Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 2 months ago

114) #ExponentialInsights: Delivering a More Human Experience Through Automation

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Digital transformation doesn’t succeed or fail based on the technology…

Its success is dependent on the people.

It’s our individual humanity — our own transformation — that matters.

Which is why today’s guest, Jeff Ward, Enterprise Executive at Decisions, says we shouldn’t fear automation — we should embrace it. Because when we automate the routine, we free ourselves up to deliver the exceptional.

In this episode, we discuss:

- How to use automation to deliver a more human experience

- Why automation is not going to take your job

- How automation factors into the employee experience

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.
 

...they know they've got a problem butthey're afraid to do anything about right, they want, you know, a asystematic logical approach to how to fix their problem and that's great. Butwe all know that we are human beings were irrational and we make decisionsbased upon fast, emotional, instinctual type stuff you're listening to banking on digitalgrowth. With James robert lay a podcast that empowers financial brand,marketing, sales and leadership teams to Maximize their digital growthpotential by generating 10 times more loans and deposits. Today's episode ispart of the exponential insight series where James robert interviews theindustry's top marketing sales and fintech leaders sharing practicalwisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show greetings in. Hello, I am James robert,ley and welcome to the 114th episode of the Banking on Digital Growth podcast.Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'mexcited to welcome back Jeff reward to the podcast, Jeff is an enterpriseexecutive at decisions, who is empowering financial brands and theirpeople to automate everything and once and for all, break free from theinefficient revenue draining manual processes that I hear so many complainabout and this is a personal passion topic for me when we talk aboutautomation, when it comes to experiences, experiences being nothingmore than well defined systems and processes that have been strategicallythought out applied and then the secret is to optimize them over a period oftime because we want these experiences to result in a positive emotion.Welcome back to the show, Jeff, Thank you very much James robert. Ley, It'san honor, a privilege. I want to start the conversation. What is one thingthat you are excited about right now, personally or professionally? Your pickUh professional is that I joined decisions in March 22 of this year andwas able to leverage relationships that I'm very protective of and value in mybusiness each and every day and in the very near future will have some brandnew revenue for decisions that I will tee up before the end of july Well,congratulations. That is that is really, really good news. I'm excited for youwith that. And just to see your continued progress, your continuedgrowth as you're working with and guiding financial brands and and as adigital anthropologist, you know, I study the intersection of marketing,sells technology, human behavior and...

...and one of the biggest lessons that Ihave gained through working with financial brands is not found in theindustry, but it's actually found from the teachings of the C. Sharp, who isthe founder of the Four Seasons Hotel and and is he what spoke on on the ideaof experience sharing, the need to system eyes the predictable so that wecan humanize the exceptional. And Matthew Upchurch took this thinkingeven further, particularly for a digital world, where he noted that theopportunity is to automate the predictable, so we can humanize theexceptional. And when it comes to automation in the world of financialservices, it can feel like there's so much opportunity to either create or tocapture. And because there's an abundance of opportunity, automationcan in essence feel like an exercise in complexity and an exercise infrustration. So let's start off the conversation to help the dear listenergain some clarity. Where can we begin this thinking about automation to beginwith in the first place? What are the opportunities here? Great question. So,you know what I what I find myself doing just like yourself, is talking tolarge financial institutions that realize that they have a problem Um anddon't really know what path to take, right do they go to the traditionalroute and employ a consulting firm that offers them 12-24 months to look attheir their operations, to look at their back office, to look at wherethere are inefficiencies are or the other. The other strategy is tointernally have the business user tell the development team the I. T. Team.Hey, we need this bill, we need this done, we need it done yesterday. Andyou know in both scenarios, you're talking about time, energy resourcesand and a lot of complexity. So when I talked to these organizations, I'malways amazed that two things happen. They know they've got a problem butthey're afraid to do anything about it right. They want, you know, a asystematic logical approach to how to fix their problem and that's great. Butwe all know that we are human beings were irrational and we make decisionsbased upon fast, emotional, instinctual type stuff. Fighter flight, right? So,you know, when I'm talking to these organizations, I don't necessarily wantto say, okay, deer in the headlights, it's going to be figured out how tosurvive and thrive or way of the dinosaurs. But really think about andwe talked about this before we started to think about what zoom has done tothe market, right? There was a situation, there was covid everythingsat down and all of a sudden Zoom is giving you and I the ability tocommunicate outside of face to face...

