A blog post by Alex Wirtz, Head of Digital Curriculum
In the rapidly evolving world of finance, staying ahead of the curve is more important than ever. Financial institutions are constantly seeking to optimise their processes and improve their bottom line, and this requires a workforce with the right technical skills. However, simply having technical skills is not enough – employees also need the right mindset and toolset to effectively apply their knowledge in a practical setting. This is where financial services learning and development comes into play. By providing employees with training and resources that focus on all three components – mindset, skillset, and toolset – financial institutions can develop well-rounded technical skills portfolios that allow them to thrive in a constantly changing landscape.
In this article, we will explore the importance of each of these components and how they contribute to the development of successful financial professionals.
Mindset: Mindset is the first – and arguably fundamental – component of success in any field. It is what enables someone to explore the key questions – the ‘how?’, the ‘what?’, and above all the ‘why?’ of their role and drive their onward development. Due to the explosive pace of change in finance, a growth mindset is essential so that challenges are viewed as opportunities to learn and embrace mistakes as a necessary part of the learning process and are crucial for your organisation to stay competitive. With a growth mindset, individuals are more resilient in the face of setbacks and more likely to persist in the face of challenges, leading to greater success and achievement in the long run.
A growth mindset can be developed through the understanding of the latest developments in finance, such as decentralised finance, data analysis and ESG (#defi, #dataanalysis and #esg), and through the provision of a framework for continued development. A growth mindset helps individuals to stay motivated, seek feedback, manage the complexity of their working environment and continually improve their skills.
Skillset: The second component of success is skillset. Within the skillset is the specific technical abilities required to excel within financial services. While a robust technical skillset is indeed crucial for success, there is an important parallel strand: personal and networking skills. These skills help individuals to build relationships, communicate effectively, work in teams, and behave professionally. For financial services they are critical because relationships and communication are key to achieving business objectives and delivering excellent outcomes for clients. Indeed, our clients frequently highlight this need within even the most technical of roles.
The amplification effect of networked or social learning – termed by data scientist Alex Pentland as ‘Social Physics’* – is a key driver of performance and growth mindset on an individual level. Task-based learning via face-to-face and online deliveries are an important way of ensuring knowledge transfer.
Toolset: The third component of success is toolset: the specific tools and resources used to perform tasks in a particular field to stay competitive and deliver results. Our courses offer not only specific guidance on how to use standard tools like Excel, Python or Bloomberg, but also how to integrate them effectively into daily workflows through tailored case-studies across financial modelling, corporate finance, trading, investment and operations.
By having a sound working knowledge of these tools, finance professionals can save time, improve accuracy, and make more informed decisions. Additionally, as technology continues to advance, keeping up with the latest tools and resources is essential to staying relevant, effective and competitive in the industry.
Our comprehensive courses have been designed to develop and enhance your teams’ financial skills portfolio, with a growth mindset, a robust technical skillset, and a sound working knowledge of the tools and resources at your disposal.
To learn more about developing your team’s financial technical skills portfolio, please contact us today.
* Alex Pentland, ‘Social Physics – How Social Networks Can Make You Smarter’ (2014)