A lot has changed at Flatiron School, the accelerated coding school, following our acquisition by WeWork in October 2017. Our physical footprint has grown from one campus to five, the staff has more than tripled from 60 to 200, and the curriculum has expanded to include Data Science. Now, adding to that list, is the development of Flatiron School for Enterprise, an outcomes-based, in-person corporate training program offering technical upskilling, reskilling, and onboarding.
Keep it simple
Someone once told me that in the world of business-to-business (B2B), a buyer’s decision comes down to at least one of these four simple questions:
- Will this make us money?
- Will this save us money?
- Will this create a competitive advantage?
- Will this keep us out of prison?
Over the course of my career, I’ve come across many different and complex (read: jargon-filled) frameworks describing the buyer’s mindset, but I’ve always found myself coming back to this basic four-question rubric. When crafting the Flatiron School Enterprise product, we put ourselves in the shoes of a potential client and went through these questions. Here’s what we came up with and why we’re so excited to help technology leaders build, not buy, their teams of tomorrow.
Building will make you money
To drive incremental revenue or to discover new revenue paths altogether, organizations should invest in building team capabilities through upskilling. As the cliché goes, you don’t know what you don’t know. With the explosion of big data, employees have access to more information than ever, but lack the necessary skill set to recognize, let alone analyze, how they could monetize that data as part of their daily remit. Upskilling is designed to be part-time training with a short duration focused on a specific skill that employees will apply to their current role. For instance, a financial advisory team can learn basic-to-intermediate data analysis techniques freeing them from standard excel templates and enabling new revenue discovery opportunities.
Building will save you money
I started my career in finance and am grateful for doing so. The onboarding program at Merrill Lynch welcomed me into the company and accelerated my professional development. According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), however, less than 50% of companies have an onboarding program that they would describe as successful. Even more alarming is that 22% of companies have no onboarding program at all.
Nowhere is this pain felt more than in Engineering organizations where junior developer onboarding typically consists of shadowing a senior engineer, based on personal experience. Shadowing results in an inconsistent experience across a hiring class and creates an enormous drag on a very expensive senior engineer. With 17% of new hires quitting within the first three months, according to HBR, building a technical onboarding program that reduces this attrition risk and reduces the drag on senior engineers will save you money.
Building will create a competitive advantage
Talent is every organization’s competitive advantage and investing in training ensures that your company is attracting and retaining top talent. A recent study from McKinsey shows that more than 60% of enterprise companies in the U.S. will need to reskill up to a quarter of their workforce due to advancing automation and digitization.
This scale of reskilling shouldn’t be seen as a challenge, but as an opportunity to invest in your hardest working, highest potential, and culture flag-carrying employees moving them from lower value to higher value roles.
Rather than waiting to be forced to reskill or to outright hire large new swaths of employees, companies willing to invest in reskilling today will be building a workforce equipped to succeed in an automated world.
Building will keep you out prison?
…. probably not.
Peter Drucker, famed business consultant, said that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” When he said this it wasn’t directly in relation to corporate training, but it’s easy to apply the reference. An organization with a growth mindset that invests in building their teams through upskilling, reskilling, and onboarding creates a culture of learning that is contagious and permeates through all levels of the org chart.
I’ll continue to write this series on some of the interesting things that I’m learning working on Flatiron School for Enterprise. I love feedback so any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for reading!
David Sagalov is the Director of Enterprise Sales for WeWork Flatiron School. Prior to joining WeWork, he helped start a partnerships team at Greenhouse Software. David earned his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley where his experience was focused around Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital.
David began his career as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch in the Energy & Power Group before joining Jefferies where he eventually went on to lead the High Yield Research Technology vertical. He’s also earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, summa cum laude, with a dual concentration in finance and international business from The George Washington University, spending a year abroad at the London School of Economics. Connect with David on LinkedIn.