- Passionate attention to all customers, including the ones future customers. I dragged along a friend who doesn’t climb, and had no intention of doing so. She instantly felt welcome, even though climbing up the wall until then was something she only does at business meetings. Your customers may come in many forms and will have different needs. See the world from their perspective – are they confused? Scared? Stressed? Finding it hard to park? At the Wall you feel safe and at ease. And yes, of course, she climbed. And is now hooked.
- Create a happy place where staff are as engaged as you are in looking after customers with care. Your staff must feel like a really core part of your baby business. Get them on board and make sure to find ways of harnessing all their bright ideas about how to make your project a success
- Know your customers intimately before you start. Alan and Brian really understand their market, and are well networked. They already understood exactly what climbers want and immediately ran simple high impact events that have built up loyalty, traffic to The Wall and loads of Word of Mouth publicity, always the most powerful form of marketing. This also helps you create a sense of community and shared values among your customer base, so your customers stay longer and believe in what you do. Happy customers come back.
- Be clever about how to position and communicate what you offer: .The Wall makes canny use of social media and press coverage to get the story out in a more targeted and dynamic way than any ad ever will. Network, but be savvy about how you use that precious network.
- Know your competition equally intimately, know when to compete (and how) and when to collaborate. Sometimes collaboration is the right strategy – work together and instead of splitting a new small market you can grow it together, creating greater awareness by acting as a group and attracting more people to a new service or product.
- Good team - make sure all the practical stuff is under control. The top team here includes a marketing whizz and an employment law specialist. They have team skills to make sure the business is set up on a sound financial footing, property and planning skills and expertise to make sure design and operations are top class.
- Finally – do something you love. The chances are you will be very good at it!
RS: "Think like a biologist"
IMI: What does this mean? RS: There is a dangerous tendency for people to look at businesses and markets as though they were pieces of engineering: and should be managed and understood in Newtonian terms. Today more than ever it's more useful - at least most of the time - to use the mental models we use to understand complex and evolving systems. Source:www.askabiologist.asu.edu IMI: Where should we look for further information? RS: A great first place to start is by reading Robert H Frank's book The Economic Naturalist, and his later work The Darwin Economy. Nassim Taleb's Antifragile is a long but mind-reshaping read. The other areas of worthwhile study are evolutionary psychology and behavioural economics. These seek to understand how (and why) people - often unconsciously - make decisions in reality, and why this may differ from narrow and naive theories of economic rationality. Where to start here? Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein. And The Rational Animal by Griskevicius and Kenrick. Sapiens, by Noah Harari, Butterfly Economics by Ormerod, Adapt by Tim Harford and The Origins of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker would also be an essential read. Rory Sutherland s a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to firstname.lastname@example.org. [post_title] => "Think like a biologist" Six Word Wisdom from Rory Sutherland [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => think-like-biologist-six-word-wisdom-rory-sutherland [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 20:40:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 20:40:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=11950 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16058 [post_author] => 89 [post_date] => 2016-09-20 14:18:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-09-20 14:18:38 [post_content] => Sydney Finkelstein is the Steven Roth Professor of Management and Director of the Center for Leadership at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College, where he teaches courses on Leadership and Strategy. He is also the Faculty Director of the flagship Tuck Executive Program, and has experience working with executives at a number of other prestigious universities around the world. His latest bestselling book is SUPERBOSSES: How Exceptional Leaders Master the Flow of Talent. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 29th September 2016. IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business – what would they be?
SF: Great leaders create other great leaders.IMI: What does this mean? SF: Imagine a world where the work you did really mattered. Where the person who you call your boss changed your life by helping you accomplish more than you ever thought possible. Where your own opportunities would multiply in ways you may have been afraid to even dream of. That’s the world of “superbosses”, leaders with an incredible track record of generating world-class talent time and again. By systematically studying business legends and pop culture icons like Lorne Michaels, Ralph Lauren, George Lucas, Larry Ellison, Miles Davis, Charlie Mayfield, and Alice Waters, what superbosses actually do comes into focus. And anyone can do these same things. Superbosses identify, motivate, coach and leverage others in remarkably consistent, yet highly unconventional and unmistakably powerful ways. Superbosses aren’t like most bosses; they follow a playbook all their own. They are unusually intense and passionate — eating, sleeping, and breathing their businesses and inspiring others to do the same. They look fearlessly in unusual places for talent and interview them in colorful ways. They create impossibly high work standards that push protégées to their limits. They partake in an almost inexplicable form of mentoring, one that occurs spontaneously and with no clear rules. They lavish responsibility on inexperienced protégées, taking risks that seem scary and foolish to outsiders. When the time is right superbosses may even encourage star talent to leave so they can then become part of a strategic network of acolytes in the industry. IMI: Where should we look for further information? SF: I put together a list of interesting articles related to this subject: Superbosses aren't afraid to delegate their biggest decisions The rise of the superbosses George Lucas: Management Guru? The Power of Feeling Unthreatened Hire People and Get Out of the Way Sydney Finkelstein is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 29th of September. To register for this event, please click here. [post_title] => "Great leaders create other great leaders" Six Word Wisdom from Sydney Finkelstein [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => great-leaders-create-great-leaders-six-word-wisdom-sydney-finkelstein [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-11 19:54:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-11 19:54:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=16058 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
The Right Plan, the Right Tech, the Right People – the Future of Financial Services in the Digital Age
IMI sat down with the economist Chris Roebuck to discuss the future of financial services, and what leaders from banking, fintech, big tech, start-ups and the regulators themselves need to do in this new environment.
