Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 7 months ago

197) #ExponentialInsights - Banking on Your Community in a Digital World


A strong financial institution is reflected by a healthy community. By investing in their constituents, FIs can reap sustainable, exponential growth.

But as digital banking evolves, so has the definition of ‘community.’

My guest, Jeff Marisco, president of The Kafafian Group, Inc., elaborates on several points from his latest book, Squared Away, in breaking down why he thinks communities as an entity are one of the most important stakeholders in banks.

We also cover some of the challenges to grooming success in a remotely digital world.

Join us as we discuss:

- Community banks embracing niche branding to empower their consumers [6:00]

- How FIs balance the needs of ‘the four stakeholders’ [8:59]

- The challenge of building a strong culture in the remote workplace and why accountability has been misappropriated as a negative asset [28:06]

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- The Kafafian Group

- Personal Blog at

- Author Website at

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.

When we elevate people to being in charge of other people, do we appropriately train people to be the motivator that we need them to be? 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 Leigh and welcome to the one hundred ninety seven episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Jeff Marcco to the show. Jeff is the president of the Kafaffian Group and author of squared away. How can Baker succeed as economic first responders? You know, so many banking books today are about digital or Crypto or even scandal at large institutions, but squared away. Is that one of them, as it speaks to building a culture of operating discipline that serves all sakeholders so that you can be relevant and even important to them by building long term relationships far out into the future. Welcome to the show, Jeff. It is so good to share timey today. Buddy. Thanks Change Robert, good to be here. Before we get into your book squared away, I always like to start off on a positive know what is good in your world right now, personally or professionally. It's your pick to get started. Well, it's a beautiful day in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, the home of dove chocolate bars, and I'm also traveling to speak at a conference in key Largo, Florida right after we get off the phone today, so I got a lot of Sun ahead of me. That's what's good today. You've got a lot of Sun. And to your point about dove chocolate, shout out to my mom as we're recording. It was mother's Day this past Sunday and she's she loves her dove chocolate for Shure. And what a neat little brand, because when you open it up they always have a little quotes from, you know, someone somewhere, a little inspiration with with that, with that bite of chocolate. I love it. Tell her to keep buying it and keep my community sound. Well, that's what it's about, right you know, when it comes to community, community banking, credit unions, it's about building strong communities, United Communities, to where we're all, you know, leveling up and growing together. And I want to dive into square squared away, because you noted for financial brands they have really for primary stakeholders here. You talked about employees, you talked about customers, shareholders, if they have them, and then communities, and so I'm curious to get started. Why write this book in the first place? As a fellow author, I know the lift that it takes and it does take time, it takes commitment, it takes follow through. But why write this book in the first place? And why now? Well, now, James, is because I captured all of that travel time during the pandemic. Right we today I'm going to spend hours traveling myself and all that time was recaptured. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to take my twenty five years of consulting experience in five years of banking experience and say look, here's an operating model, here's a type of discipline. It's not prescripted to say you should do exactly this, but create an operating discipline at your financial institution that has enough resources to satisfy all of your constituencies, because a thriving community is the seed bed for a thriving financial institution. So communities matter to a bank to accredit union. They really do. And I like the idea of the the the approach that you took particularly. I mean you opened it up. You Open up with a quote that notes, and...