...experience. Zoom gave us the ability tomove at the speed of business, right? So if you're talking to an organization,what happens if amazon shows up in your backyard? What happens to the taxicabindustry when Uber shows up? Right? All of a sudden it's evolved and surviveand thrive or it's the way of the dinosaurs, right? Technology is acapability multiplier. Um, and and when we think about technology as acapability multiplier, let's actually remove the word capability. Let's justcall. Technology is a multiplier. Technology will multiply eithercomplexity and confusion on one side of the spectrum. If that's built into thebusiness model or technology will multiply clarity and confidence andcommitment on the other side. And I think that's what we're all strivingfor. At least what I hope that we're all striving for when it comes tofinancial services because money has a very high inherent cognitive load formany people, money is complex. Money is frustrating, money is overwhelming. Andso anything that we can do to reduce the complexity through systems throughprocess, through automation the better experience that, well we we will bringto bear on the other end of the spectrum. Now one of things that younoted is when you're talking with financial brands you mentioned theyrealize they have a problem. I want to I want to dive deeper into this. Whatare these problems that they're addressing in these conversationsyou're having? Sure. So the problem is that they are addressing the problemsthat they're having is that You know traditionally what they've done isacquired an application, acquired a solution and have some type of ITdevelopments 14 that that helps them maintain that system. Right? Thechallenges that they have is that as a business user let's say you know if I'mgoing to move at the speed of business and I'll probably repeat thisthroughout the day. But if I'm gonna move at the speed of business, let'ssay that we go back to the financial crisis, Lehman Brothers fails right?Let's say that we have a credit policy that we have been administering in a ina market that is an upmarket, right? And that you know our talents is ourrisk levels are such to acquire debt, right? And to acquire these creditPhyllis facilities market turns on an instant right all of a sudden thatthere is risk in the world. And a business user calls up their I. D. I. T.Department and says hey James, hey Jeff,...

I want to I want to reduce our our riskpolicy by X. Development team says okay great. They say what are yourspecifications? The business unit gives them the specifications. The DEV teamthen goes through into their development instance, starts the work,they build it up to the requirements that they've known presented by thebusiness user. They then push it to QA right. QA does all of their testing andthey get back on the business users calendar and they say Mr business user,did we get it right? Did we get it wrong? And so if we're talking aboutthe speed of business, best case scenario that took a day and a half,right, your consumer lending organization, how many loans could youdo in a day and a half euro to see and I lending institution? How many loanscould you approve? In a day and a half? So the exposure is rather large. Right? What I'm talking? And so that that isthe problem that we're facing today is being able to position themselves tostay ahead of business. It's a bottleneck. It soundslike so business users because there could be multiple business users in theorganization. It all comes down at all bottlenecks around I. T. And a DEV team.And so we're losing time, We're losing efficiency. And and what's theopportunity now to break free from this? The opportunity now is that, you know,with a visual programming language, I can increase that DEV time by 5 to 10times. And if the business user the ability to make those edits from adashboard from an email from a from a perspective where they're not logginginto the situation, even communicating with the DEV team, but having theability to change a policy to change an L. T. B in real time. And so this isthis is in essence the next stage. And we're seeing this with a lot of otherareas of opportunities within a financial brand for marketing to cellsto service This this idea of low code, no code visualization and that's whyI've been saying, I've been saying this for at least 3-4 years, if not five,the future of growth is not going to be found in the quote unquote doing. Thefuture of growth is going to be found in the thinking because the doing willbe augmented by the technology, it will be multiplied by the technology. And sothe opportunity and I want to get your take on this. And it's funny becausenow we can start to connect some patterns of what's going on outsidethat are really impacting financial. The idea of defy decentralized finance.Now we're not necessarily to...

