How do you derive value from your CEB membership?
I always look at CEB as that extra resource. So instead of bringing in another headcount, I utilize CEB as that third party where they consolidate information, information that is relevant to what we're doing, but I have a source outside of purely the headcount I have within my organization. So it enables me to go look at different sources outside of UFA to try to solve issues I may have or help educate or help validate what we're doing, and I think CEB does a very good job in that.
How do you use your CEB membership to build organizational capabilities?
When I joined UFA, we were going through a total rebuild of the finance group. So I've restructured that group in the last two years. A lot of the disciplines and the processes and so forth were lacking. I've built a very strong team, and I've been able to complement that team with information that validates the direction we're going through CEB articles and so forth. Another value add that I found is CEB holds different seminars in our local area where I've sent a number of different people, whether it's from my finance group, IT, procurement. And every individual I've sent to one of the CEB seminars have come back very positive; so the feedback is excellent. The program, great networking, and as we all know, networking is a big part of anyone's job. So the ability to meet up with your peer group, whether it's in the city or like in Chicago today, I think it's a great opportunity to share ideas, network, but also the content is always very good.
What makes CEB different from competitors?
You've got a top-notch client list. For example in Calgary, all the top oil and gas companies are involved with CEB. So whenever there's a networking dinner or whatever put on by CEB, you get to network with your peers. I think that's very strong. The quality of the information that you produce is top-notch, and as I mentioned earlier, it's very relevant. It's timely. The articles that are being produced by CEB are specific issues that we're dealing with today.
How has your CEB membership helped you transform your department?
I guess a good leader surrounds himself with good people, but also it's important when you have challenges or you're trying to make decisions, look for information from all different sources. And as I indicated earlier, I've got my in-house group that I can give a direction to and we can have dialogue and discuss issues, but it's always nice to actually go to a third party and validate or help support decisions we're making. I find that CEB assists in that regard.