I'm going to quote this, is a business is good because it creates a value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. This is a quote from conscious capitalism and I really connected with it because it is in line with the greater what I call one bxbt, our purpose that we're working towards here at Dgi. Why? Why did you select this quote to open up the book with? Yeah, so I was deep into writing the book when I was when I read conscious capitalism, but so much of it resonated with me. I mean capitalism has been the greatest uplifter of economic mobility the world has ever in history as ever known. And banks are at the center cod of the economies locally and the ability to take capital from people that have it and distribute it, lend it to people that need it could be a tremendous uplifter of economic mobility for the retail customer. It could be the tremendous UPLIFTER for businesses to go to their next level of growth. So banking is in a very good position to be meaningful to their stakeholders. It's this idea of you know, when you think about this, the the what some called the triple bottom line. People, profit, planet, we can all win. It's not a zero some game and I think there's a there's a level in a sense of abundance that comes with this as well. And when you bring this into the local market, you know, a long, long time ago we had another brand called see you grow. That didn't stand for credit unions and a lot of people misunderstood that. It stood for communities united grow together. And if you think about like a pyramid and we in Earth that pyramid. What is really the connecting force is the community institution. And you have the bank, you have the Credit Union, and that brings together consumers on one side and then connects them with local business on the other side. But then that idea of community too, is now transforming and evolving beyond physical place, location, Zip code borders. Community can also be a group of people that are united around a common perspective. What's your take on this idea of the transformation of community? Well, look no farther than your home state of Texas. In Dallas Texas there's a bank called Triumph Bank Corp and what they're trying to do is transform the payments methodology, all the friction in the payments methodology in the trucking business. So think about independent truckers. Right. We're not talking about Dallas and Twenty Mile Radius from Dallas, we're talking about across the country. This bank is trying to solve the friction and help truckers be truckers rather than being bookkeepers of their own books of business. So That's pretty expansive community. It's a niche community and that's the way I think the financial institution landscape is going well. Let's stay in Texas with that. There's transpacos bank out of the San Antonio Area Community Institution, but has not launched a niche brand as well a couple of years ago called Bank MD, doing the same exact type play to empower doctors and physicians to, you know, not worry about the books, to your point, but to really focus on their patients and growing their practice. And I think we're probably going to see more and more of this. This what is known as niche banking, as we're seeing open banking continue to expand, banking as a service continuing to expand. Where do you see some of the great opportunities through that Lens? Well, I do think that it... a niche and and it doesn't mean that the banks that grew up in a community and was basically the general financial institution for their community has to abandon their community, but they can bolt on a niche. You had mentioned, for example, a bank that is focusing on handling medical professionals. Well, and in Pennsylvania there's Centric Bank that has doc centric bank as one of its one of its niches. So here you have Pennsylvania and Texas pursuing a niche they don't have to necessarily abandon the communities they grew up in. No, what they do have to make choices, choices for the resource allocation, for their technology investments, for their expert piece of their employee base, and those choices ought to be based on where the banks succeed deliver profit, which delivers resources to their other stakeholders. Well, I want to talk about that because when you think about these four stakeholders once again, you know employees, customers, shareholders of appable and communities. Out of these four, where do financial brands get trapped, spending the most time thinking and doing, and that leads to the neglect of the other three, or maybe the other two? And why do you think that is the case? What happens here? Yeah, so it's more or less the constituent that's in front of them the most. So for a shareholder publicly traded financial institution, oftentimes we see a lot of emphasis placed on the shareholders, sometimes at the expense of the other stakeholders, and the other stakeholders get recognition when it impacts the shareholders, but they all impact each other. Yes, for non shareholder own we often see it as the employees that they want to keep that long tenured employee, which leads to a lot of complacency in their employee base, which Simey's change. Yes, in a changing environment. So I would say that what we see often in public companies are the positioning of shareholders ahead of the other stakeholders and in non publicly traded financial institutions, putting the employees ahead of the other constituency. I like the way that you frame that around. It's it's who is in front of us the post, it's who we see, and I can't help but think of a few financial brands that have been in the banking on digital growth program over the last few years that that is a real issue when it comes to building digital experiences, digital cells, for example. I can think of one in particular who is always noted that their quote unquote, cells team will always take because they've been built around the the physical brick and mortar experience of the branch, that that digital cells team will not follow up and respond with digital leads because they cannot see them. They would actually take the person in front of them and that creates friction internally between marketing and cells. So I think you're thinking is so sound with that and and this is why I appreciate the First Section of the book when it comes to people putting people first. I was wrong here whenever I was writing banking on digital growth, and I'm trying to atone for my sins for that, because when I wrote this book I said, you know, growth comes from a focus on digital experience plus human experience. I was looking at humanizing digital experiences, but then, through Covid I realized I missed one of the most key elements of experience, which is employee experience, because positive employee and experience will lead to a positive human experience that has the potential to be exponentially multiplied digitally. And so, with...