...decentralize finances, but we'redecentralizing and democratizing control by empowering others in theorganization who might not have a quote unquote development coding backgroundto optimize these experiences. Coming back to my definition, the experienceis being strategically thought out applied and then continuously optimizedover a period of time optimization happening at a business unit level.Exactly. Technology has transformed our world and digital has changed the wayconsumers shop for and buy financial services forever. Now consumers makepurchase decisions long before they walk into a branch. If they walk into abranch at all, but your financial brand still wants to grow loans and deposits,we get it. Digital growth can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelmingfor any financial brand, marketing and sales leader, but it doesn't have tobecause James robert wrote the book that guides you every step of the wayalong your digital growth journey, visit www dot digital growth dot com toget a preview of his best selling book banking on digital growth. Or order acopy right now for you and your team from amazon inside you'll find astrategic marketing manifesto that was written to transform financial brandsand it is packed full of practical and proven insights you can start usingtoday To confidently generate 10 times more loans and deposits now back to theshow. So the other thing that that you've shared is not only the problemsyou mentioned there, there's something holding them back, something keepingthem stuck. What are the fears that that you hear when it comes toautomation? Yeah, well, you know, all of ourfinancial services, all of our financial institutions, you know, arein that business because they're very cognizant of risk, right? Theyunderstand they understand how to apply a figure to that risk and get paid fortheir knowledge of that. And I think that traditionally what what thoseinstitutions have done, it's gone to the consulting firms and said, hey, mr,consulting firm tell us where we need to spend our time, energy and resourcesor going back to, you know, internal, let's go to the deV team and and workit out. So what I'm hearing a lot when I'm having these conversations is thatthere is still a tendency to fall back to old behaviors on how to deal withthis thing that we're calling digital transformation. And so I really thinkthat these organizations should...

...consider ways to test Fintech, testtechnologies, you know, stick their toe in the water from a land and or expandsituation right? Where you know, if I'm talking to a an F. I that's, you know,10 billion in assets, their technology or the digital transformation strategy,typically today is merged with another organization and by combining effortsand energies, they'll be able to overcome that digital transformation. What I want them to be able to have theability to do is pick out some of that pain, some of that pain that's built upin a backlog of use cases and presenting that to myself or to otherproviders that that are low code or some type of one off technology andsaying, okay, here you go. Instead of spending seven figures on a 12 to 24month engagement, right? We want to go for six figures, try this song. I wantto address this because I hear this. I think it's a fallacy that just becausewe merge and we increase our assets size does not guarantee future success.In fact, while we might increase asset, we have this thought that oh well we'regoing to be able to adopt more technology. Well now you're talkingabout merging two cultures together and that's an exercise in complexity rightthere. And the number two digital transformation does not fail because oftechnology. Digital transformation fails because of the people who arehaving to deploy that technology. It is a it is a people problem, but it's alsoa people opportunity and it's what I'm writing about in my next book, Bankingon change. Because there are four transformations that have to happen.Four digital transformation for digital growth to be a success. Number one, wemust transform the self the individual because individuals make up teams,teams make up organizations and organizations are made up of teamswhich are made up of individuals. And so when we try to bring technology andit's typically at an organizational level and this is what I want to comeback to. If we're talking about individual here, individualtransformation that's really about belief structures. Um and what we knowto be true, I can't help but think when it comes to technology and even automation um I'm hearing maybe I'm on the front lineor somewhere in the middle.

