The hoops lenders will have to get consumers to jump through when they apply for a mortgage are getting higher – in fact not just high, but in some instances flaming. A consumer backlash could well follow.” According to Peter Griffiths, chairman of the Building Society Association – Source The impact of the MMR on the customer experience – Vizolution.
Flipping the Mortgage Interview
A three hour mortgage interview is not only ludicrous but damaging to customer’s health. Their ability to remain active and involved for 180 minutes is challenging. And that’s the adviser I’m talking about.
Some of my clients are now “flipping the interview”. We’re working on two meetings – part one for about an hour on affordability, budgets, ball park figures – part two soon after for about 90 or so minutes on methods of repayment, protection and costs. That way the customer receives a staggered advice process but still has the opportunity to be fully protected preventing them dipping into the internet go compare the Meer cat.
In the same way the learning experience of advisers needs “flipping”. The advent of MMR made for a huge delivery of information for advisers much delivered by web based learning methods or the traditional classroom. I’m really not sure if advisers can cope with this amount of information delivery or whether it’s been delivered in the right way. I don’t really know, as learning professionals in the 2nd decade of the 21st Century, whether we have this right yet. I’m not convinced we’re using the internet to deliver engaging learning, much is cumbersome, compliant, wordy but with first class record keeping to ensure we comply with our T&C.
The classroom needs flipping.
Why Flip the Classroom?
Let me share an analogy of where learning is going and then I’ll give you a roadmap to help you get there.
Let me take you to the music and film industry which have been well documented but offers a scary parallel to how we should be taking our learning in the near future.
I’m listening to Blur’s Parklife right now. Released in 1994. Straight to number one, the only place you could buy the album was from a shop and the CD retailed at £16.99. MTV would show a video and Top of the Pops was still on Thursday evening but you had to tune in at exactly the time the band were playing. Live shows were rare, with an official band tour and only a handful of major festivals. The band made money from record sales.
Sorry Auntie Beeb, but the modern age is making you no longer fit for purpose.
20 years’ later – 2014 – Arctic Monkeys release their album – AM. Available as a download for £6.99 or free streaming on Spotify. Available as an MP3, CD, vinyl. YouTube has free videos of the band you can access anytime from any device of your choice – Smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC, Web TV, for free. Facebook pages, Twitter feeds furnish information about the band. The band play numerous festivals around the UK. Live is the “big draw” for bands now far outstripping music sales.
20 years has completely changed the music industry. The film and TV sector is also changing rapidly. I was speaking to some young people recently who don’t have traditional TV anymore, they use Netflix to watch programmes when they want to and spend an hour a day on YouTube watching quality content. When they want to, not when the broadcasters want us to. The BBC is on a downward spiral, we’re only seeing the embryo of their collapse. Sorry Auntie Beeb, but the modern age is making you no longer fit for purpose.
So where does this lead the learning professionals in financial services companies who are under even more pressure to provide continuous learning to our staff, accelerated with new initiatives – RDR, MMR – and all those currently in the melting pot?
Let me continue the parallel with the music industry and then we’ll do some planning.
The State of Learning – 2014 – Now
Much learning still delivered to learners or provided along pathways to ensure compliance. Classroom still dominates in many firms, managers call out for more classroom as the quality and value of web based delivery is not inspiring them. Training Pros are good at classroom delivery, some are embracing interactive techniques from the Trainer’s Toolbox, some with pressure of time are still throwing a PowerPoint up front and talking the content through. Easy to create, easy to get approved by compliance.
Learning Management Systems (LMS) have pretty much have landed. eLearning quality varies enormously – internal design staff are complimented by outside contractors and are producing plenty of content that is then made available on the LMS.
Much of it is delivering content or information and has an uncanny resemblance to PowerPoint which is our point of reference. We’re still pushing content at our learners, trying to maintain control of what they learn. Remember the music industry? We like to dip in and listen to our tunes when we want to and use any device we might have to hand.
Webex, ReadyGo and GotoTraining are being used by early adopters. Once IT firewall restrictions are lifted, this allows us to deliver learning from a distance. Again quality varies enormously, some are using interactive techniques some are merely talking through PowerPoint decks. PowerPoint is reaching the end of it’s useful life but we’re still hanging on in there.
