Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 6 months ago

178) #ExponentialInsights - A Guide to Becoming Digitally Driven


Most businesses today need dramatic digital transformation in order to continue to be successful. They may have adapted to e-commerce, but they aren’t truly digitally driven.

Howard Tiersky, CEO at FROM, The Digital Transformation Agency, joins the show to share lessons from his latest book, Winning Digital Customers, about overcoming enterprise resistance to digital transformation.

Join us as we discuss:

  • What went awry with Toys“R”Us
  • The 3 stages of digital evolution
  • Tips for overcoming disruption caused by transformation     

Check out these resources we mentioned:

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

We see many companies that have gone out of business or suffered greatly because they just couldn't move fast enough or make the right choices about how to adapt to a world that's changing very rapidly. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Laigh, a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series, where James Robert Lay interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and FINTECH leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Greetings in Hello, I am James Robert Laigh and welcome to the one hundred and seventy eight episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Howard Turskey to the show. Howard is a successful entrepreneur who has been named by IDG as one of the ten digital transformation influencers to follow today and by enterprise management. Three hundred and sixty as one of the top ten digital transformation influencers that will change your world, and today Howard joins me for a conversation around his new book winning digital customers. Welcome to the show, Howard. It is so good to share time with you today. Buddy, I'll thanks thanks for having me. Before we get into talking your book winning digital customers, I always like to start off on a positive note. What's going well for you personally professionally? It's always your pick to get started here now. Well, my first thought is always to my kids. They're all doing great. I holdest daughters, a junior in college right now, my my third is getting ready to apply for colleges. I second daughter, Jess, because she's in Israel for the year having great time. So I'm always happy when my kids are all happy. There's no major drama going on. That usually last for about two weeks and then one of them has something. But anyway, that's one thing, anyway to be thankful for. I'm right there with you because, as we were talking before we hit record, I have four kids and they're a little bit of a younger age bracket, but they do keep you busy and it's just been a lot of fun spending time with them over the past couple of years and ways that I haven't been able to to watch them grow up. And and actually tomorrow I'm excited I get to go to my son's school. He's twelve, and they have a career entrepreneurship day and so get to go and speak to his school in the students there, which is always exciting and energizing for me to get to share that passion of entrepreneurship, because it's a that's howsome, it's a good ones a lot of fun. So let's talk your book. Winning digital customers and and I appreciate the writing, I appreciate the thinking. You share a five step a road map to help brands thrive in a digital world. Why write this book in the first place? What was your inspiration here to begin with? Well, I guess I'd say my inspiration is twenty plus years, twenty five years on most, of working with large brands on different types of transformation projects. Today we use that buzzword digital transformation, but I was doing that long before that particular phrase was popular and you know, there's all kinds of challenges, fascinating work. Fascinating work how to figure out how do you take a great legacy brand, Yep, and keep it relevant if for a rapidly changing world? And of course, today there's nothing changing more rapidly than people's digital behaviors and desire to interact with brands on a digital basis. So, you know, you do that kind of work for a long time and you start to see patterns. You have a lot of projects that don't work out and you learn from those things. You have other projects that are wildly successful and you're like wow, why did that go so much better than the other one we did? And so you start to overtime try to figure out, well, okay, what's the secret to making this stuff work? And you know, I would never in a million year say there's only one right answer, but I've definitely seen a lot of wrong answers. So my inspiration really was mostly just to share the where I've landed at this point in my career. Anyway, we'll no dou'll continue to evolve. What is that really works, because, you know, I feel like there's so many great companies that have been around a long time. They have amazing people, amazing products, amazing at you know, loyal customers, but they are threatened, yes, and we see many companies that have gone out of business or suffered greatly because they just couldn't move fast enough or make the right choices about how to adapt to a world that's changing very rapidly. And so if I can do something to help those companies avoid some of that pain and deliver for their customers, for their employees, in a way that gets them faster to where they need to be to be successful, I mean that nothing would make me happier. And you're right. It's like they're not moving fast enough or they choose not to make a decision and that lack of decisionmaking ends up and creating more pain. You Open up the story speaking about our kids. You Open up a story with something that touched my heart. Be You're mentioning your seven year old at the time text you some breaking news...

