then the other piece is bringing everybody together that’s just been hired in one location and assisting them in getting to know one another, networking, and building upon the social side of things. So, I think it’s important to differentiate between those two use cases for these training programs. So, when it comes to the technical skill side, I think online education can clearly deliver a superior or more effective product.
[00:09:46] Something that you have more control over in terms of the speed at which you take it, whether you need prerequisites, whether you want to skip ahead, it’s really at the spot that you need it to be. Whereas in a classroom, sometimes you’re either totally left behind because this is so new to you or you’re so experienced that it’s boring for you and you’ve just checked out.
[00:10:07] So I think the technical stuff is very superior. Now, I don’t think it’s a replacement for networking or the social side. Of course, I think there’s a way to combine those with online learning, though, where you do your online learning and advance. And then bring everybody together to gather and get them to maybe debrief some of the learning and have some networking and social events.
[00:10:30] So, I think that is the way of the future for new hire training programs.
[00:10:35] Anna: And you’ve touched on something, I think, a lot of new employees into the workforce are struggling with it right now, which is that they’re working from home, so they’re not getting the comradery of their first team that they’re working with professionally as they may be exiting school.
[00:10:52] And they’re just not getting that sort of social aspect, which is also important to a cohort of young professionals or professionals entering. But what do you think? I’m just curious, obviously. People working from home are not getting that. We saw a shift, obviously, with the pandemic, from in-person training to just having to do online training.
[00:11:14] I’m just curious. Do you see where that is going? Do you see that sort of sticking? And do you think there’ll be a blend of in-person and online? Kyle, I’m wondering what your thoughts are.
[00:11:26] Kyle: Yeah, that’s a great question. Obviously, the pandemics turned a lot of things on their head.
[00:11:31] It seems likely that we’ll probably continue to see a shift towards a much more blended approach. You may even see some organizations go over way online, online learning. Something that’s really striking is just how many firms we’ve seen have had to move to a hybrid office and work from home arrangement.
[00:11:51] And in fact, many are going for a remote-first policy altogether. So, it’s pretty tough for a business to credibly put their hand up and say, “We’re embracing flexible remote-first work,” but we don’t have flexible remote-first learning and development solutions. It almost seems silly to say out loud.
[00:12:09] In particular, given that online learning, when done correctly, is every bit as effective as traditional classroom training is.
[00:12:19] Anna: And why do you think that as an industry where we’re one that is just tied to our in-person training? I’m just curious if you three have been through it.
[00:12:29] And I’m just curious, why do you think we are resisting some cases that move online, even in the face of a time when everybody has to work from home. I don’t know. Andrew, what do you think? Absolutely.
[00:12:39] Andrew: That’s a great question. I think a lot of my experience in the capital markets is that you have a basic level of understanding, but afterward, a lot of the tricks of the trade, if you will, are actually taught in person, and that’s where the real value is.
[00:12:53] I believe. When we have these traditional in-person learning. However, having said that, as a new person, a new joiner to the organization, I think the online training component gets everyone up to a standard baseline. If you just want to make sure that everyone understands the basics and the technical side of that knowledge.
[00:13:14] So you don’t waste the time of your more experienced staff by actually teaching them the basics.
[00:13:23] Anna: And I’m curious to throw you a question that we weren’t thinking we were going to come up with, but I’m curious because the three of you have been through that type of training before, and then you left the training incubator to go in and do the role.
[00:13:36] I imagine that these are your gaps still, right? You can’t learn everything in a week or two and retain it all. And, for example, how do professionals who leave training go about filling any skill gaps that they may have?
[00:13:55] Tim: To some extent, they fumble around and have to ask a coworker or colleague to help them to show them through it. And so, there’s also a lot of learning over the shoulder. I’ll call it from your peers. But what’s interesting about the courses that we’ve developed is this:
[00:14:11] We are looking over your shoulder. Teaching by demonstration. So, we’re not just throwing some stuff on the screen like in a lecture hall, we’re showing you step-by-step in Excel, how to build a formula, how to calculate a ratio, how to make a report, and so on. In a level of detail that you can’t practically do in a classroom, you need to have your own screen, so you can pause and zoom in and get a close look over the shoulder.