...that context in mind, you not in chapter two how to build a culture in a remote world. What do you see as some of the greatest roadblocks here that financial brands must be thinking about when it comes to building culture in a remote digital world? Yeah, so one good example is, and this happens at our firm, we've been digital, we've been remote since the pandemic, but we were hybrid before the pandemic because we have consultants all over the place. But you know, somebody would sit at home and try to solve a problem for two hours, that they could just bark over the cubicle and say hey, how do you do this? MMM, and they're not doing it because the extra effort of reaching out via the office chat which we use teams, or calling on the phone and sharing the screen, they would rather sit at home and solve the problem. So I think we slow down the development of employees. We slow down the sharing of information and the passing of institutional knowledge, which means that we're siloing institutional knowledge more and more with the work from home environment. We have to be intentional about not doing that. Its highlowing institutional knowledge, but also camaraderie is a challenge which lessens the employees connection to the firm. So Camaraderie is is an issue and culture building is sort of lost because of the informal communications. You lack the perceived access to the boss. Yes, is is usually less so. So there's culture building as a challenge the digitally and you must be intentional, and I wish I had the answer on how to build culture, but you have to be very intentional about trying new things. What works, what doesn't? Try to schedule events, to have a personal communications between people. Yeah, when we in the start of the pandemic, we used to have happy hour once a week where we'd sit there and we'd have a drink and we'd all be on zoom making fun of each other. Right, right. So try to try to build into personal connections. You know, we're spending eight to ten hours a day at the task and you know we should be able to enjoy each other's company doing it. I'm working to provide some perspective into this challenge here with banking on change, because I saw the same thing coming out of the pandemic early on and I think and I don't believe any of us have the answer. We're trying to all figure this out and that's why is a digital anthropologist. I'm probably becoming more enamored. You know, when we look at the the lenses that we operate around marketing, cells, technology human behavior. Probably leaning more heavily into the human behavior piece of this right now for multiple reasons, but I can say we we really worked hard to bring people together digitally via zoom and facilitate dialog and discussion cross functionally within an organization, and what I have found through that is is actually increased the mind share and the understanding and even maybe a level of empathy too, because that was that happening within some of these organizations pre pandemic. Even when we were facetoface, we were some what heads down, getting stuck doing whatever it is. But I think there's the intentionality of creating space and time to review what we've done, learn through those experiences together, think about what we can do and continue forward, which which I want to move on here because it's it's really not just the thinking side, because you can know everything, but you have to apply that...

...knowledge to actually grow, which is in section two. You wrote about that. No amount of good execution, however, will help a bad strategy. What are some of the common will call them strategic or lack of strategic thinking here, pitfalls that financial brands must be aware of and really need to avoid. Yes, so we're beyond who pin of doing what we did last year plus five percent. So if we say that we're going to be a faster provider of credit to small to medium sized businesses and therefore we're going to grow our loan book, instead of five percent, we're going to grow it at seven percent and we're going to be largely the same financial institution three, five years from now. Well, you know, that is a strategy that might lead you onto the path, the long path, of your relevance. And so, no matter how good you execute on that strategy, like we nailed it. We got to seven and a half percent, and you know, from application to closing we're now at forty five days versus sixty days. Still you're still what came to that fork in the road and took the irrelevant path, and and you have to think about where your high lifetime value customers are and where they are going financially, and build the bank to serve them. 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 fit 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. Why do you think this is the case? And I'm addressing this in banking on change. I diagnosed this is getting stuck in the Cave of complacency, and that Cave of complacency it definitely has a sirens call to come into the cave. The cave will offer pseudo safety from the the the storm and the chaos outside. But if you look on the the floor of the cave, you see the scattered corpses of other brands that they too also sought soulas in the cave. Why? Why does this happen? From your experience? Why? Why do we take that path to irrelevancy as you know it, or get stuck in the Cave of complacency with just then leads to a slowomize success. We've been successful. We've delivered profitability to our shareholders. We've been able to provide stable employment to our employees. We've been successful, and the bulk of the executives in the financial institution space will have been around since the time when banking barely budge HMM and and that says, look, this too will pass and they're right on some on some level, but they're wrong on most levels. But they have the capital, they have the profits that will sustain them to the end of their careers that it's riskier in their mind to strike new paths, such as the Triumph Bank. Quote. Yes, bank court was a little anibitti Dallas Bank when was...

