A Happy New Year to all AICDP members. I hope the festive season was as enjoyable as possible and that you’re looking forward to 2024. For me, I ventured back to the motherland to be with family during the holidays and thought I’d give an impression of the good old U.S. of A.
The first thing that everyone gets wrong about the United States is that it is assumed that we’re all the same regardless of from which part of the U.S. we hail. I lost count of how many times whilst living in the UK that, when someone hears my accent and realises that I’m not a local boy, they say to me, “oh, I’ve been to America”. I say “great, which part ?”. Without fail, 95% of Brits respond “Florida”.
Oddly enough, this is where I spent the holiday season as my father retired to Florida 26 years ago (stereotypically American, I know). I’m not originally from Florida so visiting this state or any other is as much of a cultural experience as visiting anywhere in Europe. The only thing that unites Americans is the language (despite the differing accents and wide use of Spanish), the currency and the retail chains. It’s a bit like how Bill Bryson described the UK in his book, “Notes from a Small Island”; “ British towns are like a deck of cards that have been shuffled and endlessly redealt; same cards, different order.” Things are pretty much the same in the States when it comes to retail & food chains.
Also, in the UK & Europe in 2023 there was an enormous amount of news & discussion on the “cost of living crisis” but in the U.S. I didn’t see or hear any substantive media coverage nor did I see consumers being shy with their wallets. The main thing people moaned about was the cost of petrol (or “gas” in local vernacular) despite being lower than the prior 2 years. However, the prices at the supermarket and at restaurants was noticeably higher than my previous visits but that didn’t seem to dampen consumer spending or patronage.
The U.S. economy has proven to be extremely resilient. In 2023, more than 2.7m jobs were created and workers saw their hourly pay rise by 4.1 %; above headline inflation, which was 3.4% in the 12 months to December. They don’t really have much to complain about when it comes to the economy.
Also as in addition to the UK General Election which is expected to be held this year, there will be a U.S. Presidential election which is forecasted to be the most contentious and maliciously fought in history. In Europe, it is also widely expected that Ursula von der Leyen will seek a 2nd term as European Commission president so if you suffer from politicophobia you’re in for a rough ride !
On that note, as I was in a mainly Republican state, I was unlucky enough to encounter some ardent Trump supporters. They’re a proud bunch as demonstrated by their big red “MAGA” hats, t-shirts, bumper stickers and willingness to discuss their love for the man at every turn. They LOVE to talk about how great the country was under Trump and about how bad the country is under Biden. However (whatever your political views), overall, I didn’t see a country in a crisis. In fact, life seemed to carry on pretty much as it has always been. Granted, I was in a retirement community in the “Sunshine State” so that most likely had an impact on the overall mood of the populace.
Now, that I’m back to the “real world”, I am looking forward to 2024 as it is set to be a year like no other on both sides of “the pond”.
“When you’re born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you’re born in America, you get a front row seat.” – George Carlin
If you think training and development is expensive, you would be horrified by the sunk, hidden and subsequent costs of not doing it.
In an age when a recent survey suggested 82% of new managers hadn’t received any training in leadership and management skills, and at a time when training budgets are reducing, sometimes to zero, what exactly is the purpose and possibility of development training?
As we enter the Age of the Accidental Manager, training often makes the crucial difference between the success or failure of new managers and leaders. A failed manager is a costly event, never immediately apparent or remedied. A successful manager can result in the absolute joy of seeing a group or department notable for its highly motivated teamworking, reduced staff turnover, increased productivity and clear enjoyment in working with each other.
Many of the problems besetting the world are the result of lack of leadership; inadequate thinking, analysis, planning and organisation; managers thrown into the role with nothing but guesswork and the internet to help them and a global pandemic of people carrying out work for which they are neither prepared nor trained and in which they have no, or little, experience.
The AICDP Business School will help Credit Professionals, and professionals working in other sectors, delivering development and training with a unique focus on technical and behavioural skills, including those relating to Management and Leadership. This plays to its mission to produce Credit Professionals, Managers and Directors, expert in both Credit and in the Behavioural Skills vital in effective, competent people.
We are developing a comprehensive prospectus of modular programmes and short courses. The unifying principle of all our work is that it is designed to be relevant to current business conditions and is experiential, practical and relevant. Participants will learn by doing and will be able to use what they learn immediately to confidently do a better job in a more informed way.
AICDP Business School includes the Credit Directors Acceleration Programme – CDAP, for aspiring Credit Directors, a state-of-the-art professional programme designed to equip the Credit Directors of the near-future with the learning, awareness, skills and outlook required in an Inspirational Leader.
Our annual Summer School offers focus on and exploration of a particular theme, leading edge discussion with Industry Experts and fellow Credit Professionals, exposure to new ideas and opportunities to learn new skills experientially, learning by doing, in a stimulating and supportive environment.
Summer School keynote speakers will be drawn from leading exponents in Credit and Leadership. Summer School 2024 is 22 to 25 July.
A number of activities assist in the development of Managers and Leaders, they include the following:
- Hearing recognised Leaders speak and reading their writings.
- Experiential Training such as that offered through the AICDP Business School. An opportunity to learn and practise in a supportive environment – learning by doing.
- Practising, in the workplace, what you have learnt.
- Regular review of performance, strengths and weaknesses, failure and success, if possible with a trusted colleague or mentor.
More information will be available on the Business School website and through LinkedIn over the coming months.
In a time of drought for professional development, effective mentoring, practical training and supported learning the AICDP Business School offers refreshing solutions for thirsty people.