[00:14:41] So, I believe this is an online learning solution for the traditional over-the-shoulder, on-the-job training people are used to.
[00:14:51] Anna: And more and more missing when we’re all working from home too. I think that’s so right. So, I believe we take a fairly balanced approach to training in that regard.
[00:15:01] I think we respect what happens when we’re all together in a room learning, but also, you’ll have a deep belief that a true way to develop professionally and develop skills is through simulation. Learn by doing it, hands-on, at your own pace. So, before we wrap up this question, I’m just curious about the room.
[00:15:19] What do you see as some of the pros and cons of in-person training versus online training? Because I do think it’s important to acknowledge that Tim kicked off with us. There’s something about the social aspect of in-person training. That can be important, but I’m just kind of curious about what other kinds of pros and cons you guys see.
[00:15:39] Kyle: One of the big pros that seems to be cited a lot for supporting in-person training is the ability for people to collaborate in small groups. You’re able to generate discussions and get different perspectives, and you can leverage people’s different experiences and expertise. I’ve always found this in training
[00:15:54] that is not exactly how it shakes out. That’s how it’s designed, but it’s fairly common to see participants that are introverted people tend to take a bit of a passive approach to group interaction. And then, on the flip side, you will always have a few different sorts of A-type personalities that tend to dominate most of the dialogue.
[00:16:09] The biggest con is that I always wanted In-person training, though, is how participants are required to be present. And I don’t just mean literally being physically in the classroom, but like being mentally focused and present in order to engage in the learning. And that’s tough for professionals. So, I do recall instances where I was in a classroom training scenario and my phone could blow up at any given time with client issues.
[00:16:35] You can’t get the most out of the training when you’re thinking about other things, and maybe we’re still, as I can be fairly disruptive to other participants, you’ve got people getting up and stepping out, so you can’t ask your clients and other stakeholders to just not have any urgent issues, because you’re going to be on training for a couple of days.
[00:16:50] That’s not in line with people’s lived reality and can be unfair to participants to expect them to take a lot out of training when they’re focusing on quite a number of things, not just what’s going on in the classroom.
[00:17:03] Anna: Yeah, such a good point as professionals.
[00:17:06] And then also, you mentioned introverts. Everybody learns differently and interacts differently. And I think that’s why we have to provide training that allows for different styles of learning. Andrew, what are your thoughts on the pros and cons?
[00:17:20] Andrew: I certainly think that there are benefits to having it in-person.
[00:17:24] And I think both Tim and Kyle mentioned that, and the networking aspect is definitely important. And some of the soft skills that you could potentially pick up as well. But how many of those do I think are gone now? Financial institutions or even businesses spend two- or three-weeks training with in-house trainers.
[00:17:43] They’re new joiners, just because there aren’t as many resources available for that. In my opinion, we want our students to be competent on the first day of class. And I think, you know what, Tim touched on it earlier in terms of the over-the-shoulder learning aspect as well.
[00:18:03] We do try to incorporate within our education, our training, some of the tricks of the trade. So that, when they do show up, it’s not as though they have this deer in the headlights situation and they’re completely over.
[00:18:15] Anna: What a great question. You mentioned soft skills, and we have a great question coming in, which would be, what do you think the most important soft skills are in career development for finance professionals?
[00:18:28] Tim: Okay, I can jump in and then you guys can add on to it. I think of soft skills for finance professionals in two categories. One is client-facing or outward-looking soft skills. The other is internal with your team and people management, as well as soft skills of your team. So, depending on where you sit in finance, if you are client-facing, then you are talking about sales skills and negotiation skills.
[00:18:51] Reading a client, understanding, and building a relationship with a client. If it’s internal to the team, then it’s the ability to manage up, to be a good communicator across your team, to collaborate, delegate, and all that. There’s a lot more that we can unpack there, but quickly speaking, those are the two categories of soft skills that I see.
