Recruiting High-Calibre Young Talent to Your Accounting or Advisory Firm – WEBINAR INTERVIEW

By Posted in - Public Blog on July 20th, 2017 0 Comments

In a recent webinar, we were joined by T.K. Coleman, the Education Director of Praxis and Isabella Carter, Chief Creative Officer here at PARADOX.

What you will learn:

  • How Praxis is changing the conversation around education,
  • The paradigm shifts that need to happen in education
  • How these shifts are going to help you and your business.

What we talked about:

(02:00) We kicked off the interview with T.K. explaining his philosophy on education. He believes that there isn’t just one path to education. Instead of school being something you’re forced to do, it should be like a yoga studio. Something you do when you want to and do because it’s helping you get closer to your goals.

(06:00) How did PARADOX get involved with Praxis? Bella met T.K. while she was a preschool teacher and was able to teach them to ask their own questions and incorporate philosophy into their everyday education.

And it’s when you apply that mindset to the accounting field you see the shift that needs to occur. Accountants need to go from number crunchers to problem solvers and communicators.

(09:00) How many people have ever been disappointed with the lack of real world skills from graduates of traditional universities? Probably most business owners. Graduates haven’t been taught in an environment that motivates mastery. Thus, when they enter the workforce they have to learn how to actually use their knowledge to create value.

(11:00) Which is where Praxis comes in. Instead of getting a degree to get past the gatekeepers who use degrees as a filter to avoid wasting their time, participants are learning how to show that they can create value in the real world. In fact, Praxis has had businesses completely remove the degree requirements because the participant placed with them showed how well someone without a degree can create value for them. Imagine being able to find ideal team members for your firm through something like Praxis.

(16:00) What is Praxis? Praxis is a 12-month entrepreneurial boot camp and apprenticeship, with a 6-month boot camp where participants build their brand, work on portfolio projects, and learn the skills they need before getting placed with a startup for a six-month apprenticeship.   

(20:00) You need to own a business to be ‘an entrepreneur’, but not to approach your work with an entrepreneurial mindset.  And it’s that entrepreneurial mindset that will lead to an interesting and valuable life. It’s this mindset that Praxis stresses to its participants.

Not only that but it’s this mindset that’s driving the way Praxis is changing the conversation around education. And the first step to doing that is taking education outside of the classroom and learning in the real world. Where there are real rewards and real consequences.

(26:00) MC on how Praxis has re-invented the apprenticeship when the ed. system is still teaching the same way it did when people were being prepped for factory work.

(27:00) Praxis isn’t just about focusing on a particular set of skills, it’s also about emphasising where those skills need to be learned in order for true development to take place. It doesn’t matter how long you practice public speaking in front of a mirror. You’re not going to get better until there’s actual risk and actual feedback.

Not just that—but feedback from the market is much different then the feedback we get in school.

“In the real world you don’t get an F, you get ignored.” – T.K. Coleman

(30:00) Why are interviews and CV’s still being used when competency tests are so much more valuable? It’s because for most people they’re still the best way available. But this is changing for all industries—including accounting. This is changing as technology advances and makes gatekeepers obsolete.

An example of this is a Praxis participant who was hired based on a podcast interview they did.


       “Technology isn’t just changing the world that we’re trying to prepare for, it’s changing the way that we signal that preparation.” – T.K. Coleman


(36:00) The placement process isn’t just blind pairing’s of businesses to participants. Praxis matches them based on the participant’s interests, goals, strengths, and weaknesses as well as the mutual excitement both parties have about working together.

(46:00) Praxis participants don’t have to learn a certain list of tools. Instead, they learn how to use the tools that will use at their business partner. In fact, business partners are more concerned with a proven track record of being able to master new skills as necessary, rather than being the master of one or a few tools that don’t provide value to the business.

(52:00) You’re not going to get entrepreneurial, value creating employees by hiring people the same way everyone else does.

What does this mean for accountants and advisors? Watch the webinar recording to find out:

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