John Findlay, CEO & Founder of Lemonade LXP joins us in this interview to tell us about the unique challenges financial institutions face when it comes to training and upskilling of employees in the finance/fintech sector while highlighting the difference between gamification and game-based learning!
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Tell us about yourself John. How did the idea of LemonadeLXP come about? What are some of the areas/sectors/roles (in training) that your platform helps upskill employees in?
LemonadeLXP is a spin-off of our digital promotions company Launchfire. Launchfire’s game-based digital promotions are designed to help our consumer package goods (CPG) and retail clients educate customers on their brands and sell more stuff. Back in 2005, Launchfire was running a game-based promo to educate consumers about Tylenol’s new Rapid Release pill. The Sales Manager played the game and said, “This really works, and it’s teaching people the same things we need our sales reps to know.” She asked if we could morph the game into an elearning program, which we did. The program ended up being the most success sales training experiences they’d ever run.
Over the years we built other training programs, but we largely ignored that business until four years ago. At that time we were doing promotions work for MBNA when they got acquired by TD Bank. The head of marketing from MBNA became the Head of Digital at TD Bank. The challenge he faced in his new role was driving adoption of TD’s new fintech. We recommended that he invest in training his branch and call centre staff so they would develop the knowledge and confidence needed to promote and support the new technology being offered. The pilot program we build was a huge success, so they wanted roll it out more broadly. At that point we realized all financial institutions were facing this problem, and we could help them. But needed scalable technology to do it. So, we staffed up and built the LemonadeLXP platform.
Since bringing LemonadeLXP to market (about 18 months ago) we’ve seen our banking clients use it for all sorts of different training needs including turning staff into digital experts, sales training, on-boarding employees, on-boarding customers, etc. The possibilities are really limitless.
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We’d love to know what a typical day at work is like for you, as tech entrepreneur in the FinTech realm, what are some of the constant challenges you face?
My day starts in the wee hours (I’m an early riser) with support work for our Sales and Marketing teams. We’re a small shop so I manage both teams. I spend most of the morning either writing or reviewing sales and marketing content. The afternoons are reserved for meeting with vendors, clients, partners and prospects.
Our biggest challenge is finding cost-effective ways to increase awareness and drive sales for LemonadeLXP. These are typical challenges companies face in the early days.
What are some of the biggest ways in which you’ve seen training evolve as a function because of innovations in Training software for finance professionals?
In the years we’ve been in the industry a definite increase in distance learning (or remote learning). Many of our clients have employees in different cities so distance learning is the cost-effective way to tackle their training needs. We’ve also seen that traditional Learning Management Systems (LMS) aren’t working very well anymore. Their learning experiences suck and they lack the necessary tools for digital product training. These issues have opened the door for modern learning experiences that leverage new technologies like game-based learning and personalized learning paths.
Could you share some of your top strategies for upskilling/reskilling activities that tech companies need to focus on, to provide a better corporate training structure for finance teams and B2B finance companies, given market dynamics?
Financial institutions have some unique training challenges because of their continued efforts to migrate customers to their digital channels. In order to promote and support their new digital products they need to transform their staff into digital experts.
To tackle this challenge, we’ve used a mix of game-based learning to teach foundational knowledge, technology simulators to drive product knowledge and role-play scenarios to let staff practice recommending digital products in a risk-free environment. This recipe has been driving excellent results.
Read More: GlobalFintechSeries Interview with Arcady Lapiro, CEO and Co-Founder at Agora ServicesAccording to you, how can global B2B/Tech teams capitalize on gamified corporate training features to improve their overall work culture and environment?
I think it’s important to highlight the difference between gamification (which we call “lamification” around the office) and game-based learning. Where gamification tacks game elements online existing training content, game-based learning morphs the learning experience into a game so that people learn through play. I think the most important thing is that companies pursue a game-based approach because it works, and gamification doesn’t.
From a cultural perspective a well executed game-based approach will take training from a dreaded chore to a fun and addictive experience. We use LemonadeLXP ourselves to on-board new employees, and we get excellent feedback. New staffers comment on how fun the on-boarding experience was, which sets a tone for their experience at the company.
I think making training a pleasurable experience is one of many things companies should do to make their staff’s work experience as positive and rewarding as possible.
It also shows your staff that you actually care about training and their career development.
Given the current world (pandemic) situation, what top tips would you share with other tech CEOs?
These are tricky times in which to be CEO. Staff are worried, clients are worried, markets are worried…people are scared. As a leader you need to provide stability for your team. Here’s what I’m doing:
- All staff are working remotely:
- Each team has its own daily video conference check-in (face time’s important!); and
- Keeping everyone informed about our plans for dealing with this crisis.
In the meantime, I’m working on an emergency plan in case we see a significant dip in revenues.
What according to you are the top 3 FinTech Training Trends that will define 2020?
In light of the virus situation fintech adoption rates are likely to skyrocket. Many branches will close and some will be permanently shuddered. This pandemic might actually turn out to be the catalyst that migrates the majority of banking transactions to digital channels.
Your favorite quote on employee engagement/recruitment/leadership (or fintech)?
I have two favorites.
“People need banking, not banks.” – Ranjit Sarai, President’s Choice Financial
“We’re talking about payments, customers care about shopping.” – Ranjit Sarai, President’s Choice Financial
Tag (or mention/write about) the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.
I’d like to read Greg Wolfond’s, SecureKey Technologies, responses to these questions.
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An award-winning platform, Lemonade LXP, solves training challenges with addictive microlearning. Unlike traditional learning systems, Lemonade drives distributed practice so learners master the skills they need to succeed at a record pace.