Transformation is a concept present in all organizational worktables. The financial sector, particularly banks, daily coexists with this concept. This is partly because technology and innovation are advancing faster than ever, sometimes without giving us time to understand what is happening. Topics such as artificial intelligence, the metaverse, augmented reality, etc., constantly place us as spectators in the face of these tremendous and accelerated changes. If we add to this the changes in the industry, such as open banking, banking as a service, cryptocurrencies, and transformations in fintech, payments, and automation, we will likely feel overwhelmed and anxious about our ability to react.
And it’s true. Transformation can be overwhelming and, at the same time, inherent to business. It is not an option since all these issues force us to adopt a proactive attitude. However, there are different positions on the spectrum of such transformation. In other words, although we cannot avoid transforming, we can choose to prepare for this transformation.
We cannot control all the changes we see in the world and the industry. Still, we can organize our culture, strategy, resources, and operations to have a better capacity to adapt. And precisely, this is the crucial concept in the conversation about transformation: Adaptability is fundamental. A remarkable ability to adapt to increasingly challenging contexts allows us to deliver value and gain a competitive advantage.
Adaptability is the capacity to react and the speed at which we can respond to these changes, the requirements of the market and our users, and new trends and more complex scenarios in terms of the economy, policy, regulation, commerce, and society, which are not under our control.
Therefore, the transformation formula comprises three variables: value for the user, value for the business, and agility in change. Processes, modifications, and organizational strategies for transformation must consider these three variables. Agility in change increases value for both the business and the user. Put differently, only when we operate nimbly, with high adaptability, when we are flexible as an organization and able to move and make decisions pragmatically, can we increase value for the business and the user.
This does not mean we should lose rigor in the face of change. In a world of accelerated change, challenging contexts, and increasingly demanding users, speed matters, and agility takes on greater value.
Of course, this may seem like a merely conceptual premise, so activating these variables through performance pillars that allow change to be quickly mobilized is essential.
We must modulate and organize five pillars to have better adaptability. Each has different levels and stages since not all organizations are at the same point or start from the same place. However, this imaginary line for the following concepts will help us locate ourselves spatially and visualize the possible steps to follow.
Nowadays, big strategies that try to foresee every possible future scenario in absolute detail are usually not the best option. The inability to predict rapid changes in the context makes long-term strategies impractical tools. Therefore, we must promote strategies capable of adjusting on the fly that can respond to new market inputs and allow a better capacity to react.
Culture is essential for an effective transformation of an organization. Without the right mindset, achieving positive synergy in companies is very difficult. Thus, conversations about agility, innovation, and transformation must encompass all levels of the organization. A culture with great adaptability enables each team member to articulate their vision and participate in the changes that the company faces.
An organization’s products, services, and channels reflect its value proposition. If dynamics, needs, and requirements constantly change, the experience we provide customers must also change. Therefore, we must move from offering generic, static, and standardized experiences to differential, memorable, and scalable experiences. These experiences must be agile enough to be updated and improved quickly.
We all know that data are crucial for organizations, and today, more than ever, companies are full of it. Nonetheless, in many cases, their potential is not used. Tools are acquired, sophisticated teams are formed, and protocols are established, but data are often not used as a decision-making engine. Therefore, for data to truly drive change, they must become living resources that facilitate operations, resolve contingencies, and streamline decision-making.
Integrated and evolutionary technology
Technology is the enabler par excellence. It often allows us to meet markets’ and users’ demands regarding time, form, and expected experiences. However, technology also puts pressure on transformation and the ability to adapt. Therefore, today, the challenge is integrating and connecting our tool, language, product, and system ecosystem. Technology must be deeply connected and integrated, evolve as a whole, and be able to adapt more fluidly. Heavy, static, and complex structures will only reduce adaptability.