Rumblings that they're talking with anadvisor consulting firm. Yeah, we're going to bring in some type ofautomation. What does that mean to my job? Am I safe? Do I have psychologicalsafety? Because then I'm gonna start throwing up walls and barriers whetherconsciously or subconsciously. How can we address these fears with others ofwho this technology is going to impact one way or another? Because once again,I don't view it necessarily as a threat. I view it as an argumentation, acapability upgrade. Coming back to the C sharp systematized the predictable sothat we can humanize the exceptional and spend more time doing people things.So you know, I would go back to, I would go back to our zoom example,right? Cohen first hit, I had been, had been in a board, a board meeting inUtah talking to a credit union member organization on on like a thursday.Then I had been at the I. C. B A event in florida, walking around in the tradeshow, meeting people shaking hands and within a week's time, all of that'sgone, right, and I'm going to use this thing called zoom. What the heck canzoom? I've done webex, I've done, go to, I've done all of this and now there'sthis new thing and at first I was scared, right? I was like, well, youknow, what am I gonna do? How is how am I going to prepare for this? What if Isay something wrong and it's recorded, right? And so, you know, dealing withthat fear, I had to I had to just bring myself to the reality that this isgoing to make things better and to the reality that this is where business istoday, whether I like it or not, right? And so I think many times when thesepeople are afraid of change or, and or that technology could replace their job,you know, I think that's just something to be afraid of, right? I think realityis we have more and more technology in our lives today and we just really needto embrace the fact, leverage that fact and move forward. A great analogy ofthis would be once again, and as you and I were talking about before hittingthe court, the importance to study history and start connecting dots fromall different areas of life, from philosophy, from behavioral economics,from technology. Let's go back. It's the late 18 hundreds, maybe early 19hundreds. I'm a farmer and I've been used to farming with a hand plow andthen I hook it up to my horse and not...

...my horses helping. That's anaugmentation right there, right? I've gone from the hand plow of me having todo it myself to my horses and augmentation flash forward the tractor,the tractor comes online. Now I have a massive capability upgrade, but I fearthe tractor because I've never seen something like it before. I'm going tostick with the horse because it's what I know, it's what I trust, because Ijust don't have that perception of how could this tractor help me. So I'mgonna keep plowing my field with the the horse and plough where, you know,my friend across the way, well, he's got the tractor and he's got way moreefficiency than me and well, guess what? He's going to get my land in five years.So to that, what I would say is, you know what if, if you're afraid of thattractor, right? If I went from, you know, a push pull out a horse and plow,you know, I would say go back and think about what that meant at the end of theday, right? No longer is my back in a, in a situation or a state where I can'twalk at night. Now I've offloaded that that hump that horsepower to the actualhorse, horses kind of built more for doing that than I am Bill, Right? So,so I would say just think about that experience for a second and then Iwould say, okay, if you don't want the tractor right, get a smaller tool, geta smaller a piece of equipment that could do the same thing and just try itright, wholeheartedly jump in, stick your toes in the water, see see whatthe temperature is. I think that you will find just like going from a pushfile to a horse. There is success there. Yes. Because people fear what theydon't know. People fear what they don't understand and that's where the role ofcontinuous, ongoing and training and education comes back into play to makethe future literally bring the future into the present moment. So it doesn'tfeel so scary. And if we're thinking about automation right here in thisconversation and low code, no code, what is a commonly held belief when itcomes to automation that others in this industry might have, that you wouldjust disagree with, what is it? Common automation? Right?Common belief that others have about automation. Yeah. That you just protectmy job. It's going to take my job, right? Technology is going to take myjob. You know, if I'm a credit analyst, I'm gonna have some technology that'sgot a I capabilities by behind it. And no longer am I going to have to bespreading financials, right? I think that's the most common fear. The what Iwould argue and to what you shared...

