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5 Tips for FinTech Leaders to Navigate the Uncertain Road Ahead

Almost no one alive today has previously encountered a crisis quite like the COVID-19 pandemic. But change truly is the only constant in life, business and banking, so agility is an attribute that great FinTech leaders must embody. Here are five tips to successfully steer a future-focused organization when the road ahead is unclear:  

1. Make sure your team knows you have their backs and best interests at heart. 

Be vigilant about staying virtually connected with your team leaders throughout the upheaval but, just as important, check in regularly with employees at all levels of your organization to ensure every functional group has the tools it needs to be successful during the crisis.

It’s not always possible to avoid cost reductions when your organization faces an extended slowdown; what is possible is discussing prospective changes without delay.

Prepare for tough questions and deliver authentic answers. Be responsive to any concerns and give employees what they need to succeed – whether that’s additional guidance, adjustments to responsibilities as new needs arise and others fade away or technology tools to work well in a changed environment with no known end-date. Stick to policies that put your employees’ safety first.

Demonstrate to your loyal employees that, under extreme circumstances, your organization values them and the intellectual property they bring for delivering the products and services that create fiscal flow.

2. Safeguard your customer commitments.

Be ultra-responsive – show your customers that they can rely on you when it counts. For over two months, banks and credit unions have been continually inundated with unprecedented problems requiring novel solutions.

If merited, proactively reach out to your customers and offer assistance to help with their unresolved pain points, even if there’s no clear line of sight to an obvious revenue opportunity. Goodwill is ‘sticky’; it can be a long-term relationship binder when it’s genuine and coupled with value-driven contributions.  

3. Give your team members a voice (when and where appropriate) when leading during a challenge.

Expect your team members to be partners in your mission. Give them a voice and a vote where appropriate to help ensure they’re invested in their work and the company’s strategic direction. By the way, great and impactful ideas emanate from all levels of the organization; don’t make the classic misstep of just working ideas from the top. 

4. Maintain the trust of your leadership team through transparency. 

This one is simple: consistently being open and upfront is essential to building trusting relationships. Absent of a continuum of communication, there’s risk of team members being left to ‘fill in the blank’, often with inaccurate presumptions and rumors. An informed leadership team is key to ensuring consistent trickle-down communications throughout the organization.

5. Shift from immediate-term, survival-mode thinking to thinking ahead. 

Successfully making it through the first 90 days of a crisis by quickly pivoting, as needed, and establishing near-term objectives is an accomplishment, but don't wait for the organization and community to emerge from the storming phase of the coronavirus pandemic and into a state of renewed stability before driving a dialog and documenting what’s been learned from the experience to-date. Start thinking through risk-avoidance measures now: What does our team need to do immediately to be prepared for a backslide or similar future events?

FinTech is focused on driving the financial services industry into the future – a challenge when a crisis is vacuuming all the air out of the present. When a cloud of uncertainty continues to hang over your organization after "Phase One: Mitigation and Survival,"  bring clarity by launching a recovery plan based on the best and most practical data available and mapping out the road ahead. Your team is depending on you to be a leader – so LEAD by propelling a positive-centric outlook for your organization.

How can FinTech leaders navigate the uncertain road ahead?

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Shawn Hughes

Shawn Hughes

President & Chief Operating Officer (COO)


Member since

14 May 2020



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