We had a (virtual) firechat with Jorge Ruiz, FinConecta’s Founder & CEO, about the impending need to upskill the executive teams at the realm of financial institutions, grappling to catch up with the digital wave in order to serve the new needs and standards of clients and prospects.
“COVID-19 has added fuel to a process of disruption in the financial system that we were witnessing for a while. What is your perspective about the preparedness of financial institutions’ executive teams in this situation?”
Jorge: “To face the present challenge, future-forward financial institutions are doubling the bet, and trying new ways of doing things: how to cater to clients’ need for personal and assets’ safety, how to rethink revenue streams, how to work remotely, and what are the leadership capabilities required -not only to survive, but to thrive.”
“What are the leadership capabilities you deem crucial to ride this situation successfully?”
Jorge: “A few days ago, we were talking about The Future of Work. Well, let’s face it: we need to solve for the Now of Work! The distributed workforce that is the norm today can not be managed as if everyone were in the same building at the same time. Keeping operations up and running -and adjusted to the new reality- requires curiosity, being willing to fail, learn from failures, and the agility to pivot to try the next thing. And, of course, requires the exploration and implementation of digital solutions to connect people, assets, information, and decisions.”
“How much are financial institutions prepared for agility and failure as learning? How large is the gap?”
Jorge: “A big number of institutions were on a wait-and-see pattern, believing that there was enough time to play catch up, and that letting early adopters take the risk was playing safe and sound with their shareholders. The problem is: time is up. What financial institutions didn’t do in the last, let’s say, 12 months, they will have to crush into a few weeks. Clients need digital solutions to their financial needs, and they need them now. (if you want to learn about FinConecta’s Digital Relief Package, click here)”
“Can this war against time be won by just buying technology?”
Jorge: “I don’t believe so. At the center of this transformation relies the need for a profound mindset shift of the executive team. This implies a process of unlearning and relearning, in order to upskill themselves to the next normal. Unlearning a hierarchical understanding of knowledge and power, an “either-or” mentality, a fear for failure. And learning how to crowdsource solutions for extremely complex problems -tapping into the wisdom of the many, prototyping and iterating rather than expecting the silver bullet, leading by purpose, and pivoting the roadmap as necessary.”
“How can financial institutions accelerate the engagement of executives around the demands of the hour, with everyone working from home and putting away fires?”
Jorge: “At FinConecta we seriously explored gamification as the via regia for executive education in digital transformation. It is very difficult to change if you don’t have a framework, and an understanding of what is at stake. For the last 18 months, we facilitated virtual sessions for executives around the world, learning in teams about what a digital journey encompasses, and how it is an overhauling new way of doing business and engaging clients (if you want to learn about FinConecta’s Simulation Game on Digital Transformation, click here).
“A last thought to share?”
Jorge: “As the old saying goes: If not now, then when; if not here, then where; if not me, then who”.