...that would impact millions of people's lives who spent time playing at this store as a kid growing up, and that this store was going under and that store was was toys or us, and it was interesting that you said that your son did it really seem to care much at all about this. I think, like you know, people like you and I who might have spent time at toys or US growing up, where kid could be a kid. But but your seven year old son didn't really seem to be moved by that. Why? Why was that? What was going on with that conversation there? Yeah, that's exactly right, and I think two things. First of all, you know he loves Amazon. I'm he know he could and and I guess the Toys r US experience never quite lived up to the commercials, right. Yeah, watch one of those toys US commercials where there's, you know, Jeffrey the giraffe walking around the store and you know it's this magical, wonderful place. And they had a place like that in Times Square. It never made money because the space was so expensive, but you know they had a showcase location. But that location aside, if you look at your typical toys or us in most communities, big metal shelves, Yep, you know, linoleum floors, fluorescent lighting, boxes on shelves. In fact, I remember reading around the time the toys rust was going out of business that they had is digital policy that no boxes could be open. Like if a kid wanted to open a box and see a toy that was absolutely forbidden, and so the whole idea that it's a place where a kid could be a kid and that was so bad. I mean it really just wasn't true, right ninety nine times out of a hundred, and so you know, the combination of the retail experience just not really being that inspiring and the ability to get so many benefits through a digital experience where you can see so many more toys and watch videos and other things like that, for him it wasn't much of a loss at all and the excitement of going to the store was replaced by the excitement of the the ups driver arriving with the box from Amazon. So it just it's just an example, and we see these examples across not just with kids, where something it used to be delightful, something that used to be something you'd could be excited about, that you'd love, it's kind of fall us out of step with the world we live in today and something takes it over. And so companies need to consider what's the core value that they're delivering and if it's to connect kids with the love of toys and fulfill those needs, if someone's doing it better, well then your risk and I think that's really what happened to toys of us. I want to sell on the topic of love for a minute because you touched on this in the book and I think of my own experience with toys rus both as a kid myself growing up in the S. I remember, you know, getting in one of those like jeeps and driving around the the the store and like having that like really tactile hands on experience. But then sounds fine. It was. It was a lot of fun. But then my kids, taking them to toys or us when they were younger, when it still existed, I remember thinking myself, this is absolutely miserable and I'm like, we literally left toys or us, we went home, we got on Amazon and we went shopping together on Amazon, we watched the videos like you were talking about, and it was because, like the love was lost. And I'm curious, you know, when there is not a physical experience per se. You mentioned the ups driver. It was that. That's that excitement, that emotion. What does it take for a brand to be loved in today's digital world? Yeah, well, it takes a few things and I'll I'll say what they are. But I want to say something about your story about toys or us because, you know, when I was kid I actually don't remember having such a cool experience a towys or us when I was little driving a jeep around. I guess it depends. I grew up in Chicago, you know, different toys or US is was a we're able to deliver more or less on the promise of more of an interactive shopping experience. But that's cool that you had that. Yeah, but here's what I found though, because I I love toys or us when I was a kid. And why did I love toys or us? Because there were so many toys, right, that was it. I could go to one place and there were aisles and aisles of toys. There was nowhere else that you could get that. Just being able to aggregate selection and make it accessible was in and of itself a unique and delightful experience. And because it was location based, competition was limited to a reasonable mom was not going to drive me, you know, forty miles away. So whatever toy stores we went to, you were really only competing with, if you are local toys or us, maybe a couple of other toy stores within a reasonable distance. And so but it was quite novel to be able to go to a store and see so much merchandise in one place, even if I couldn't play with it, just the fact that I could see that it existed yes was not accessible to me another way back in the S. right today, that is not novel or special. You don't need to drive someplace and see boxes on a shelf to just know all the toys that are out...