...recapped by their current investor group, and now they're trying to corner the market on payments in the trucking space. Yep, Yep. And what rolled will call it? Maybe it's an entrepreneurial mind here, because I think you're you know this, I did. The curse of success becomes an impediment to the future, and you know multiple stories out there about other brands, big brands, small brands, that have experienced this. But what, what world is maybe an entrepreneurial mind play into forging some of these new paths that I think of in my mind playing Oregon traill as a kid on on the old Macintosh computers at school and you know, you're outblazing new trells, which can be exciting but at the same time extremely terrifying. How does it, the entrepreneural mind, play into this? Well, I think you need to have a culture of trying things and not punishing failure. Now in financial institutions were a risk business, right so, so we have to be able to wall risk. Yep, and let me give you an example. For example, Ponce a bank, a bank in the New York Metro area, banks a lot of recent immigrants. It's primarily a Hispanic Bank. They partnered with a Fintech firm called grain technology that claim to be able to use artificial intelligence to be able to identify credit worthiness of people that didn't have long credit histories. Well, Paul say, in their first quarter said look, we have put back. We've had maybe twenty fivezero loans that didn't work out and seventeen million dollars were putting back on grain technology. And people are saying, well at Oh, that was a huge failure. Well, you know, the partnership was a failure, but the ability to experiment was not, and the learning that that we're you know, Pon say, is in an area where it's important to be able to look at other factors other than credit history. Yes, as you have a lot of recent immigrants, right, so they're trying to solve for that and be the Bank of choice for those new immigrants coming and they use they partner grain technology. It didn't work out. They walled the risk. They were able to put a lot of the loans back to grain, right, right. So they they saw a more market that they wanted to play in. Yep, they evaluate it, how to serve that market, they picked a provider and they went forward and they failed, and I don't think that's necessarily a failure. I think it's a learner. Yes, right, and we have to have that mindset at financial institutions to all our strategic bets, but to make the strategic bets. I have books on the shelf behind me and one is quote from from Nelson Mandela. I never lose, either I win or I learn, and I think, I think the other thing to here is almost like the Prato principle. It's the eighty twenty and you see a lot of that coming out of Silicon Valley over the years, Google for example. You know, they always told engineers, you know, focus your eighty percent on the present moment, on the here and the now, but then let's take twenty percent and focus that to the future. Because the other book that I have on my shelf behind me is from Abraham Lincoln and it says the best way to predict the future is to create it. And so I think it's, you know, investing time, dollars effort energy into the future, not going all in but using it as pilots to learn and really gain that knowledge, to gain that feedback so that we can do even better going forward. And one of the big areas here that that I see and really focus in is around product positioning, market positioning, marketing cells, etc. And in section and three you ask a tremendous question,...

