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When You Say It’s All or None, Its Usually None

Introducing change to a sleepy sector of an industry is challenging. Setting the pace of change and adoption towards it is even more difficult. Why is that?

BAU (Business As Usual) is one of the main reasons for this challenge. Financial institutions are still buried under the burden of complying with the next regulation (Now MiFID II) and do not have the time or resources to adopt changes that will simplify and reduce cost. One major deficiency is the lack of great strategists at the major financial institutions. A very small number of firms on the street have created positions that manage the way thinking about the future will affect the firm’s strategy over the next 20 years. It’s refreshing to see some major leading firms such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs plan for the year 2020. However, even these firms would have preferred change to be introduced in a shorter period, as if one could say, “Presto!” and suddenly a new platform has been introduced, implemented, and widely adopted across the industry. My father, God bless him, still walks into a bank every day to withdraw cash from the teller. No bank card. When I asked him why (I have not been inside a bank in years), he said, “Force of habit.

Setting a goal for a platform with a sizable list of features that are all aimed at reducing complexities and cost as well as improving automation is a noble idea that should be discussed. By setting a short-term goal that results in an achievable change, or putting specific workflows or features in place that will produce the most number of engaged users, you will be more likely to achieve the strategic change goal.

The main problem on the street is that not all firms have exactly the same problem or perceive to have a problem at all. Trying to get a consensus on the final solution is much easier than deciding on the actual next step. It's literally like herding cats. A smart mentor once told me that the most valuable asset you can get from a bank isn’t their money, it’s their agreement to take the next step with you on your way to reaching the ultimate goal. I agree. If you have ever been in a board meeting with senior level executives that have invested in your idea, no major achievement or interesting discussion really happens in the meeting, it’s all done prior in the product meeting.

I have heard executives say that if truePTS finishes building everything we say we will, then they will adopt our platform (if you build it, they will come). Others have said that a network effect is necessary to the success of the change implementations we are suggesting, and some are just saying that change is additive to complexity.

Defined, achievable steps adopted by only a few participants would convince others to join the network. I guess it’s always worth trying to get old dogs to learn new tricks.

 

 

 

Image copyright: 123RF Stock Photo FFennema

 

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