...there. Obviously there are a million places on the Internet, and so therefore you have to provide something that makes the trip worth it, MMM, because otherwise you're not providing anything more than you can get on the Internet. And you don't have to Beb you don't have to Nag your mom to drive you some place in order to get the benefit of that great point about aggregation and bringing everything kind of all together. I'm curious on this point because aggregation is part of digital transformation. You mentioned that you've been exploring in learning in the space or two thousand and twenty five years, looking a lot of different verticals. I want to go beyond the buzz word of, quote unquote, transformation, because you laid out three stages when it comes to digital evolution. I think it's important to understand what these three stages are for context in this conversation. Can you lay out these three stages going forward? I was sure happy to. Well, I think you know, if you look at digital and by which we mean, you know, the modern Internet, smartphones, that kind of world. You know, just to be generic about it, it's kind of gone through three stages. In the first stage was essentially brochure, where right the earliest websites were basically just content. You could access information and that was still valuable and, of course, one of the benefits of digital technology days it makes information. I was just trying to do something with something from my fish tank and the fact that I could access the instruction manual was has long been lost right online was was very helpful, right. So that's that was the first stage of digital which was just providing content, in information as an alternative to print or what have you. Online convenient but not truly transformational in most situations, unless maybe you were a media outlet, like a news outlet. Sure, the second stage was ECOMMERCE and all the sudden, instead of just providing information, you could actually do business through the Internet. This was another way of getting your customers to pay you money instead of a call center, instead of ordering through the mail, instead of going to a store, and of course this was a significant step forward from just brochure where, and you know, it required substantially more fur to create ecommerce platforms and to integrate them with the inventory systems and fulfilming systems, etcetera, that that organizations had, and a large number of businesses that are even successful today are essentially still in this business. They're, you know, their main use of digital is to allow customers to do business with them through various devices, transact absolutely and so nothing against that, but the companies that are generating the greatest value through digital and are creating the greatest value generally tend to be those that are at that third step. That's what I call being digitally driven. These are companies that we might say are digitally transformed. Now these are all sort of just buzz words. Will what does that mean? Well, for example, think about a traditional taxi service that you call on the phone and you know it comes to you, or a Limo Service, compared to an uber or something like that, where the very fundamental nature of the way Uber works or similar rides sharing services wouldn't be completely impossible if it were taken outside of our digital world. A few said, well, let's do Uber in one thousand nine hundred and eighty five. Right. How would you do it? You wouldn't know where the car was, you wouldn't know where the person will. You know, it would be largely impossible. Similarly Air BNB. Similarly, you know what market places like Ebay or Amazon these are. These are businesses that aren't just creating an alternative access point for commerce. They are built around and for a digital world. Yes, I mean one of the things I mentioned in the book. I love that term ECOMMERCE, because it's like you got that word commerce light, which of course people have been doing for for Millennia, and then you just take any onto it with a little heife, know, and to me that's what a lot of ECOMMERCE is. It's like we're just going to add, we're going to keep doing everything else we're doing, we're just going to add this additional thing, and that's a great step. But if you stop there, you are not going to be one of those companies that's seeing huge multiples of growth as a result of the digital world and ultimately you're going to have a tough time competing with companies who really reinvent themselves for digital world. I think you touched on something that I want to come back to. This idea. Companies have been very successful in this ECOM like world, and I like that you tack the e on front of something email, and therefore it's why email has operated like traditional mel batching blast historically. And now it's really going to be interesting to see what plays out as like IOS, fifteen, updates, apple privacy, all of that, the inbox might look like the traditional Mel box and regards to being able to do what, marketers have grown comfortable with data privacies. A whole nother conversation, and I think that's going to drive some more digital innovation as well, because it's almost like the when when you when you put constraints on something, that's where some massive leaps and growth comes come from. But one of the points you talked about in this gets back to the point of like companies being very successful up to this point historically, is that if you're not feeling pain, you're probably not transforming. And from my experience the desire to transform must... greater than the desire to remain the same. It's almost the fallacy of success. What do you mean by this? If you're not feeling pain, you're probably not transforming. Yeah, well, any kind of transformation usually involves significant disruption, significant investment without immediate payoff, significant inconvenience, significant extress and anxiety for at least some people. Of course you want to minimize that as much as you can. But because of all that, because there are many aspects of transformation which are just painful, many people and many organizations try to avoid or minimize it. Hmmm, I mean the analog I like to use. As you know, if you've ever had your kitchen remodeled while you were living in your house, yes, I mean you know that is not a fun experience and even though you know you're going someplace better, why you're living through it, it's pretty miserable and it's miserable enough that it stops some people from even wanting to do the remodel, because the end is simply not worth the pain to get there. Right, or at least it feels that way. And so the consequence of that is that when companies are faced with a world of which their customer needs and expectations are changing, where their competitors are doing more things. There's a kind of desire to figure out if you can have your cake and eat it too, you know, instead of really transforming to become, Um, a business that can stand toe to toe with any competitor in a digital age, it's like, well, what's the shortest path from here to something that might be acceptable? You know, obviously most companies today they have websites and they have APPS, but they may not be have become truly digitally driven, because that's going to be a big pain in the butt to get there, to make that kind of massive transformation, particularly if you're very large organization. That makes it even harder. You have so much to change, yes, systems, to change processes, to change roles, to define and so it's a very reasonable question, when someone lays out a vision for transformation, which is going to be costly, time consuming and disruptive, to say, wait a minute, do we really need to do this? Can't we be successful without such dramatic transformation? That's a very reasonable question and well, I can't answer that question because it depends on the situation. But most businesses today need dramatic transformation in order to continue to be successful. And so that doesn't mean that any particular proposal for transformation is always the right thing to do. Just changing doesn't necessarily gain you anything. But but if you're a company that is always trying to figure out what's the least we can do to survive instead of how can we transform to really set ourselves up to win for the coming decade, these are not the companies that tend to be the most successful. And so that's that's the challenge. is to overcome within an organization that natural tendency, a reasonable, understandable sympathetic tendency, for people to say, I'd rather avoided the pain if I can avoid it. And then you have to convince them, if you're a leader, a transformational leader, that not only is the the result going to be worth it, but the pain is necessary. Yeah, hate is necessary and of course, again you want to try to find ways to minimize it. It's not about more pain is good, but you know it is disruptive and you just have to face that and know that. You know you're going to break some eggs to make an Omelet or whatever analogy you prefer. Right and that's the name of the game. And and I guess I just add one last thought about that, which is, you know, something might say, well, why, why do you have to be so disruptive? And the answer is because the world is being disrupted. Yes, pace of change in the world and the pace of change in your customers behaviors is extraordinary. So when the world is changing, if you don't change at a similar pace, you're probably drifting into relevance. And we thought that change was fast before February of two thousand and twenty. Yeah, and my opinion, what will be we've experienced through the covid experience has been just a preview of the massive transformations that are coming down over the next five to ten years, things that we can't even really begin to wrap our minds around. It's almost like back in one thousand nine hundred and ninety five, ninety six, when the Internet was in its infancy and there were, you know, morning talk show host who were laughing about email. Coming back to that they because it's it's really it's a whole new way of visioning. And when we don't have clarity, that's where I think it's so easy to fall back into our cave of complacency and try to hold tight to what we know is to be true, but then there's new truths that have to come out of this. And and there are five activities that you propose in the book to empower, to guide brands to digitally transform, and I want to want to talk through a couple of them, starting with what I would say is more midway through, because I found this interesting, building the future. I'm a big believer that for transformation to become a reality we...