...a very thought provoking question. Who Cares about products and marketing? What's the question behind the question here and why is it important for every financial brand, and maybe even Fintech to ask this question? Yeah, and this, course gets back to what you have on on on your website. Right. I said, how do you quantify marketing activities beyond vanity metrics to help your team rise above being viewed as a cost center glorified in house can goes or kids that play with painting? Took that right from your website and and I said Amen to that. And that section of the book is about Accountability and marketing is going to play and ever more increasing role, as the handshake is becoming less of an indicator of getting new business correct. So so marketing is going to play and ever increasing role in putting people in the sales funnel, helping manage through the sales process and then creating loyalty on the other end of that funnel. And this that section of the book is about accountability. That's right, and not negative accountability. I'm talking positive accountability, not this, not the stick, but the carrot. Yes, Learning Organization says we tried this to get to this point on the horizon and we didn't get there. Let's ask why and let's make modifications and course corrections right because if you use the stick, all you're going to get is while we tried, I'm never going to try that again because I called out in a senior executive meeting and you know, it didn't work. So twenty years of my career is going to go down the tube of me not resisting or resisting new ideas. So I put together some metrics that I researched that I thought made sense. You know, eighty to ninety percent of a community financial institutions revenue is spread. Well, what a perfect mechanism to measure how your marketing efforts and how you are financial institution is perceived by your constituencies. Then looking at the loan, the yields on the loans that you have on your book compared to a financial financial institutions with similar loan books? And how about the deposit those costs of the deposits? How much is that cost? And you compared to similar financial institutions? Right, and measure the trend to continuously improve where your financial institution stands. If what your financial institution is pursuing is a differentiation strategy rather than a cost strategy, if you're purposely pursuing a cost strategy, then of course you will have a higher cost of funds and you probably will have a lower yield on loans right now. But you know what, you could still track that to make sure that you're in a tolerance range, even if you're pursuing a cost strategy. But you know what, how many financial institutions do you see say we're pursuing a cost differential, a cost strategy rather than a differentiasition strategy? Yeah, and I think that right there it comes down to value creation, which is where, in section four, you really start diving deep into how to create a valuable financial brand. And back to your point of accountability. You do this in chapter thirteen, to build a and I like the way you frame the stability, positive culture, a positive culture of accountability. I want to get practically here. What might be one or two ways that the deer listener can put this into practice, because I think accountability comes with some baggage. It's viewed as a negative and it's not the case. I think this is about how to be even better than what we were before,... to be even better together. Yeah, so one thing that we've I like to think that we skimped out on in financial institutions is employee development. And you think that that's all. Learn how to use the Jack Henry Silver Lake System. Well, that's part of it, right, how to do your job, how to functionally perform and your job. But when we elevate people to being in charge of other people, do we appropriately train people? MMM, the the motivator that we need them to be. And and you know, when you grew up, maybe played some sports or what did your coaches do? They yelled at you when you made mistakes. Right, some of my coaches I couldn't even repeat on your podcast the things they would say to me when I was twelve and fourteen years old. Right, but that's the that's the environment we grew up in. But you know, I was enlisted, I'll say, to become a middle school girls lacrosse coach. I knew nothing about girls Lacrosse, but they, the the Athletic Association, that enlisted me to do it, sent me to coaching school, yes, and one of the things I learned was about this positive coaching alliance and to get the maximum performance from your players, you should have five positive interactions to one negative interaction. Yes, so five hundred one, and I'm not talking about Oh, you're very well groomed today. They have to be authentic praise for the player one. They're much more accepting of the constructive criticism when they're you have that ratio. It's called the magic ratio and I thought this applies to life, right, and it was actually consistent with what I learned in the military, but I was too young to absorb it in my rockead that, you know, you should call people out for doing things right much more than you call them out for doing things wrong. Absolutely, and that helps with the positive feedback. So I do think that accountability tends to be Negati of because we're spending so much more time correcting the people that are on the lower totem of the accountability spectrum then the ones that are on the higher ones. But say, for example, and you asked about bringing it down to practical you're a branch manager and you have twenty branches in your network and the executive team has executive incentives based on return on assets. Yep, right, very common compared to peer. Well, you could have branch managers accountable for the continuous improvement of the return on assets in the branch. Now you have total consistency with executive incentives and branch incentives. But instead of calling out, chastising, publicly flogging the bottom cortile return on asset branches, you have praise for the top courtile. You have stories and organizational learning. Yes, how somebody elevator from mediocrity to top cortile right, and then you coach in a one on one situation those bottom cortile branches to try to get them into the middling level so you can create a positive accountability culture where your employees aren't quaking in their boots because their branch ranking report they ended up in their bottom four time. So I want to expand on this just a little bit because once again, this is where I'm so fast needed right now. That's the human behavior component of those four different lenses I mentioned before, marketing, sales, technolo to human behavior. And you have done a lot of research around this and you know, even going through, you know, being in an executive coaching program myself now for probably six years, what I have learned, you know, and I'm tying this down to a formula of what I call exponential growth, and exponential growth is achieved when an individual feels like and there's that that that were feelings, you know, and I when we introduce that into banking.