[00:19:10] Anna: So, we’ve spent a lot of time on this one. So, I’m going to jump ahead because I know we’ve got a lot more to get to. This one is a personal favorite of mine, just thinking about the difference between training and learning. So, how do companies transition from an indoctrinated culture and, in our industry, one-time training to another?
[00:19:34] I’m going for skill development. The difference between training and a learning culture. What have you seen at work? Not working well. I’m just curious, Andrew. What are your thoughts? No, certainly.
[00:19:43] Andrew: I was very blessed to have started my career at an organization that had a very strong learning focus and it was considered one of the preeminent investment banks that actually did stress having to have this education standard across the board for all employees.
[00:19:59] And that’s something I carried through with myself throughout my career. Is that it is necessary in order to have a training and learning culture. I think it’s key that the manager has actually embraced that as well. So, for example, in my last role leading a team across a region, we actually had an annual review process where we did this nine-box with HR to look at which of the employees had the potential and performance to excel.
[00:20:27] And then we actually look at the bespoke learning journeys for each.
[00:20:32] Anna: That’s so important, and that’s really hard to do in-person. Is it a bespoke learning journey? And I think of training as like once and then learning is something we’re always doing and it gets indoctrinated into our culture.
[00:20:45] And Kyle, you were an educator before you were a finance professional. This goes back so far for you. And I’m just curious about what your thoughts are, so I’ll go deeper with you again. Right? What are the characteristics of a learning culture, right? How do people foster that if they don’t know how and they’re just getting started?
[00:21:05] Kyle: Yeah, great question. So, I think curiosity is really the hallmark of a learning culture. It’s a big shift for a lot of organizations. Just saying, “We want to have a culture of learning” is not something that’s very easy to do. Generally, cultural changes are most effective when the shifts are organic. Having said that, though, there are things that organizations can do from the top down to steer people in the right direction, like good tangible strategies.
[00:21:32] And Andrew touched on some of them, but one might be something like a reimbursement budget. So, X dollars for professional development per year. And to answer your question about what makes a true learning culture, consider giving people the opportunity to learn professional development skills that are outside of their current role.
[00:21:51] So maybe we can help position them for something they want to do 2, 3, or 5 years out, as opposed to what they need to be successful today, tomorrow, and next week. To Andrew’s point, implementing KPIs for employees around professional development and minimum requirements and creative ways to look at other things that they’re interested in.
[00:22:12] So they can round out their skills and just foster that sort of culture of creativity and ongoing learning.
[00:22:17] Anna: Yeah, and having KPIs around it. You’re right. That’s a great way to measure it and reinforce it. It’s important to the culture. And Tim, what are your thoughts on this? I know this is a topic for you that you feel a lot about, training versus learning.
[00:22:31] Tim: Yeah, okay, just quickly on it since I think there’s been a lot of good points already. I think they’re both very important and they’re both, of course, different things. So, training to make an analogy, I’d think of training as jump-starting your car when you need to get going, you need a block.
[00:22:46] of learning intensified, that’s your training upfront, and there’s a place for that. That’s why jump-starting your car learning is more like the oil changes and the maintenance that you have to do on your car over time so that it keeps running smoothly. So, I think that they both matter and that they have slightly different purposes and use cases.
[00:23:06] Anna: That’s the analogy of the day. I love that. I will use that all the time now. I love that. And I think, too, that thinking about indoctrinating into the culture is finding unique and creative ways to do that. I remember talking to a Learning and Development executive a few years ago, and they were talking about what a challenge it is to get everybody to take a couple of days off and go deep dive into the material.
[00:23:31] And I was saying, “What did you try for a quarter of 15 minutes every other day?” Or letting somebody say, “I’m going to do 15 minutes.” “I’m going to do 30 minutes,” but I think it’s important to get creative and not be so prescriptive with when and how people do it. And I think it’s okay to stop for 15 minutes and do a little brush-up or spend 30 minutes on something and then come out of it.