...have to bring, at least philosophically, the future into the present moment, to have some conversations around what could be. And you talk about this with design thinking too. What are the opportunities here, with design thinking too, to bring and to build the future, now, knowing the risk aversion that financial brands historically have, because I think that's where the greatest conflict in tension lies in this narrative here. Yeah, well, first of all, I would say if you're trying to influence and persuade financial organizations that are risk averse to invest and take the steps necessary to transform, I think then you need to focus on the risks, like we were talking about before, because it isn't as though not transforming is free of risk. In fact, it is riskier, and the transformation, which is also risky. Unfortunately, there is no non risky path. Yes, you know, just like leaving your money in a savings account is risky because of inflation and other things, investing is also risky, and this is one of the ironies to me that financial services can often be conserved of out investment, because if you put in the context of, you know, financial planning, wealth management, that kind of investment, of course everybody understands that. You know, risk reward, right, right. If you want a big reward, you have to be willing to take a big risk. And yet somehow sometimes, and there are certainly exceptions. I would want to paint every financial organization with the same brush, but their organizations that totally get that when it comes to managing their investment portfolio and seem to think differently when it comes to investing in digital capabilities. Digital growth is a journey from good to great, but sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to take this journey alone, because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin text who are all learning, collaborating and growing together. Visit Digital growthcom slash insider to learn more about how you can join the digital growth insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now back to the show. It's a paradox. It really is a paradox of sorts, because it's almost like we understand it on one side, but then we don't understand it on the other. And it's innovation, ideation that you talk about in the book that it's like. I think some ideas in financial services don't even see the light of day. One are the opportunities to at least maybe talk through some of this, to give an idea and innovation a chance, because it could be that idea that breaks free through the next level of growth. But if we shut those ideas down because of risk aversion, well then the future becomes the predictable back pass because we're making decisions in the present moment. Absolutely well, there are so many things to do and of course that's why I write such a such a thick book on this OPP yes, it is, but but you know, I think to me one of the most powerful things to do is to create a customer journey vision, to say how should our customer experience, the different scenarios in which they interact with our with our let's take a bank, right how what should account opening be like in the future? By the way, what is it like today? What is the current account opening journey? What is the current, you know, transfer money and journey? What is the current Financial Review Journey? What is the current or, if you're an insurance commity, what is the claims process? You know, we all have many different, or at least a handful of different scenaris. What is a mortgage application process look like? Whatever these things are, and of course some of them can be extremely painful, and sometimes the people who are making these decisions haven't even been presented a clear and accurate view of how much pain are we imposing on our customers right now? How hard is it? You know, if you speak to the executives running a bank, when was the last time they opened a new account at their bank? And if they did open one, did they go through the same process that a typical customer goes to, or did they get some kind of executive handholding process? HMM, and you know, some banks are doing tremendous things innovating account opening. By the way, we can go online and open account in ten minutes, but many are still fedexing you a packet with many of those little you know, do I have one here? One of those little you know, sign here things and you have to sign your name seventy five times and you have no idea what is all this stuff you're signing and just right there there's pain right. I mean we do a lot of customer research to support this type of innovation. How does the customer feel when you send them all that stuff? And the answer is usually little nervous, a little distrustful, a little annoyed. Now, of course in banking we have all kinds of regulatory things, so we have to comply with as well. So we can't just innovate without with no regard to that. Well, let's also not use that as an excuse, because all of a sudden you see pure play competitors that's somehow have avoided the seventy five page thing that you...

