I don’t know about you, but it’s hard not to get stressed out from the constant barrage of communication regarding the pace of change and transformation that we are seeing in financial services. I worry about our clients and their ability to maintain truly sustainable business models in a marketplace that seems to breed competition overnight and the never-ending demand for financial, human and technology resources.
In our business, we are driven by the requirement for innovative, strategic, and progressive leadership capabilities. We are all challenged trying to see around the corner while still closely watching what’s right in front of us. So many of our clients are in the midst of significant transformation: cultural, strategic and operational and working to effectively position their organization for what’s next.
Then there are those that are flying under the radar with steady growth, solid capital, highly efficient operations and a commitment to delivering value but perhaps not featured in the industry trades as the shiny new penny. For these organizations (which there many), there is a focus on how to continue making incremental improvements despite the inevitable challenges from the rapid pace of change. I think it’s important for every organization, especially those with leadership transitions on the horizon, to really understand not only your value proposition to your membership but also what’s required to ensure you can deliver that value in the long term. I believe understanding your core competencies as an organization and embracing what made you successful to begin with is as important as challenging yourself as a leadership team and as a board to position the organization for the future. Embracing and protecting what we know works and is expected by our members is critical.
The pace of innovation and new technologies will continue to be headline news and I’m by no means supporting the “bury your head in the sand” approach, but I do think there should be as much focus on how to improve the core business and providing member value today as there is trying to determine how future technology, upstart fintech firms, and big data will transform the industry. We all need to continue to adapt but those who focus on delivering the best value and member experience today will be the organizations best positioned for the future.