Right now, not only is the bank's relationship with the client broken, but the relationship between bankers is broken as well, and we can’t fix banking if we’re not going to fix bankers.
Who knows what?
Education is a topic that we don’t to speak enough of in our industry.
People with very high degrees went to good schools but that’s not the type of education one can rely upon today to deliver a digital transformation program , is it? Whose MBA prepared them for deep FinTech knowledge more than watching Finovate videos? Who has A levels in agile technologies and courage? Who has a high degree in delivering addictive Money Moments ™ to consumers?
Delivering on something so complex and important as digital propositions that have the consumer enthralled, has to be a living breathing exercise, so we can no longer rely on a good CV or at the right degree as what we need more than academic knowledge is industry specific knowledge and boatload of bravery and heart.
Who's head is it on?
There is an inordinate amount of talk about bankers at the highest level in Boardrooms being the culprits of why we don’t have the digital experiences that customers deserve. The rhetorics is that these people are supposed to be too old or too close to retiring to give a flying and too fixated in their ways to do anything. But the reality is that there are other departments that are suffering from lack of good people and sometimes that is more acute.
I.T. doesn’t understand why we have to do design and keep chasing innovation , Digital people don’t understand why I.T .have to hold them back and as a result, all too often innovation becomes an empty exercise instead of a continuous state of mind. And of course, everyone loves to blame it on compliance and regulation and ironically, in many organisations, those are some of the more open minded and knowledgeable people they have.
What's the answer?
Old school organisational change theories are centered around the concept that "a fish rots from the head" hence changing leadership will change organisations, but I'm not convinced we need to change people, nor is it practical, mind.
I think we simply need to obsess over meritocracy and define "Knowledge" and "Passion" as merits while instilling them in everyone top and bottom.
I think we need to empower HR and elevate it from an administrative department into one that can get and make the amazing people we need for the journey.
I think we need to take a few honest looks (just the one doesn't seem enough) inside the bank and be honest about its DNA, then better it.
Most of all, I think none of this is fluffy and secondary to a core replacement or an Open Banking strategy but sine-qua-non conditions to them being successful.