I know there's some people like just they just stopped listening right here, but I do it in the navy. I was I was a sailor. So yeah, and and but I think the more that we can lean into this, and it's that touchy feeling like this is like really deep level psychology stuff. Is If we if we can make someone feel like they are growing personally as well as professionally at the same exact time, that creates a trajectory for exponential growth, because when you go from the individual feeling like that to the team feeling like that, to the team to then the organization, that then begins to bleed over into the community as well. I think that's where the real transformative opportunity is. You know, it was looking ahead into a world that's going to continuously feel more increasingly complex and feel more increasingly confusing, and it's about taking time to pause us and ask one simple question. What's been going well? And I'm using this as a way to frame where were you winning yesterday or last week, or last month or last quarter? And it's the intentionality of focusing on the winds first. So that's the past. Look looking at the present moment. What are you excited about right now? What are you feeling energized about right now? Because there's a level of confidence that can come from that. And then we flip it learning. You know, if we look over the last day, last week, last month, last quarter, last year, would have been the big lessons that you've learned along the way, because we're already transforming failure into a learning by just framing how we have these dialogs. And there's a lot of self awareness that can come from this too, because I think the more that we can help someone's, you know, self actual as become self aware of what where they could have been, even better than what they were and if they don't address that, then it's like, you know, based upon what I see over here, here's an area of growth, and this comes from, you know, some of the marriage prep that my wife and I have done over the years and the training that we got through this. You know, we we take the Swat, was it, strinks and witnesses, but we flip that into strinths and growth areas or growth opportunities. And then, finally, so you have the learning. The last one is looking ahead, looking forward. What are you looking forward to to? where? You know, one of the big lessons that I've learned through my time and strategic coach with dance soull of in is always make your future bigger than your past. And and that's why I want to look back to chapter sixteen here and really kind of take this conversation full circle. You talk about banking on good making the future bigger than the past. What do you mean by banking on good? Because I'm I love I love the thinking here. Yeah, so if you're focused on retail customers, wouldn't it be beneficial for all of your stakeholders if you were to elevate elevate the economic mobility of your customers. So you turn low income people into moderate income people, moderate in the middle income people, middle income into upper middle income. Your financial institution, if you create that culture where you are helping people elevate their current situation, will be better for your financial institution and will be better for your community and will be better for your shareholders, if your shareholder own Yep, yeah, so take a look at like, how would you practically do this? Will personal financial management tools are now common in mobile banking, but it's not common, when a customer opens up an account or a member opens up an account, for that representative to get them started in that personal financial management tool. Yes, yes, and yes,...