...have to Fedex somebody. So, you know, sometimes we can be overly conservative, and I'm not advocating violating regulations, but megany, regulations also have to be interpreted and sometimes we get used to a belief that says in order to fulfill this regulation. I've had this experience so many times in order there's a belief in order fill this regulation, we have to send the customer this lengthy thing they have to sign, just as one example. And then sometimes I'll be like can we see the regulation? You know, like what is this regulation actually say, because nobody in the room is even read it in years and years years. And then when you really look at it, and you have to have the right kind of legal and regulatroy people who are ready to help with this, you're like, well, actually, it doesn't say you must fedextma twenty five page. It's not that specific. You know, it's trying to protect the customer in certain ways and of course, hopefully all businesses want to give them those protections, but there are other ways to provide those protections. And so, anyway, I think that's some of the kind of things that have to be thought or to overcome what at least some of the points of resistance to creating an more innovative, easy to use experience for the customer. I've got two thoughts on that. Number one, you're right. When was the last time that a senior level executive opened an account, applied for a loan at their own financial brand yet alone. When was the last time that they had that experience with a pure play digital Fintech, neo bank, etc. I'm telling you, I've seen light bulb moments go off when presenting this exercise and those that actually do the homework and then come back and report on the experience, they're like, oh now I understand what you're talking about because we've provided clarity into what the possibilities are and what's going on in the market place. I think second, practically speaking, you're talking about the twenty five, you know, seventy five page Fedex doc. It's a little bit tactical here, but it does come back to experience in all of these microexperiences and how they add up to the macro experience of feelings and emotions and making deposit deposits to do a consumers trust fund that sits between their ear years, a third party link disclaimers. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten in Nice dialog and discussion discourse, because I think that's where, if we can have a dialog, discussion discourse, that's where we can come to some understanding but third party linked disclaimers. You Click on an apply button mortgage, for example. I've seen this, and it takes you to the third party mortgage site that they have a relationship with to apply for a mortgage. But before you get to that site you get a third party link pop up that says warning. Right, you are leaving our website and going to a third party that has different oversight than what we have here, and I'm like, you just lost ninety five percent of people from moving on to the next step, that next stage. We just we just depleted the trust that we had built up up to that point in that experience right there. Yeah, and you know, innovation requires ingenuity and resourcefulness. So step one is to map that out and to understand. Okay, we have this point, and then this is probably why we do research, because we don't just want to present that as an opinion, like but you just said, and I agree with you, but somebody might say, well, you know, that's that's what James thinks, but I don't know. I think most of our customers they're not that bothered by it. Right, people who want to believe, you know, people will often find evidence for what they want to believe. So that's why, okay, fine, we're gonna do twenty five customers, we're going to videotape them going through the process and we're going to have a camera on their face and then we're going to addit together a little video clip that might only be ninety swconds long and shows you the emotional reaction on their face. And and by the way, when we do that kind of research, we're not there to prove a point, we're there to genuinely assess. So I have had occasions where I thought there were aspects of an experience that were really problematic and then we did a bunch of research and I had to come back and say, you know, actually, this really isn't that big a deal for customers. They're not responding as negatively as we thought. And in other times there are things were like, why aren't more more people converting here, and we discover that they have some sort of a concern that we never even thought us and when you start to do that research, you start to realize there's something in the way here and if we can remove it we're going to get more business. This is why we frame is digital secret shopping studies are so critical for ongoing digital growth because we can bring biases to the table that we're not even necessarily aware of and we apply those biases, but unless we come back and tests against those biases, we hypothesize and then we we ran. Holiday says it best. We must let go of our ego, because ego is the enemy and it's okay if we're wrong. You opened up this conversation saying I've learned all you know, I've pattern matched, and that's really what this bulls down to, his pattern matching. And for us to have kids, we see pattern matching at really early stages of development, right. I mean I could think of my you know, three months, six month old, when they were that age, they were starting to do some pattern matching, very rudimentary, but this part of the human condition. And when you think about user testing and high pothesis and saying it's okay... be wrong, you said I've learned a lot of ways to be right, I've also learned a lot of ways to be wrong too, and accepting that. I think what have been the greatest lessons that you can share here, because I see failure, the way that we handle failure is an opportunity for optimization for future growth. Of failure isn't necessarily bad. It's learning experience. Yeah, well, absolutely, you know. And and of course we want to try to make those failures as low risk and small as possible. And so you know mean well, I wrote a blog post awhile back that said don't just fail fast, fail small. Yeah, and so you know. Okay, what's the best and easiest way to fail small? Is just customer research. Right, create a quick mock up of what you think you want to do and then sit down with customers using the right techniques. And by the way, I try to describe in my book. Of course there's no replacement of book. Is Not replacement for a trained analyst, don't get me wrong, but I try to explain, because there are right ways and wrong ways to do research and you can buyas results if you don't follow some some good practices. But you know, to then put that in front of a small number of customers and let them not give you their opinion on it, but to use it. Even if it's a paper prototype or a simple, you know, envision prototype or whatever, a PDF, you can still simulate use of soft stuff. That's very, very rudimentary and observe and see whether it's working or not. And I think that is the easiest way to fail, small because how much of you invested a few days to mock something up, you know? And then, of course you learn, and I remember working on a tricky project once. We helped double the conversion of the sign up site for a big energy company that was selling compatible electricity. So huge financial impact to this. And so how do we do it? At first we did Customeri Shu understand what's holding people back. Some percentage of people, let's just say ten percent of people or whatever, we're signing up. Ninety percent weren't. But yet, you know, they came to the site, right, so they have some interest, I'm intent. Yeah, well, some there was serve for some reason. Right. Why did ninety percent not sign up? And so we wanted to really vigorously understand what is going on. And of course the answers will not everybody fails for the same reason. But how do we figure out what are the top reasons? And then of course we want to start attacking those. So we did a bunch of work and we redesign and we created some new content and all that, and that's where, for example, there were examples of what I mentioned before. Some of the reasons were sort of what we thought, you know, and some of the reasons were like, like I remember, one of the reasons was people were worried that if they switched energy companies that in a power outage they might not have their service restored as quickly. Well, that's just like not how that sort of thing works. So like that would like never ever happen. But you know, how's the customer supposed to know that? So what did we do? We just we started messaging that, you know. I mean it doesn't take much, right, and but we never even the people who created the initial site. It never occurred to reassure somebody about that, because it's just never going to happen. And so it just wasn't on the radar, you know. So that's right, kind of thing you get through research. But anyway, and then, and then, and but the other point is there were some aspects of the experience because there are all these plans that you need to pick between and it was confusing the different plans and different characteristics, and there were a lot of them and we went through like six or seven different iterations. We didn't get it right the first time. We tried to show a better way of looking at the plants and it was worse. But it took US three days to put it together in one day to test it, and then we learned from our first round of testing and then we tried it again and again and over the course of a few weeks we got something that was way, way better. But it was that iterative process of getting be feedback from the customers and understanding. Well, why was it worse? Well, what was confusing them? What were they thinking? See, these are the kind of questions I like to ask in research, not what do you, the research subject, think we should do, but what are you thinking when you see this? And then they click something. Why did you click that? You know which want to try to get inside their heads, because then that helps us understand where the problems are and then we, as designers, are probably in a better position than they are to figure out how to tweak it, or at least we have a chance, and then test again. Yeah, this is this is what I frame as going all in, asking good questions, listening to the answers and then learning through observation, because you know, there's a lot that we can learn by not from what someone says but, more importantly, by what they do to the decisions that they make. Speaking about making decisions, you wrap up the book with ideas to overcome, and we touched on this a little bit before, but I want to go deeper here, to overcome some enterprise resistance to change. This is not just one department, this is not just one team when area of the organization, this is really throughout the entire organization. Thinking about financial services, banks, crediting his syntax or are the opportunities that you see to empower what I would frame is positive transformation internally that then creates positive value externally. Yeah, I think that there's a whole bunch of techniques, as you mentioned in the book, but I'll just mention a few categories of them. I think the first thing you need to do is create, you know, what we would classically call creating burning platform. You mentioned a great technique, which is the mystery shopping showing videos of real customers, like I...