[00:23:51] I’m just thinking about different ways we can do this and expect a professional to do it. To your point. Kyle, go off on distraction for eight hours. I think that’s important too when we consider shifting our focus to a learning culture.
[00:24:03] Kyle: Can I add one thing here and actually a tangible solution? Consider 15 minutes here
[00:24:08] and there is very good, but even something like two hours every other Thursday, and for managers to encourage that. And there’s a little bit of flexibility. That’s not the same as saying 1, 2, or 3 days in a row that you have to be at this training. It’s remembering gently that throughout the entire quarter, you’re going to be doing this for a couple of hours or half a day every two or three weeks and create a habit.
[00:24:27] If you can create that as a habit, that goes a long way towards developing a culture where it just becomes part of what people do and how they do it.
[00:24:34] Anna: Yeah, Yeah, totally. So, this idea of bespoke training, Andrew, you couldn’t have set it up better for this question, which is thinking about as leaders and as organizations that are responsible for teams of people.
[00:24:48] How do we assess team skills and how do we develop those skills? And I would love to hear a little bit more. I’d love to hear your thoughts and a little bit more about how this bespoke-tailored approach to learning and skill development worked in your previous role.
[00:25:03] Andrew: Yes, absolutely. I’m not sure I’m going to start with that second part of the question and how important is this learning and culture within an organization. I’d say it’s paramount. As anyone involved in the markets or even any field of finance will know, things change very quickly.
[00:25:21] It could be new developments or new products. The markets are constantly moving. And in order to stay ahead and to make sure that your staff and your teams are able to keep up, I think it’s paramount that we have a learning culture embedded in our finance organizations. As for me personally, I didn’t mention that I did do these annual reviews of all my staff.
[00:25:40] But the second part of that was to look at the courses they needed to complete. And I actually put those in within their annual objectives to make sure that it was clearly documented. But more importantly than that, there are things that managers can do as well. When you look at your staff and notice certain gaps, don’t think it’s up to the employee to do it.
[00:26:04] That’s where you can bring in people from learning and development. Perhaps it’s a team-wide thing. Perhaps it’s something that the organization as a whole hasn’t been focusing enough on. I think as a leader, you need to identify these gaps to help your team become the best performing team possible.
[00:26:20] Anna: Yeah, And I think the staff are hungry for that. Everybody wants professional development. It’s something we think of as being like a top-down. But I think our job is to reinforce it and provide the structure, but I think, for the most part, people are hungry for ongoing development. Anything else on this one, Tim or Kyle?
[00:26:40] Tim: Sure, I would just add that in terms of assessing the skills of the team and then developing a plan to build those skills. There are a few things that we actually offer at CFI that are super helpful toward that. So, one is skills assessments, where you can assess. So, if you’re a CFI for teams customer, you have an admin dashboard where you can assign tasks to members of your teams.
[00:27:03] So you could assign people skills assessments for them to take. And the skills assessment will give them a score and rank them on something like Excel, accounting, or finance. But another way you could do it is you could assign courses to people and gauge how they interact with those courses.
[00:27:20] If they find the course too easy or too hard, that’s another way of deciding what additional coursework to assign them, and the courses have quizzes and test questions in them. So, you’ll really know at the end of the course, did I understand this? Or do I need more here, or is this too easy?
[00:27:37] And you can assign more learning from there.
[00:27:41] Kyle: Yeah, I might add. It’s one thing for a manager to be very effective in saying, “You need to complete courses A, B, and C.” But this is more of a leadership thing than a financial thing. It’s harder, but it is very powerful for a leader to engage in really good dialogue and ask hard questions of their employees to help.
[00:27:59] If you can help your staff arrive at the conclusion themselves, so they say, “Actually, I think I need training and support at A, B, and C.” Not alone is going to ensure much, much greater buy-in from employees as they embark on this learning culture and professional development journey.
[00:28:13] Particularly if they believe it, particularly if they understand and believe that they need it. So, it’s a joint conclusion as opposed to just an assignment necessarily.