We’re aware of blended learning and are experimenting but we all have an old reference point. The same thing happened in the music industry. I remember when the big record companies, fearful of their gravy chain coming to an end, tried to stop us downloading music, sued Napster, then attached the dreaded tags to music so we couldn’t play it on more than one device. They tried to control us and we rebelled. And their profits slumped. Now the big money is in live shows, music is a commodity that sells live tickets.
The State of Learning – 2024
The next 10 years for us learning professionals follows the same path. Let us try to shed what the past offered and rethink the whole learning episode. Here’s 2024.
2024 – On demand learning through a variety of channels. Online, curated content, automated delivery, video, lectures on demand via video, online real delivery using video/holograms of learners. LMS control and create records but we let our learners explore and learn in their time, trusting them to do it.
Content is now available on phones, watches, Google Glasses, tablets predominate everywhere. Always on access to forums, social media platforms allow learners to chat and share, video based, for discussion. Learning professionals facilitate this.
Corporate trainers are multi-skilled in analysing, designing and developing online learning using a wide variety of software, methods and tailor it to their customers. Web based learning engages, absorbs and interacts with learners. It’s exciting, gamified, challenging. It has to be since the competition is fierce and free. Learning on any topic or technique is freely available on the web and the learners that we’re working with have been weaned on this, so we had better compare favourably.
Just enough, just in time and just for me.
Live, face to face, is the money spinner. Live events can command large audiences. Those learning professionals who can do this, become highly paid. They deliver their live events using web video or for real to select audiences.
Learning should be – just enough, just in time and just for me – and by 2024 if we’re not doing this, we will wither on the vine.
The Modern Training Professional
The modern 21st Century Training professional is a different animal to the 20th Century one.
She has a suite of skills and capabilities beyond delivering exemplary classroom training, presenting or facilitating. Her delivery skills have been honed so she can present and coach in front of one person, coaching to small groups all the way to large auditoriums of learners.
She has in depth knowledge of learning theory for workplace adults, learning styles and methodologies but more importantly has the credibility of understanding the business they work in and knowing how their firm makes a profit. She knows that profit is not a banned word and that he firm will naturally use as few resources as possible to achieve its objectives. That’s good business.
Experienced in the role being trained, she understand the politics of their business and is able to influence and persuade business heads. They have the kudos and confidence to meet with the business, have an influencing sphere of key decision makers and speedily gain the confidence of the business heads who need training for their teams.
They speak business language; understand how everyone is measured and targeted. Appreciate KPIs and metrics of every learner she comes across. She can turn a training request into a performance objective and can have conversations that discuss the impact the learning will have on the learner and the business which they work in.
She can push back on business heads who think training is the only answer as she has a compete repertoire of business solutions that will help the leader achieve their objectives, many of these are non-training. Quickly turning performance objectives into returns for the business or impact and able to have a conversations around how we’re going to measure the impact and the likely effect on the business – saving or making money.
Thus she is adept at working out a Return on Investment (ROI) and showing the impact of their learning work.
The Super Trainer is a learning designer and is an expert in blended learning solutions. She keeps herself up to date with the latest learning methods particularly online learning tools and continues to re-invent. She can bespoke a learning pathway using a variety of learning methods and utilize the expertise of others who might be flash programmers or experts in the field. She can use and produce video, use Rapid eLearning Tools, run interactive web based meetings, social media forums, blogs, wikis, animation programmes, Prezi, Google Moderator, YouTube and Vimeo.
She can create simulations both live, online and elearning giving learners the chance to practice the techniques. She can use Skype and Google Hangouts to coach, is a practiced coach. She can create and moderate discussion forums, online quizzes and is technically very able and proficient.
And above all, she is a practiced classroom facilitator and workshop presenter.
And she’s paid well.
And do you know what the scariest thing is. I firmly believe that by 2024, our mortgage customers will be able to download some algorithms and have a software programme that’ll automatically give financial advice surrounding a mortgage and do away with the 3 hour mortgage interview. Let’s just hope by then, you’ve provided learning and development to all your mortgage advisers to help them evolve their profession to how it might look in 10 years’ time. Fabulous this modern age we live in.