...mentioned, is another man. You know, how do we help? Looking at financial metrics can also help with that. How do we because the natural inclination is that the preferred approach is to not change, just keep doing what we're doing. Yeah, so the first thing you need to do is get people to go. Okay, that is really not going to be a possibility. That's not an option, unfortunately, because of course if you could avoid the paind of change, that would be awesome. But that's just not really like in the cards for most companies in two thousand and twenty two. But now, just once you've convinced people that change is necessary, that's not the same thing as convincing them to get on board with a particular change. We could all agree that the building that we're in right now is burning, but you might want to run north and I might want to run west. In someone else might run a run east. We still don't have a consistent alignment around a plan. So the second thing we need to do is paint a clear vision of where would we go? What is the future? For us? It's creating a more of a digitally centric experience, whatever that may be right and it's a bank. Obviously there are many our what is that future mortgage experience? What is that future? What kind of products and services would we be able to offer in a future world in which we were more digitally centric. So be able to paint that picture and then if you can get people aligned around that, Oh man, that would be great if we could become a bank like that. Oh my God, I would be so proud to work for that bank. But then you have another barrier, that people go but will never be able to do it. All right, so first you got to commence them. The gotta Change. Then you got to paint a picture of where they want to go, but then you got to overcome the fact that they have doubt that it's worth the effort, that it's like ever going to happen, or are we just bad like windmills? So then you need to show them a plan. You'll give them a reason to believe that we can do it, we can get there, because there's no point in starting down a hundred mile journey if everyone's going to die of starvation at Mile Five. Right, just forget it, you know. So we need to show them that they can actually get there. And when you accomplish those things, and I guess I had one fourth thing, which is and show them their role and their personal victory. How is it that once this transformation happens, they individually will be a hero and of course the story there is going to vary. If they're in it, that's different from it if they're in marketing versus if they're in the legal and regulatory team. But you want to really think about how do we make sure we're communicate with them why their personal contribution is so successful, so that when we achieve this amazing victory, they personally will be one of the heroes that made it happen. I want to really touch on one tact here because to me, I think from my own experience of watching howill of this plays out over the years, it was tactic three. Share parenthood of the transformation with many people, because you have a subhead. People resist change, but they support the change they create, and that's where the CO creation comes in. Itself actualization itself fulfillment, because I even think about my kids right no one wants to be told what to do, but if I can at least coach them to see something that they could take ownership of, the success rate, even with my kids is far higher that I'm saying Hey, go do xwire z coming in from the outside, but it's almost the facilitation of the internal conversation that they're having with their self and then their team and then the organization. Talk to this idea about the parenthood here, because I thought this right, this was this was just this was gold. Yeah, that's a fantastic quote. is from a real genius at collaborative work by the name of Matt Taylor, who devised a lot of the workshop principles that we use in our work when we do workshops with clients, which is just one tool to get people to feel on board. But but that's absolutely right. You know what I talked about in the book and I'll just try to be very succinct about it here. And so much of this is psychology. You know, much of succeeding in business is psychology, because if you can get the customer to do what you want them to do, you're going to have a great business. If you get your employees to be excited to do what you want them to do, you're gonna have a great business. How do you get them to do I mean it's about psychology, human motivation and similarly, overcoming resistance within an organization is all about understanding that. And so, you know, we talked about how people tend to resist change. But there's an interesting loophole to that kind of programming that a lot of people have in their minds to resist change, which is how many people embrace having a child. Not Everybody, you know, not bill mar or whatever, but the vast majority of people. They look at the right time in their life, they embrace having a child, even though that's a massive change in their life and but of course necessary for, you know, evolutionary survival. So my understanding from talking to evolutionary psychologist is that this is kind of a loophole, if you will, to the general programming that says resist change. And so there's an interesting parallel, which is that, you know, people often talk about ideas like their children. You know, don't call the baby ugly, you know. Yeah, you know, you want your idea, your child that you've birthed, to survive. It's a bat, just like your child is sort of an imprint of view. Your idea can sometimes feel emotionally similar. People want their ideas to survive and that that desire for the survival of your offspring, whether it's a physical, real...