[00:28:21] Anna: I love it. Yeah, That’s very Yoda-like of you and so true though. Everybody has to be bought, and we don’t want it to be top-down. And I think assessments are even something
[00:28:29] that are helpful tools personally, not just for those of us who are designing training programs. But you’re taking an assessment as an individual and seeing where the potential strengths and gaps might be. It is super powerful. And I think assessments have been a big topic in learning and development for many years, but certainly over the last couple of years with the distributed workforce, where we can’t be in person always to know that we can see a work product, but we can’t always see the day to day.
[00:29:00] I think assessments can be very valid. Gentlemen, we only have a couple more minutes with you. I know your time is valuable. So, let’s do it. This is like the nuts and bolts of now. Right now, we have people sitting all over the globe, right? As a result, the organizations have sent their workers home. Different skills and levels of experience…
[00:29:21] We have new cohorts of people joining. We have people that have been with companies for 10 years; different time zones; lots of different roles. How do organizations support this and do it at scale, but also do it in a bespoke way so that it’s meaningful for each individual? What are some things you’ve seen work well? Tim…
[00:29:41] You’re going to go first on this one.
[00:29:44] Tim: Sure. Okay, Thanks, Anna. Just jump in. So, two things come to mind for this. The first is learning paths, and the second is self-paced education. With CFI for teams, we have the ability to create custom learning paths. Where you can pick and choose courses from the library of 115 courses and 5,000 lessons.
[00:30:04] You can piece that together for different departments, different teams, or different skill levels in your company. So that can all be totally customized and tailored to them. And then all of the learning is self-paced. So, when it comes to time zones, affordability, or things like that, self-paced learning solves all that.
[00:30:25] It’s really the key. The key ingredients include the learning path and then the self-paced capability.
[00:30:33] Andrew: You can even go a little further than that. I think because we’re working in different time zones, the old traditional way of being able to call on help from colleagues, your manager, or anyone else within the organization may not exist.
[00:30:45] But the fact that we have all this knowledge and it’s easily accessible online and in small bite-sized pieces, I think that’s the way that a lot of these organizations are going to have to operate in this new post-head disease world.
[00:30:59] Anna: I think that’s right. I think that’s right. And Kyle, I’m curious as an educator, somebody so passionate about that, how you probably saw it even in-person with different people, you talked about it at different levels or styles of learning or being an introvert and extrovert.
[00:31:13] How do we support that when we’re not all together?
[00:31:19] Kyle: Yeah, that’s something that I remember from pedagogy courses, nothing from business school. This is going way back and it works with youth athletes. It works with adult learners and just about anyone. There’s a relatively simple formula to help people achieve growth or development.
[00:31:35] And it’s that challenge plus success equals growth or development. So, if you’re trying to help your team develop skills, the key is that it has to be challenging, but not so challenging that they can’t achieve success because of it. You see this, particularly with adult learners. They just say, “I don’t need this.”
[00:31:52] “This is dumb.” You don’t want to frustrate people. So, if you’re a designer of custom learning paths, we’re attempting to curate curriculum for someone. You need to be able to challenge them, but they need to be able to have that “aha!” moment and be successful. In order to develop the inverse, of course, is if it’s too easy and they don’t feel challenged, you lose growth in the same capacity.
[00:32:12] I would put it forth for anyone. That’s a learning development manager to make sure that they keep that in the back of their mind. If you’re creating a bespoke curriculum, you have to challenge people, but ensure that they can achieve success. And that’s impossible to do in a classroom setting, but with a one-size-fits-all approach.
[00:32:28] Teaching to the median of the room. It really does lend itself very effectively to tailored, self-paced learning
[00:32:37] Anna: So true. Fantastic. I have one more quick question before you guys go. We have a ton of learning and development professionals here and executives, but we also have a lot of students with us.
[00:32:47] So how can an individual help create awareness for online training and development and support this culture? Maybe if they’re inside of an organization that doesn’t have that yet, or they’re thinking about it. So, I’d love to just share a little bit with our students today who are also here.
[00:33:04] Tim, what are your thoughts?
