Alkami Gold Standard Series

Gold Standard event recap | Banking Transformation: The Leadership Challenge

The coronavirus, automation, and evolving technology are impacting jobs and how we live our daily lives. We must teach and learn new skills to adapt to such changes regularly, use technology to better understand our users’ needs, and reward their loyalty. In our latest Gold Standard Series event, Jim Marous, Owner and CEO of Digital Banking Report, and Alkami Chief Human Resources Officer Adrianne Court examined what it takes to disrupt our organizations and ourselves to redefine leadership, workplace culture, and how we work in the financial services industry. Here are the highlights from their talk.

Embrace change as an opportunity to disrupt the status quo

COVID-19 has disrupted every part of our life, from personal to professional. Banks and credit unions must respond the way users expect. That doesn’t just mean becoming digital. It means providing digital experiences. 

Combine the impact of coronavirus with automation and technology and you see the extent of the impact on jobs and how we live our daily lives. These changes are making our lives and how we work easier. As we near a post-COVID-19 world, we’ll see some current jobs replaced much like they were in farming and manufacturing. Other roles will be redefined to provide greater effectiveness and a better customer experience.

We can’t fight the change around us. We must embrace it from the inside out. We must teach and learn new skills not just once, but on an ongoing basis, and use technology to enhance our ability to know our customers, understand their needs, and reward their loyalty. It’s time to disrupt ourselves and our organizations. 

The opportunities for the future of banking are exciting. The question is who is up for this challenge?

Align leadership and culture to prepare for digital transformation 

Leadership must move beyond today’s needs and use new technologies to be ready for what will be needed tomorrow. This is the change users expect in a post-COVID-19 world. It’s time to start our corporate and personal digital transformation journeys. How will we know if we’re successful in moving from a legacy mindset to a digital mentality? 

There are several essential components of digital transformation success we can measure ourselves by, which future events will cover. In this event, our speakers explored two items specifically as opportunities for effective digital transformation:

  • Reskill your workforce
  • Align leadership and culture for digital future

While the banking industry is changing at a pace never before seen, and digital transformation is required for organizations of all sizes, this goes beyond technology. The challenge is whether you and your organization are willing to let go of the past and move forward. 

For most financial institutions (FIs), a culture change is required for successful digital transformation. You must re-imagine business models, build new alliances, and create a mindset for the digital age. In this process, risk-taking is required. You may find that a lack of urgency is the greatest risk you face. We must get out of our comfort zone to predict where the world will be 2-5 years in the future instead of playing catch up.

Finally, skills that have served you well in the past won’t work in the digital age. Attempts to create new models will fail unless you are willing to disrupt yourself. If you are willing to do that, you’ll be well positioned for grabbing the next opportunity on your path to success.

Understand the intersection of culture and the user experience

Users no longer view banking as a place to go. They expect their bank or credit union to know them, look out for them and reward them – in real time – using the channel they prefer. For many FIs, achieving this level of service digitally will require innovation first. 

If an organization claims to be innovative but doesn’t encourage thinking and acting on it, they can’t deliver an innovative experience to their users. Today’s employees recognize when leadership is not living up to their word if they say they’re innovative but don’t practice innovation throughout the organization. In this way, employees negatively reacting to their surroundings can also hurt the user experience, so innovation must be practiced if it’s preached. If an organization lives its way of thinking, its interactions with clients and users will reflect innovation.

Innovative thinking implies an outdated, or legacy, way of thinking, which is certainly an obstacle to overcome, but should not be confused with an organization’s history. We shouldn’t discount experience as we build on it, as it’s the foundation to growth. There is much to be leveraged from deep experience, but it must be paired with the open mindset of lifelong learning if innovative thinking can make its way to users. 

Thank you to Jim Marous and attendees for another great Gold Standard Series event!

You can watch Banking Transformation: The Leadership Challenge on demand by clicking the link below.

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