...offspring or it's the offspring in the form of an idea, over rides your resistance to change. And so the idea of, you know, making everybody a parent, of an idea is okay if you want to drive, you know, moving toward you know, let's say something digital signatures, you know, or something right, something very PRAC tactical, you know, if there's there's a million reasons not to do it right. And for the people that want to resistant, resist it, I'm sure they can give a long speeches on why they're against it, because there's nothing that doesn't have pros and cons. But if you can get everyone, in a workshop environment or in some other context, to go either I generated this idea, I came up with this need, or, yes, I named the program or I came up with some of how we're going to implement it. I made a contribution, I am one of the parents of making this initiative successful. You can short circuit their natural psychological programming that says this is a change, it's going to be risky, things are going to go wrong, I'm going have to work weekends. Let's try to avoid this. Right. A couple thoughts as your unpacking that. Number one I can think of, you know, becoming a parent now, almost twelve years ago. My first two iterations of that were fraught with failure and I did it own the parent role, the fatherhood hole roll very well. I struggled. It was the second to that I was able to learn from the first, to those early experiences, and apply that and it worked out even that much better. The second is, you know, when I'm hearing you talk through this idea of psychology, you're right and you whenever I'm guest lecturing at a university, the students are always asked me what marketing book shutter read, What Cell I'm like, don't read a marketing book, go read a book on persuasion. Go read a book on human behavior, anthropology, because that's that's the real that's where the real magic, if you will, happens. And and I wanted to transition here as we wrap up, and this has been such a fun and fascinating conversation hour. Thank you for your your time and your insights. The greatest book, the Best Selling Book of all time actually, and you recently wrote a blog post about this. It caught my eyes when you get your take on this here. You wrote an article what the Bible teaches about digital transformation. I've read a great book of couple times out called business secrets from the Bible. And so what? Yeah, what the Bible teaches about digital transformation? What's maybe one lesson that we can take away, because I I like bringing diverse ideas and trying to find parallels, and narrative structure helps with that. And once again, that idea of books, to read Joseph Campbell's works. I mean it really helps to facilitate dialog and change internally if we can frame it around like the Heroes Journey. But coming back to your article, what the Bible teaches about digital transformation, what's maybe one lesson that we can leave the dear listener, regardless of our religious affiliations, here I think there's a lot that we can just learn from just looking at the narrative archetypes. I agree. So right. Well, of course, the Bible is a story of a whole bunch of leaders, right from Adam to Noah, to Abraham, Isaac Jacob, Moses, Jo, you know, Joshua and and so on, and they were off lawed, they all had challenges, none of them were perfect, some of them strewed up big time. So that's that alone is an insight. Right, the Bible is not trying to paint a picture of perfect people. Then the second and aged lead led in different ways, and that's also important. They had different styles, from personalities and they did things in different ways. If you want one example, I'll just maybe mention one, and there are many in that in that blog post. But let's talk about the story of the Golden Calf. So and Passover is coming up, so this is timely so for this. So what happens? For those who need a little reminder, the Jews it. On our last episode. The Jews were slaves in eget right, the Jews are slaves in Egypt and God goes to ten plagues and, you know, turns the water to blood, makes wild animals run everywhere, does all of these truly miraculous things to to get the Egyptians to let the Jews leave, which will just simplify the story and say eventually they the Jews let leave. Oh and by the way, on the way of the Egyptian Change Your Mind, God parts the sea for them so they can go through the sea. Right on the other side of the parted sea, God is providing man in the desert right, just just like food that they can just pick up off the ground and eat. He's taking care of them, even though they're in the desert. There is a fiery pillar guiding them where they want to go. I mean, you couldn't have a more like you. You could just imagine. How much more could you do for these people that you've taken out of out of it's a good right. It's like a jury Bruckheimer film, right, right. So, can you just imagine if he remade the ten commandments so so so, what happens? Then? Moses tells the people, this is okay, your your gods chosen people, and here's how we're going to behave. And he lays down for them, you know, some rules that they need to foul and but there's really one number one rule, right, and it's the first of...