[00:33:06] Tim: Yeah, happy to share some thoughts. I think the best way for it to infiltrate an organization is through performance management and objective and goal setting. And that could be, initially, at the individual level for you yourself. Let’s say, as an individual contributor, you are talking to your manager about some learning objectives for yourself, picking courses.
[00:33:29] Putting them in your, whether you do annual or quarterly goal setting, putting them in as your goals, achieving them and showing that you’re better at what you do. That would be phase one, and phase two would be to help spread that around the company so that the company, broadly speaking, incorporates skill development and learning and development goals into everybody’s performance objectives and the whole performance management system.
[00:33:57] Anna: And I think it’s so important to be proactive about your development as a professional. To do that as self-starting autonomously. Kyle, any other thoughts on that?
[00:34:10] Andrew: Yeah, what’s more organic than going to your manager and saying, “I’m interested in this?” “I want to learn it.”
[00:34:18] And I think it’s going to help round out my skill set. It’s going to set me up for success in the future. If a sufficient number of people do, it’s going to force an organization’s hand if they’re not already thinking about ways to create more of a learning culture, it’s going to eventually force them to do so just by putting up your hand. Saying that I’m interested and encouraging them to perhaps consider reimbursing you for learning and development initiatives and things like that. Just speak up.
[00:34:41] Anna: Yeah, right? Advocate for yourself, right? What about you Andrew? Any comments on this one?
[00:34:49] Andrew: Yeah, I’m going to approach this from a slightly different angle.
[00:34:51] And that is, right now, in this global competition for talent across all organizations. And I think an organization that doesn’t have an awareness of training and support learning and development will have a hard time attracting and retaining some of these staff. So that would be another argument that I would make in terms of how an organization should take this very seriously.
[00:35:13] Anna: Yeah, that’s a great point too. I couldn’t agree more. We have to develop our own workforce, but we also have to add value to our workforce with the things that they want. So, it’s got both angles there. Really quickly, before I let you guys go. Somebody asked the biggest pros and cons of outsourcing L and D versus developing them in-house.
[00:35:30] I thought that was an interesting question. Anybody want to jump on that one really quickly?
[00:35:36] Tim: I assume that just to clarify, if we’re talking about outsourcing of L and D versus in-house, I assume that’s talking about course sort of content or training content. If you will get screening content, I think the advantages to doing it in-house are simply that it’s exactly the things that you want to teach.
[00:35:57] But I think that’s a relatively small advantage compared to the major disadvantages which are that it’s extremely hard to do. And it’s probably a lot bigger undertaking than most people would realize, CFI. We’ve got a team of 65 full-time people. And on top of that, we have 20 contractor developers.
[00:36:19] So when you think of that team of 85 people, working around the clock to create this learning, to make sure that it’s up-to-date, super high quality, and that the technology is amazing, That’s clearly a massive investment. So, I think it would be easy to maybe underestimate what’s involved and then build something that’s not great.
[00:36:36] So I think, really, outsourcing is really the way to go. Obviously, I’m biased.
[00:36:43] Anna: Hey guys, I could spend all day with you talking about this stuff. So, I’m really grateful to you for coming to share your perspective and saying so. Thank you very much. And we’ll see you soon on the next webinar, but while you guys exit, again, thank you so much for joining us.
[00:36:58] It was extremely enlightening for me, but while you guys are excited, I’m going to bring up my colleague, Paula Moon. I hope everybody will stay to help keep it. They’re going to take us to CFI for the team.
[00:37:10] Tim: Thanks, Anna. Thanks. Thanks everyone.
[00:37:16] Paula: Hi, Anna. Thank you so much for having me, Anna.
[00:37:18] Anna: Thank you for coming, Paul. I’m so excited for you to share a little bit about CFI teams because we’ve been talking about it for the last 40 minutes. I am so glad to share it with people.
[00:37:30] Paula: Absolutely. I’m really excited about being here. I could talk about this stuff all day long, but I’ll try to keep it short for you all.
