Developing Credit Professionals of the Future – guest blog by Laurie Beagle FCICM, Managing Director at Forums International Ltd
26 September 2019
CICM Roundtable discussion on the 5th September in London
A lot has changed since some of us started in the credit profession and today change is accelerating. But the question is how do we keep control? Two factors dominated the discussion. Firstly, technology; hopefully technology when used correctly will automate those mundane tasks, in order that the tasks that do require skills will be channelled to the credit professional. Also, driving learning and development for the future. The second factor is what will the younger generation bring to the profession? They have a different outlook. They use technology differently. So, what skills and outlook do they / can they bring to the profession? What will the credit professional of 5/10 years’ time look like?
Will the Smart Phone will be the most important piece of kit in the future? The Credit Team of the future will need technical savvy members so what will the team of the future look like? Will we still need collectors, financial analysts, administrators?
From our discussions the feedback was that the culture of the credit profession is changing, and communication internally and externally is a key factor. Keep communication lines open and communicate more.
Work on developing the team members. Mentoring is becoming very important and effective. A new term. KYS: Know Your Staff, then you can plan coaching and succession planning, and importantly, the future growth, development and aspirations of your team. There are many examples showing that what individuals wanted and expected from their careers, even as little as 10 years ago, is very different to what they are looking for now.
We also discussed in depth how the credit function is perceived within a company. Ensure the credit team is not hiding its light under a bushel!. It is important to make sure you know your internal stakeholders, attend meetings with the other departments and maintain two-way communication and service levels. Credit people should build relationships in their companies. How do we build a credit Professional with a sales outlook? How do you learn about the business? The danger is that by just using technology, relationships will not get built or maintained. Face 2 Face still has a place.
Going forward embrace what the mix of generations can bring to the team. Ask them, you are likely to be pleasantly surprised!. In future meetings, Members will be invited to bring along junior team members to the forum events.
We are all continually learning, look out for the skills and techniques that you can take back and share with the team..
In summary employ “Bullet Proofing for the future” We are all in the game to win.