Richard Neish, managing director at DARE
Expectations are a troublesome beast. If the past was about the provision of box-ticking digital financial services, the present is about closing the gap between consumers’ rich digital lives and their rocketing expectations of financial services brands.
But this comes at a cost. Getting it wrong (the ghost of Co-Op Bank and its £300M write-off still looms large) will hurt financial brands deeper against the shadow of uncertainty cast by the Euro exit. More and more, businesses will look to their digital platforms to increase revenue and lower the cost of service. The brands that succeed will be the ones that focus on human behaviour above the technology challenge.
Today we use the rhetoric of ‘Digital Transformation’ as a broad-stroke agenda for our budgets and project teams. Much of that capital and physical investment is channelled into the application of technology; into vast IT projects. Here lies the critical crossroads. When applied correctly, an IT project is a business change project that is enabled and supported by IT systems. The latter is subservient to the former. Business change is behavioural change.
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There’s an important chronology. Many businesses run at the IT challenge with gusto, and unwittingly define their behavioural change in parallel, or even post the technology solution. Executed in this order, a business is only at liberty to identify behavioural change within the limitations of the software solution, rather than moulding the technology to meet the needs of the reappraised behaviours.
Behavioural change doesn’t happen by chance. To succeed, we must consciously design an environment open to change by drawing on constructive external influences, demonstrating and inspiring, empowering teams to experiment and nurturing an iterative creative culture. No viewpoint is too big; no opinion too small.
At DARE we break this behavioural change process into three areas:
To craft the best financial brand experiences we need to open doors to diverse businesses global businesses and creative business people from within, and way beyond the FinTech sector or your immediate problem. Be at SXSW. Be at Pioneers. Be at Silicon Beach. Understand the latest digital strategy and behavioural theory, and see how and where it’s been applied to live business problems, daily, weekly, monthly. From executive briefings to team away-days the most successful way to encourage behavioural change is to demonstrate those behaviours at play.
Encourage experimental and creative behaviours. Doing beats talking. Hack-days, rapid prototyping, nimble and Agile workstreams and explorations, bring ideas to life and get them in-front of AA stakeholders and customers to generate feedback and data in order to optimise or inform other projects. Design in-browser; assess on devices. Encourage participation. Encourage proactivity. Take teams beyond the limits of their scheduled projects. Celebrate pioneering spirit and positive failures in equal measure.
New ideas require new behaviours. Co-define the structural, organisational and process change needed to embrace new opportunities. Habitually iterate, measure and learn based on data, business strategy and creativity; based on real human needs and reactions. Define business cases and ROI modelling for investment in the ideas and success of your teams. Look at problems and opportunities customer-first because only by understanding your consumer’s behaviours (within and beyond the browser) will you understand the behavioural business change required to meet those needs.