[00:37:35] I’m going to share a tour of the online platform that CFI has developed specifically for finance professionals and their teams. And I want to show you two angles. I want to show you the student experience, and then I’m going to take you into the backend, which is really powerful for managers and administrators to gain those keen laser vision insights to progress.
[00:37:58] Success metrics, those kinds of things. So, to kick things off, I’m going to share my screen with you and you should be able to see my platform. “Welcome back, Collin,” it will say. Okay, Perfect.
[00:38:17] Paula: So, when your student pops into the platform for the very first time, this is the landing page that they’re going to see, and this is an oasis of learning.
[00:38:26] So, what CFI has done is take our massive collection of courses and we have curated them into clean-cut learning paths based on competency. So, as you can see, we have commercial real estate, finance specialization, our flagship program, financial modeling and valuation, and commercial banking. Really, it’s a one-stop-shop for training professionals. This is the default setting, but it’s Tim and Kyle and you and Andrew mentioned that it is really important for organizations to be able to address specific business objectives
[00:39:02] and organizational requirements, right? So, you can take our courses and choose which course to take, and you can assign it on an individual level, as well as on a group level and in various groups. So, it’s a really easy way to avoid reinventing the wheel or the rule because we, all our experts, have created these paths for you and built these courses for you.
[00:39:27] As for the platform itself, I’ve been in the e-learning space for a really long time. It’s designed to be really user-friendly and it puts the finance professional at the core of every single thing that we do. And it has everything that you really want from a learning platform. There are the premium templates and skills assessments that Tim was talking about.
[00:39:48] There’s also this really powerful search functionality. So, it’s one thing for an organization to be able to assign specific training to fill critical skill gaps to create awesome learning programs as they’re onboarding new students and employees alike, but you also want to develop that learning culture and be able to empower employees throughout their day.
[00:40:11] As a result, we have an amazing search functionality that will provide employees with access to everything we have to offer. So, we have articles, we have courses, and we have lessons. You name it. And so, if something waxes on their desk, they haven’t had to touch it for six months, and they have no idea what to do.
[00:40:30] They can do a quick search in our system and it will bring them to a wealth of resources that are designed and created by true financial experts. That’s really powerful. Sometimes we’re flailing, Googling, what have you. And this reliable resource, it will also help your employees keep up with the latest trends, techniques, and tips.
[00:40:56] We live in an ever-evolving world. So how are you supposed to keep up? This is a really powerful tool for your employees to do that. Another cool thing is that it’s just YouTube, Netflix, what have you. It’s very intuitive. It’s very user-friendly. You’re able to just hop back in using this ribbon to the last course that you’re in.
[00:41:16] You don’t have to think about it. We make things really simple. You’ll be able to see your completions, how many courses you’ve completed, and how many lessons, just to give you an overview of your performance and progress. But the meat and potatoes of the program are, of course, in these learning programs. And again, it can be customized and tailored to your organization.
[00:41:37] This can be slimmed down so that you only see one learning path. As an example, I’m going to take you into our flagship financial modeling and valuation analysis program to show you how they’re designed. Again, as you go into the learning path. There is a beautiful search functionality. So, if just need something on the fly, with what we’ve got.
[00:42:00] You’re covered. You can drill in using filters by subject or by your competency level. You can also use it; it’s really great for keeping organized and not. You can see what you have in progress, what you’ve completed, what you haven’t started, those types of things. And each learning path is designed to be taken in progression and based on your skills.
[00:42:23] As a result, we base our rate on the fundamentals. You have your accounting fundamentals, reading financial statements, and an Excel crash course. And what have you. And then gradually and quickly progressed into more and more advanced subjects that CFI has identified as required to be considered a world-class financial analyst.
[00:42:46] That is our ultimate goal in life. Here at CFI, we want everybody to become a world-class financial analyst and have the skills to do it now. One of the hot topics that comes up with my clients is mergers and acquisitions. So just to show you how these courses look, I’m going to open up this particular course here. Just give it a moment to open.