...earlier is that let the technologyautomate the the norm, right? And let you leverage your human aspect of thatrelationship. Right? Right. That's the importance, right? I need to be able tocommunicate with my borrower. Got the information. This is what theinformation is telling me. This is the credit facility that we can do. Not.Looking line by line at the financial information and putting you on hold foran indefinite period of time. Right? I think too, as I'm hearing you talkthrough this, I I can't help but think about a deeper, really, a deeperconversation that we probably have to address and be aware of as specificallyas leaders, the emotional attachment that people might have with their rolecredit analyst, right? Like I attach myself worth to this specific role hereand if I'm being threatened by being replaced by a machine then myself, Iknow it's a deep, deep conversation but I think it's one that we probably needto to be aware of because in banking on digital growth, I wrote about twoexperiences I wrote about Hx plus Dx where dx plus H. X. Equals growth. Thedigital experience plus the human experience will lead to growth. It wasthrough the covid experience that I missed the mark. Like there was onemassive experience that that I left out of that equation which is E. X. That'semployee experience. And so if you want to retake that formula, I would sayit's E. X. Plus Hx plus Dx equals growth, meaning a positive employeeexperience will lead to a positive human experience that can be deliveredthrough a positive digital experience. And so when we think about automationbringing this almost full circle now, what are the opportunities forautomation? Two provide a positive employee experience? That's gonnatrickle all the way down to a positive digital experience or a human expert. Imean like like think through that, what are those opportunities coming back toemployee? Yeah. I think from an employee perspective, right? I thinkthat's a very interesting dynamic, right? I put a lot of work on on mysuccess as a sales individual. I'm having a great month man, I'm up on topof the world, I'm as valuable as today as long if I'm having a bad month. Wellyou know that I'm starting to question a whole whole lot, right? And you know,um that that can play, you know, in all different types of facets, right? Soyou know, as a sales individual where I...

...use automation, I use it to be able tospread my content out better. I use it to be able to have a broader reach, Iuse it to be able to better understand my prospect. So that when I do have theability to have a meaningful conversation with them, it's not, I'mnot out in left field, right, I'm really, I'm spot on with them. So if Iwas a credit analyst, right, and I was worried that that my spreadingcapabilities would no longer be, you know what, I spent my my day doing themeat potatoes of my day, I could be worried about that or I could bethinking about, there is the opportunity for me to instead oflooking at one credit package in an eight hour period of time, maybe I lookat five or six and then I look at the anomalies within those credit packagesthat I that speaks directly to my experience and I can have a meaningfulconversation with my, with the lenders that I support or I can have a verymeaningful conversation to our clients that are lenders support. Now that'sthe human aspect of being able to go right at what makes me unique, whatmakes me valuable and what makes me love my job, right? So I would saythat's kind of the that would be the perspective I would spend at it. Youtell me if I'm right or wrong? Well I like that thinking because now thevalue creation through the the role you have in the organization, that valuecreation is exponentially multiplied and that's going to trickle out andthat's why I love this, the work that we're all doing in financial services,because coming back to the point, money is complex, money is frustrating, moneyis overwhelming and you know, it impacts everyone on so many differentlevels from a relationship level, from a physical well being, from a mentalwell being. Now, if we're able to go from 1 to 5 that then gets multipliedout through my lenders, I'm a were able to, you know, hit and make a positiveimpact in so many more people's lives to help them get beyond their financialstress towards a bigger, better, brighter future. I think that's areally good analogy both for yourself personally and how you're usingtechnology as a multiplying capability and then also in this particular caseas a credit analyst. This has been a fantastic conversation of fantasticdiscussion. I want to get really, really practical here at the very end,which to giving giving the dear listener to simple recommendations torecommendations that they can take action on to begin to move forward, tobegin to make progress. What's one thing that you would recommendfinancial brands start doing when it...

