Andy Ek, CGMA, is responsible for the development and implementation of the talent development program for Koch’s accounting, tax and finance professionals. We spoke with Ek about his experience with the CGMA Finance Leadership Program.
What were some of the specific attributes of the CGMA® Finance Leadership Program that made it attractive to you as a senior finance leader?
Joining the CGMA Finance Leadership Program was an opportunity for me to better understand and support my customer audience as well as gain new skills and knowledge. I also wanted to use my skills to better understand its applicability for other accountants seeking to improve and stay ahead of industry challenges and develop into leaders. The CGMA Finance Leadership Program expands upon the traditional accounting curriculum that universities teach. It also aligns well with the role of the future accountant, which will likely require wearing many hats, such as possessing technical expertise, the ability to partner with businesses, having a global mindset, understanding risk/reward, corporate finance, IT/systems, and possessing the soft skills in management/leadership and HR/public relations. This program also encourages accountants to think critically and use good economic judgment. As business becomes increasingly global, the CGMA Finance Leadership Program helps prepare some of our employees to think on a global scale and understand the complex and intricate challenges that global organizations face. The case study examination approach has been the most valued activity from our cohort as it prepares employees to think and act like a CEO in a reality-based situation. The depth of decision-making and analysis it requires on each question, from analyzing the tradeoffs to assessing the impact of decision making on organization’s financial performance and employees, as well as the exposure it gives to board level activities is unanimously the most valued learning experience from our participants.
What specific challenges were you looking to address by deploying the CGMA Finance Leadership Program?
One of our goals was to encourage accountants to move from the traditional spectrum of activities in data analysis and reporting to leveraging their financial expertise, access to data, and understanding of customer relationships to create actionable insights and influence profitable business decisions.
What results are expecting to see from the CGMA Finance Leadership Program?
This is tough to quantify, but I certainly would want to see our CGMA Finance Leadership Program participants transfer their learning into value creation. It will be interesting to see if the managers of these individuals see an increase in performance, improved decision-making, and better business partnerships. Tangible measures of CGMA Finance Leadership Program success may involve long-term employee retention, the percentage of program participants rated highly on their performance evaluations, and internal demand for CGMA.