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Time for soul-searching - also in banks

Then the first question is WHY? 

Why? Because people do not buy what you say – but why you say it.

Simon Sinek proves this beyond doubt in his book Start with Why. You can get a good taste of this already in his famous TED Video. - - but, if you read one book about leadership -  read this one!

This means that you have to keep going back to a very fundamental question – Why does this organisation exist? What is its Mission? And the answer is not to make money or gain market shares – but much deeper. To help people  (in their private and work roles) to get their needs satisfied in new and more sustainable ways – even when they do not yet see the need to change. Be Good for Society at large in new ways – even as society is not very good at driving change for the better.

To deliver these kinds of goals take time and often demand wide and frequently difficult networking. Therefore it is important that the ”ideological” base – the WHY -  is very strong.  Otherwise quarterly capitalism and shortening attention spans will lead to more short termism and more chaos. What kind of work place atmosphere this again leads to is all too familiar for too many. Simon Sinek uses Steve Jobs as an example – who said he was not interested in making money, but to make beautiful and easy to use  tools.  We can learn from this and many other examples that customers and partners reward you with open hands if your mission – your WHY - is clear enough and credible.

So the deepening of the mission and making it crystal clear should be a starting point in all strategy work. When this is the case – and the staff is empowered to do “Whatever it takes” you can create a fighting spirit that no incentive program can deliver.  It is well known that nothing is as contagious as enthusiasm – except one thing – lack of enthusiasm.

The WHY for ZEF has already for several years been “Helping People in Decision-making”. The importance of this mission grows exponentially as the overflow of information and technology is reaching avalanche levels. When there are so many more things competing for peoples’ attention, and the number of hours they are awake do not grow it is obvious that there is less time for any one thing. 

Kit Yarrow  describes this dilemma clearly in her book - Decoding the new Consumer Mind.  The human brain has adapted and we cannot communicate with them in the same way as before. She does not consider the development altogether positive – but it is a fact – and it is high time to adept to the fact. If you read one book about market communication in the new age – read this one!

How can we then bring easiness into decision-making? At least by helping organisations  to simplify their market and other communication – bring in easier to adopt facts, gamification and even playfulness. When you then get people to join in – both in doing and feeling dimensions – the created information volumes create large enough databases.  This enables meaningful analysis that can further improve products, services,  marketing and communication. A virtuous circle for the customer – starting from WHY - also in banks. 




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Bo Harald

Bo Harald

Chairman/Founding member, board member

Transmeri, Demos, Real Time Economy Program,MyData

Member since

04 Nov 2008


Helsinki Region

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This post is from a series of posts in the group:

Innovation in Financial Services

A discussion of trends in innovation management within financial institutions, and the key processes, technology and cultural shifts driving innovation.

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