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Strategy No. 4: Agility for the long running bank.

It’s simple. Winning a race means “getting there first”. The same rule applies to banking, with a small corollary, which is that the most agile (and not necessarily the fastest) usually wins. 

Is there a difference? You bet! Agility is not pure speed; nimbleness and flexibility play a large part in it. Agility is more “how far” than “how fast”. An agile bank may not win a 100 metre dash, but it has the endurance to triumph in a marathon. And banking is a long term game.

So, how does an agile bank trump the opposition?

By refusing to stand still. A bank is most vulnerable on the pinnacle of success. An agile bank never rests on its laurels and is constantly probing for new and better ways of doing things, because it believes in “getting it right” rather than “getting it out”.

By anticipating, anticipating. Because it rejects status quo, an agile bank is quick to spot new trends and shifting needs ahead of the market. Further, it adapts to changing conditions faster than anyone else, thanks to its inherent nimbleness. By becoming a proactive organisation that fulfils unvoiced or latent aspirations, the bank delights its customers, while the rest of the field fights churn.

By making it last. An agile bank does more with less: larger revenue with the same sales force, higher profitability with the same product lines, more transactions on the same channels, and so on. Since it is able to extend the capability of its existing resources, the bank grows much faster than rival institutions which are unable to grow business without scaling up resources.

 By being open. An agile bank is humble. It listens and learns. By collaborating with other members of its eco-system, from technology partners to regulators, the bank quickly acquires new expertise to unlock opportunities. Teaming up with telecom and technology companies to mobilise banking applications such that they can be reached out to customers via multiple modes, depending on where they are or what they are doing, is one example.

By bringing people into the equation. Having the right people is an organisation’s greatest competitive strength. A bank with foresight creates an environment which trains and empowers so that its people have both the ability and the encouragement to think creatively and agilely.

Also Read:

Competitive Advantage from Innovative Management Strategies

Strategy 1: Incremental Innovation, big bang advantage!

Strategy No. 2: Channel innovation - your hidden weapon.

Strategy No. 3: Keep customers, beat competitors!


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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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