...right, Yep, and because so many, I mean we lack financial education early in our life and it's more difficult now than ever before to manage your finances. But it's all about growing your net worth. It's not about improving your cash flow. Only if you're improving your cash flow grows your net worth. That's the mindset that people need to have to increase their own economic mobility, and who else but a financial institution to help them do that? Right? So, if you're focused on retail customers, doing good could be good for all constituencies. So so what I want to ask you when to go back and ask a question connected dot previously, because you're onto something here and I'm predicting that will and could you mentioned coaching? You know, coaching internally and, as I mentioned before, transform the Self, transform the team, transform the organization and then you can transform lives of the communities that you're serving. Where might there be an opportunity to take technology, AI, automation, data and then build in a practice of coaching, not just internally but also externally? Because, back to your point, a lot of our financial behaviors are really habits and those habits are rooted in family of origin, our environment, culture, and that is some deep level stuff, you know, to where, yes, we can show that we give people the tools, but until they begin to self actualize their own behavior avior in their own thinking. How a great conversation with Dr Joyce Mader, who's a clinical psychologist and she wrote a great book called the Financial Mindset Fix. Where might there be opportunities to bring some of this? Will call that just behavioral economics as part. So I'm a branch manager, but I'm also a financial coach to financial gym is already doing this out of New York, because now we create new income opportunities through membership. We did, we got the subscription economy. It's already here. What's your take on this? Well, you just described probably the new iteration of the branch. Right. Yeah, branch personnel should be able to do not just affect efficiently Trans transactive deposit right. So. So, first, internally, if you look at a bank in New Jersey called Ocean First Bank, they created a certification called a digital certified digital banker so that their internal people would know how to use the digital banking tools that are available. Because what we've learned, and I think you would attest to, is that if the employee does not know how to use a tool, they are certainly not going to present it to their customers. And and that's what we found and found to be true. And and that was actually probably the first iteration of personal financial management tools located in banking APPs. Why it didn't get a lot of adoption? Yeah, because because nobody knew how to use it. The bankers themselves didn't know how to use it. But in addition the gend of the financial coach piece, I think that you're talking about. Everybody needs it, and I like to go no farther than the vanity car urge that we all have. Right, there is a quality point right where you say, okay, well, I don't want to go through repairs, etc. Etc. But what we pay for automobiles goes far beyond that. Oh yeah, right. It's the need to be recognized externally that we are somehow successful. Yes, yet it if you were looking at growing your net worth, paying sixty FIVEZERO dollars for a car, for a depreciating asset, and taking a loan out to support that depreciate makes no sense. If what your goal is is to elevate my personal net worth. It's great to have a financial coach tell me that, because most people either don't get that or desensitize themselves to that. So it's great to have a third party looking in and this goes through all it yeah, and come spectrum's right, yeah, goes...

...through all income spectrum. So so I think that we would benefit from having a financial coach, but I do not believe that the capabilities of the employees we currently have are able to meet that need right now. Yeah, but we have to intentionally move things well, that's that's that moves into you know, banking on change, and imagine banking on expertise is in our Road Map, banking on coaching as well, because I just see this like this. This, this is how you truly begin to put the transformation of people beyond the transaction of dollars and sense. And back to your point in Chapter Sixteen, this is how you bank on good. Jeff, I'm so excited and energized by our conversation. I got a lot of personal passion around it and and I want to look out towards the future. You know, I mentioned before from Dan Sullivan. I always make your future bigger than your past. As you look ahead towards the future, what are you feeling most hopeful and excited about yourself? That there are banks doing this. So I'm not saying anything that some banks are not doing. I just want to help banks more banks to them and matter to their stakeholders, matter to their employees. Make people miss you if you are to sell your financial institution or merge out of existence. HMM, make you be missible. That, I think, is that's what I think is critical to the future and that's what keeps me going. Be missible last question, and I don't want to expand on this here. What is one practical step? Next best step? Something small, because all transformational growth begins with a small, simple step forward. What is something small that the dear listener can do to help make their financial brand be missible? Empower your do worst to make change in the organization that if organizational change be a process improvement, be a technology adoption, be a customer experience emanates from the lowest rungs of your organizational ladder, you will win, no matter how bad a leader you are. I want to make I want to expand up on that to practical books. Open Strategy and humanocracy are two really good books that really lean into the subject even further. Jeff, thank you so much for a fantastic conversation. What is the best way that the dear listener can connect with you to continue the discussion that we started here today? Or my firm is the Gafaffian group and our website is Cobaffian Groupcom. They could also read my blog at Jeff for Bankscom, the number four in between there and I have an author website, Jeff Marccocom and of course the book is available on Amazon or wherever you get your books. Get the book. Connect with Jeff, learn from Jeff, grow with Jeff. Jeff, thank you so much for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth. This is a lot of fun, buddy. Thank you, James Row until next time and, as always, 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 inside to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and Fintax. Until next time, be well and do good.

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