The financial services sector is changing almost beyond recognition.
Hyper personalisation, digitisation, increased regulation, both disruptive start-ups and major brands entering the market at an increasing pace… these are just some of the challenges facing traditional operators and burgeoning competitors.
Q. What are the big challenges in the financial sector right now?
The financial services world is going through significant transformation driven by a wide variety factors from customer expectations to digital developments. The breadth of these changes is increasing complexity, and all this within a regulatory environment.
Not only are these changes large, but they are also happening rapidly, introducing totally new business models.
This mean that the route to future success may well be based on actions that the organisation has absolutely no previous experience of. So unlike previous change where institutions changed piecemeal now the structure and entire way of working is transforming at the same time.
This is unprecedented.
It’s also in areas we don’t first think of. The impacts of fintech are often seen as being about the tech elements of the organisation but they also have significant impact on people.
Since the financial crisis employment in banking has dropped by over 40% in Europe. Not only that but the type of people you now need is changing as well, so you need not only fewer people you need a different internal demographic as well. That’s not easy to achieve.
Q. In your own experience, what is digital in particular doing to the way the financial services industry is operating?
It is changing the whole way that organisations work top to bottom. That’s challenging enough, but even more challenging is changing the mindset of people who have worked (and developed their way of thinking) in a non-digital environment.
What should be happening and what is happening are perhaps slightly different. Inevitably people and organisations need to recognise the need for change, and that in itself can take time. Some parts of financial institutions have traditionally been slow to change. But change is being forced on them.
I would say digital is enabling:
- New disruptive competitors emerging
- Changing customer expectations
- A deeper look at the cost of legacy systems – is there a cheaper way of doing what we do?
And these are combining with:
- Low interest rates
- A regulatory burden that never decreases
As a combination of circumstances, that’s pretty much a game changer – a new world you need to move into or face a slow decline into failure.
Q. Where does the greatest challenges lay – let’s take the traditional banks first – is it getting the right technology, developing internal people to utilise that technology, or hiring great external people to drive the change?
I think there is a step that precedes all of those – what is our optimum market and customer? There is a real possibility that this may have changed with the digital revolution and arrival of new players.
Customers are not homogenous, their demographics, incomes, expectations, mindsets, and even lifestyles are all different and maybe dynamic. Yesterday’s profitable customer may not be tomorrows.
Customers increasingly want 24/7 availability, real-time capability, personalised offerings and a low friction user experience. Once you know who your customer of the future is then it’s about matching the technology, the people and the strategy to serve that customer.
Q. It must be a real challenge for the regulators too – do you see the development going on there that will need to be done to keep up with the changing marketplace?
Definitely. Albeit with a few surprises. Regulations traditionally have been a step behind what’s happening in the industry, and often regulation is a result of someone doing something they shouldn’t, which then becomes regulated to prevent a repeat.
So, to some degree regulators are always trying to keep up with what’s happening at the leading edge, if not predict where that leading edge is going next and where the systemic risks might be.
There is also an element of a need for differential regulation where regulators are more flexible with new entrants to encourage new players to help them develop. This requires a flexibility within the regulators not traditionally present.
Q. What are the specific things leaders should be looking to do? What’s the right mindset to have in a shifting environment?
It’s all about the fundamental questions of “where do we need to be in the future”, “where are we now” and “how do we get there”. These questions need to be answered to provide a clear and simple strategy to deliver a sustainable and profitable future. The problem is that gaining such clarity in such a complex and dynamic environment is very difficult for most senior leaders.
Their traditional career development has given them an in-depth understanding of their area of expertise but to answer these key questions (and indeed be a credible and effective strategic leader for their organisations) requires an understanding of the big picture both inside and outside their organisations – the evolving ecosystem.
That’s what they need; the critical knowledge of the wider ecosystem, market dynamics, and the leading-edge developments available to them. This combined with the enhancement of their leadership will enable them to guide their teams, colleagues and organisation to have that profitable and sustainable future.
So, it’s not just about being in the market, it’s about being a market leader in all senses.
Chris Roebuck is programme director for the Future of Financial Services Leadership programme, aimed at preparing leaders in the sector for the future economy. The programme is in association with IFS Skillnet and the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland. Chris was Visiting Professor of Transformational Leadership Cass Business School London 2009 -18.