...the Ten Commandments. They may not have had all the lawge the number one rule. There's one God and you don't pray to any other gods. Right now. In Egypt, where they were before, there were lots of Gods and everyone prayed to lots of God's in the Jews probably did to write. They were they were part of Egyptian culture. They got taken out of the culture, even though they were slaves. They were still part of that culture. They get taken out of that culture, put in the desert and as soon as Moses leaves, goes up on the mountain, what do they do? He's gone. Let's make an idol, let's milk down all of our gold jury, let's make a golden calf so he can go back to the behavior of before. Right, about to say, but they fell back to old patterns, old behaviors, and I think there's a lot of takeaways here when it comes to digital transformation, right, is so easy to go down a new path and then something happens, we get a little scared, we get little freaked out, we revert back to what we knew to be true before. Yeah, yeah, so I think that's that's a great analogy, like a great leadership challenge and and it just goes to show even God right, can't you know, can't always get people. So if you're a leader and you're finding and you're getting discouraged that you know, everyone's not doing what you say and people are resisting, know that people are like that and in the end, the end, of course, they do succeed and you know, getting to Israel everything. So you know, but after forty years, and that's another point, right, sometimes things take longer than you think and perseverance sa so many mendicines. Yeah, when I read that article I just said, wow, there's a lot of a lot of good insights and parallels that can be drawn to a journey, and I think that's what this is all about. It is a journey, it's not a it's not a sprint. Prepare for the long haul. Pack accordingly, and when I say pack accordingly, it's like you know in your mind first and foremost that it's going to be a little bit rocky. But if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. But I think it's also not a journey that one can take a loan. It requires a team to work together towards a purpose greater than themselves here in the present moment. One final question is we wrap up next best steps? Always like to just send the the dear listener off of something practical, something simple, small. All transformation that leads to future growth does begin with a very small, simple step. What would be a recommendation that you would make to a financial brand or a Fintech bank credit union leader who's listening, so that they can continue to move forward on their own journey of growth with courage and confidence. Sir, sure, well, you know I end the book, My book, with a bunch of suggested next steps. Of course I selfishly. I'll suggest a good step would be to read, to read my book, which I reason I say that is not because I make so much money off every nineteen dollar nine nights and copy the guess whole, but because, you know, it is really trying to give you a blueprint for how to proceed. But if you were going to say like and there's many places to start, the good news is don't delay starting because you can't figure out where to start right. That's not a good reason. And there are there are a dozen right answers to where to start. And what's more important to starting than worrying about whether you've got the right one. But one is the first step of my five part process for digital transformation, which is understand the customer. If you don't have recent customer research, if your understanding of your customers needs, their pain points, their desires is based on old information, you know, opinion, Apocryphal Knowledge, which is true at many companies. Most companies, the refresh. That right there's a lot of research techniques described in my book. There's actually a supplemental y book that's Tree with my book that prides even more information on research techniques. Or go out and hire a company. My companies that business. I think your company might be in a similar business and there are many companies that can help you conduct good research. This research has to be the foundation of everything we do in digital transformation, because the ultimate goal of transformation, of digital transformation, is to drive more customer behaviors that are beneficial to your business. And if don't understand somebody, then you're unlikely to be able to be accurate in figuring out what can I change the experience that will drive the right behaviors. That's the foundation for everything. So that's a very good place to start. That's a great point to end on. Howard, if someone wants to continue to the conversation that we've started here today, what's the best way for them to reach out say hello and where can they grab a copy of your book? Sure, I'm very active on Linkedin and certainly you could find many posts, including, no doubt, that one about the Bible. I just didn't want for Presidents Day. What digital transformation leaders can learn for Abraham Lincoln and watch George Washington, for example, the love of it, and so that's one. Certainly find me on Linkedin and if you want to the book, you can find the book anywhere, like Amazon or barn noble whatever. But he's also a website for the book at Winning Digital Customerscom and you can download the first chapter for free if you like there and sign up for amailing list and other stuff like that. Connect with Howard get the book winning digital customers. Winning Digital Customerscom learned from Howard Howard. Thank you so much for joining me for another episode of banking on digital growth. This has been a lot of... today. Yeah, likewise, thanks for having me as always, and until next time, be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Leigh. To get even more practical and proven insights, along with coaching and guidance, visit digital growthcom slash insider to join a community of prothminded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and Fintax. Until next time, be well and do good.

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