...comes to automation going forward?That's perfect to you. I'd say call me No, I would say I would say, you know,wholeheartedly or humbly, really think about what you're trying to do.You think about what you're trying to do outside of the way you normallythought of what you're trying to do, right? Challenge the status quo in yourthinking. So if I was to expand upon that, Iwould I would basically come back to this four digital growth or thoseexponential growth operating environments, you can be learning, youcould be thinking, you could be doing, you can be reviewing but you can onlybe in one environment at a time so create the space and time to break freefrom the doing to review what you've done to learn from those experiences tothen think about what you can do from those learnings so that you can applythat thinking in the next iteration of doing, do it even that much bettergoing forward on, go ahead. The other thing that I would add to that is thendo then do something right. If if if I am strategic in my ways or if I amfalling back on the norm right. This is how we've always done it. Think aboutwhat you could do with automation with digital transformation In 12 to 24months. If I decided to do something today, where would I be in 12-24 months?Yeah. And and and I think for that to become a reality one of the toughconversations that I have with so many financial brand marketing cells,leadership teams. It doesn't matter. It's it's to create the space and timeto do something new to do something different. We have to clear our platesbecause when we add something to our plates uh we're gonna probably have tolet something go. Whether that even if it's as simple as a belief um what isone thing that financial branch should stop doing to create the space and timeto do something even better to automate the predictable so that they canhumanize the exceptional. Mhm. Great question. What is one thing that theyshould stop doing doing business as they've done it always? Yes. Right. Soso I mean does that mean that they throw their credit policy out the door?No. Does that mean that they throw their credit products out the door?Know their customers know what that means is is it's okay to fail. But ifyou're going to fail fail fast, but at...

...least try to do something, right? Imean, we've been talking you and I met a year ago, we met, you know, kind ofearly coded, right? All of these banks have had this opportunity, this periodof time to do something in response to Covid. Right? We've talked about that.We'll probably forget the lessons that we've learned. We may be traveling inthe near future. But what happens if delta takes off right, delta virus,that thing takes off. So If those banks are thinking about, well, I'm gonnahire consulting firm and it's going to take us 12-24 months to come up with anidea you're losing clients, right. If the taxi industry knew that Uber was onthe way, what could they have done to save themselves a little bit more time,Right? They could they could have done something and they didn't. And lookwhat happened. Think about if amazon showed up in your backyard, what wouldyou do? Would you hire a consultant to say they're going to save me in 12-24months? Would you roll up your sleeves and say let's go to battle? Right. So I would challenge him to to thinkabout the way they are doing things today in order to get to a do anactivity if you will. Yes, because it all boils down to one word. It's justone word and it's an acronym and that word is this, have the courage to act mm the a of Actis to ascend to the apex of awareness. To look behind where you've been tolook down at, where you're at, To look ahead at where you could go next onthis journey of growth. Because as you look ahead, you will see the territoryof transformation that you'll have to transcend. But to bridge the gapbetween the apex of awareness, what we'll call knowing to get to theterritory of transformation, what we'll call growing. Just one thing. It's thesea, its commitment. It's the commitment to begin to apply thethinking, to apply the knowledge that you're gaining even through thisconversation and and Jeff I appreciate all of the perspectives that we'veshared together in this experience in this discussion. I'm curious if someonewants to continue this conversation with you to continue learning tocontinue to increase their knowledge, to optimize their doing what's the bestway for them to reach out and say hello, you can find me on linkedin, you canfind me in my email, you can find me on my cell phone and and all of that is onmy linkedin profile. Fantastic. You...

...know what I would offer is that is thatyou know, I'm labeled as the relationship guy, I want to see successand so therefore it's not just the cheesy transactional type relationship,it's an understanding of your intention, it's an understanding of yourtransformation and it's an understanding of your commitment. Thankyou very much, Jeff. This has been fantastic. I really appreciate you forjoining me today on another episode of Banking on digital growth. It's been alot of fun. Thank you James robert. Ley, it's always an honor and a privilege asalways and until next time be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you forlistening to another episode of banking on digital growth. With James robert.Ley. Like what you hear, tell a friend about the podcast and leave us a reviewon apple podcasts, google podcasts or Spotify and subscribe while you'rethere. To get even more practical improvement insights, visit www dotdigital growth dot com to grab a preview of James roberts, best sellingbook banking on digital growth or order a copy right now for you and your teamfrom amazon inside you'll find a strategic marketing and sales blueprintframed around 12 key areas of focus that empower you to confidentlygenerate 10 times more loans and deposits until next time be well and dogood. Mhm.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (136)