Go on, give it a go!
Dean of the AICDP Business School
First thing each morning, for 21 months now, I read the Kyiv Independent online. The Ukraine War, its example, implications, final result and ramifications, is one of the most important geo-political events of our lifetime, consequently I follow it closely. Globally, democracy is under threat from unprincipled, illiberal, incoherent, angry, ill-informed, uneducated, short-sighted people living in the past and I would not like to live in a world run by any of them or those they elect.
Sensible? Certainly. Worried? Definitely.
This was the year I realised the extent to which we are living in a world run by incompetent leaders, (Leaders in Name Only – LINO). In addition, we are living in a world where increasing amounts of work are carried out, with minimal preparedness, by untrained employees and managers who don’t really know what they’re doing or how to do it. Countries and organisations think they are saving money and time with this approach. It will prove incredibly costly and harmful and will be difficult, expensive and time-consuming to recover from.
Generally, however, I am cruising toward the end of 2023 in a state of optimism and hopefulness: the worse the world gets the more we realise we must do things differently. Awful leaders, who we follow down (and it is always down) the wrong path (and we can all think of many recent examples), eventually result in the universal and overwhelming realisation that we must order our world in more sensible, equitable and better ways.
Sometime around now we are reaching Peak Boomer, a massive transfer of wealth is underway to younger generations. Gen Z, in particular, will not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. They will do new things in new ways, ways which make sense and which work.
For everyone. Wait with bated breath until they get fully involved in imagining and making the future. Finally, for 2024 two things which we know work: Peace and Love!
Behavioural Dynamics Director AICDP
AICDP is thrilled to announce the return of Company Watch as a Corporate Partner for the upcoming year, reinforcing its commitment to empowering Credit Professionals and enhancing their risk management capabilities.
Company Watch, a valued founding Corporate Partner, has chosen to renew their partnership with AICDP for the year 2024. This decision underscores their dedication to supporting our membership and equipping Credit Professionals with essential tools for risk assessment and management, both for the short-term and medium to long-term.
In a landscape where informed decision-making is paramount, Company Watch offers comprehensive solutions that empower Credit Professionals to identify, assess, and manage financial risk effectively. Their expertise and resources align seamlessly with AICDP’s mission to provide members with access to valuable information, leadership insights, and knowledge.
Mike Diette, AICDP CEO, said, “Having known Company Watch and Mike Newman for many years, I believe this announcement will greatly benefit our members. Over the past 18 months, AICDP has fortified its events and training programme, offering members unprecedented access to information and knowledge. I eagerly anticipate the Company Watch team’s involvement in our 2024 programme.”
AICDP’s Corporate Partner programme is meticulously designed to ensure that our members have direct access to subject matter experts and industry leaders, facilitating their professional growth and success.
The return of Company Watch as a Corporate Partner represents a significant milestone in AICDP’s ongoing commitment to providing unparalleled support and resources to Credit Professionals, further solidifying its position as the premier association for credit management.
The Association of International Credit Directors & Professionals (AICDP) is a leading global association dedicated to the professional development and advancement of Credit Professionals. With a focus on providing valuable insights, education, and networking opportunities, AICDP empowers its members to excel in the field of credit management. Visit www.aicdp.global to learn more.
About Company Watch
Company Watch is a renowned provider of comprehensive solutions for risk assessment and financial management. With a wealth of experience and cutting-edge tools, Company Watch empowers Credit Professionals to make informed decisions and effectively mitigate risk. Visit www.companywatch.net for more information.
Well, 2023 was one hell of a year. We started off the year with a very gloomy economic outlook and a continuation of the “Cost of Living Crisis”. Rising inflation, borne out of the emergence from lockdowns and which was originally seen as a “blip” by most central banks, was now entrenched and accelerated throughout the year. As a result, the banks were forced to continue to utilise their main tool to combat inflation; interest rates. The ECB base rate in Jan 2022 was 2.5%, the U.S. Fed’s at a range of 4.25% to 4.50%, and the BOE at 3.5%. Thankfully, at the end of Q3, inflation started to moderate and at the last rate rises, we’re now at ECB 4.5%, the Fed’s range at 5.25% to 5.50%, and the BOE at 5.25%. It could have been a lot worse.
Whilst the banks continue to take a hawkish tone and warn that rates will be “higher for longer”, many economists and the markets are hedging bets that central banks may start to lower interest rates as early as Q2 next year. It will all depend on the data over the coming months. There is an argument that the interest rate rises this year have not yet started to significantly impact the macro-economic environment and that the real economic damage will come in 2024. Time will tell what the full impact will be but we have seen inflation slowing but also growth is slumping and forecasts for GDP in 2024 have been adjusted downward.
As I state in every newsletter, these are career-defining events for Credit professionals. Our job is to prognosticate the future or what we in the Credit industry call, “crystal ball gazing”. Our job is to protect our company’s debtor asset, manage risk of Bad Debt whilst continuing to support revenue growth even during difficult times such as these. All the Credit “veterans” have their “war stories” from past financial crises and the coming years will provide more than ample fodder for more
However 2024 turns out, there is one thing I can guarantee; it won’t be boring.
On a more positive note, AICDP has been busy planning our 2024 event calendar and we’ve got some exciting, informative and engaging webinars & events lined up. Stay tuned for more !
I and the entire AICDP wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year (whatever it brings) !
The future influences the present just as much as the past – Friedrich Nietzsche