[00:43:12] So in each course, there is a full assessment. So, you go through the course in order to complete it. You must score at least 80%. The good news is that it itself is So you can take these courses as many times as you need to. You can go over these lessons as many times as you need to, and you don’t have to worry about holding up a classroom or anything.
[00:43:35] You can really take your time and get these concepts drilled into your DNA. So, you’re truly gaining that practical knowledge to be successful in your role. Each course is
[00:43:47] built exactly the same way so that you have a very seamless experience. As you can see, here’s Tim teaching. You get to learn from the CEO of CFI.
[00:43:57] He teaches the concepts because he’s been in the field. He understands what’s required to be a successful financial analyst. And he’s teaching you what he’s learned in that curriculum that he digitized. So, it’s really powerful. At the same time, we understand that online doesn’t always cut it.
[00:44:13] So we do provide you with something like a plethora of hard copies that you can save to your desktop. You can print it off if you need to. And so, you’re going to download an actual MNA model. You’re going to work on this MNA model with Chan, and
[00:44:32] Paula: then you’re going to have a blank model that you can download.
[00:44:35] And you’re going to do one from scratch all by yourself with the knowledge that you’ve acquired through the. So, it’s really cool. And it gets you that hands-on experience, that real-world experience in fake environments. So, you’re not affecting real organizations. And so that’s really a high-level overview of the program itself.
[00:44:58] Again, too, they’re built to be really engaging. So, you’re not just going to be watching a two-hour lecture. We’re going to keep you engaged with check-ins to make sure that you’re actually understanding these concepts and are ready to move forward throughout the course.
[00:45:15] Paula: Now I do want to just take a moment as well.
[00:45:17] I promised that I would have a look at the administrative functionality and this is really important, not only to CFI, but it’s important to the organizations we work with as well, because it’s one thing to assign training, but it’s also really important to be able to measure success and support internal conversations that you may have.
[00:45:36] As you are an administrator, you have the ability to assign courses and build learning programs. If you’re a manager and you’re having a one-on-one coaching session with someone that’s saying, “I really need help with my MNA models,” you can assign them that course, and that will accelerate the learning curve.
[00:45:53] It will quickly fill that skill gap, and it will empower you as a manager. On the backend, you’re going to have a really nice overview as the administrator of how your organization is doing. Laser vision will be present in both active and inactive students. How many have many courses have been completed?
[00:46:15] What is going on really? You can drill in by the year. So, for example, we have multiple groups within the organization, FPNA, there are 67.3% overall for 2001. If we drill in on 2002, it was 36.7%. Obviously, they have a long way to go, but they’re trending in the right direction. So that’s awesome.
[00:46:38] It’s showing that your courses that you’re taking are actually providing a return-on-investment. And that’s what we also want at the end of the day. You’re going to be able to see your top students within your groups. You’re going to be able to see them broken out per manager and per group.
[00:46:56] And then if you really want to drill in on specific groups, you can get even more grants. You can get as granular as an individual. So, you can search for groups, or you can search for specific students as well. And just to give you a peek at what this looks like, you can export all of that
[00:47:18] into a CSV file. So, you can send them internally and support yourselves that way. But you’re also able to just see, like in this particular group, seven of their 12 members are certified amazing. There’s one person that knows what’s going on, so we can scroll down and we can have a look. There’s obviously a very critical skills gap that’s there.
[00:47:39] So that is an alert that they need more attention. Great! So, you’re setting them up for success. You can see Cale King. He is rocking it. That is amazing. And so, you can send him a message as well, if you want to. So that is a really high-level overview of the beautiful platform that we offer here to empower finance teams and get them the practical training that they need.
[00:48:03] I hope that this was on target with what you were hoping for.
[00:48:07] Anna: This was awesome. What a great walkthrough! I love seeing the platform. We had a great time together here today. We covered a lot. It was great to hear about CFIs’ background. It’s great to see the platform and it’s great to talk about learning and development and skill development and training.
[00:48:23] Paula, thank you for taking us through it. I really appreciate it. And thank you to everyone who came out today. We’re so grateful that you joined us. We hope that it was insightful and we will see you at the next CFI webinar.