August 14, 2020

Embracing Change

Sharing this quote from Bruce Mau, co-founder of The Massive Change Network. When you're leading transformation, it's all too easy to not acknowledge what is already working.

How do you help people embrace change?

Here’s a good rule of thumb: for every one change initiative, create two celebrations of what’s already working. Emphasis on what’s working may seem redundant, but it often reflects a neglected reality — and the effect is to create a “field of safety” that makes change easier to accept.

Before people can embrace innovation, they need to feel safe. Therefore, the best way to foster change is to reinforce stability. In our rush to initiate change, we often ignore what’s already working. We take it for granted. If you want to fix what’s wrong, first celebrate what’s right and expand it where you can. Before building new structures, recognize the ones that are fine as they are. Applaud success and accomplishments. And make this celebration visible: be sure that people see it.”

— from Mau: MC24

July 31, 2020

Accelerated Transformation

With summer in high gear, the myriad of post-pandemic reports are touting rapid change and prep for a new normal. Companies have been talking about the transformation they’ve undergone during the pandemic, including Satya Nadella stating in an earnings call, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”

Companies have moved quickly during this time, leveling up to meet the new digital demands of customers, addressing technology debt, outdated infrastructure, and software tooling — all with the goal to come out the other side leaner and more agile in this new environment.

COVID-19: Implications for business
Amazon Pushing Deeper into Banking in the Post-Pandemic World
Open Banking Gets a Big Jump Start from COVID
Accenture’s CEO: 5 rules for rethinking digital transformation during COVID-

June 25, 2020

The Business Impact of Design

I had the pleasure of being interviewed for Forrester's report The Business Impact of Design, which was published in June and recently promoted by InVision.

Envisioning and designing great experiences is only one lens of design leadership — you have to be able to demonstrate the business impact your work is having. Without that, it's just a shiny object.

May 8, 2020

Making Digital More Human

The digital usage numbers are big right now, with analysts saying much of that uptick will stick. But I’d like to look at this through a different lens for a moment… taking a more human perspective, both on future expectations and behavior.

Just because customers are using digital channels more, doesn’t mean that they will automatically be satisfied with their experiences. In fact, they will come to expect more from digital experiences. The pandemic has been a digital forcing function for consumers and businesses, with many people becoming familiarized with experiences they haven’t used much in the past. Once they get acclimated, that’s when the expectations rise. Especially when they continue to use other digital experiences as the benchmark — not just financial institutions.

As people’s lifestyle and behaviors are changing across work, home, and social interaction, so are their behaviors related to the products and services they use, enjoy, and find valuable. While some people’s lives have been adjusted or evolved, some have had their worlds turned upside-down. And with wellness taking center stage when people take stock of what’s important, a part of that is financial wellness.

How does this change our mindset in how we approach our work? How does this shift what is important in the experiences we deliver to our customers?

As customers’ priorities and lifestyles are re-evaluated, how does that influence their behavior going forward and what do they expect from us? What should they expect from us? How will we evolve with the changing landscape to best meet their needs in this new world? How do we make digital more… human?

From virtual parties to ordering food, how Americans are using the internet
JD Power Covid-19 Pulse Surveys
5 Human Truths That Experiences Need to Address (pdf)
A gigantic experiment reshaping how we work and live
The Virus Changed the Way We Internet
Remaking banking customer experience in response to coronavirus
This is how COVID-19 could change the world of work for good
COVID-19 Is A Before-And-After Moment In The Digital Transformation

April 9, 2020

Transforming User Experience in Banking – Business Insider Report

Last December, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a report released this week: Transforming User Experience in Banking.

“A human-centered design mythology offers the best way to truly understand customers and develop solutions that meet their needs — solving real customer problems and delivering experiences that resonate in market. However, it’s just one part of the whole. In order to be successful, this approach needs to be customized according to your company culture and DNA.”

The report outlines strategies that financial institutions are using to deliver a superior customer experience. It covers org structure, practice/process, research, measurement, and the importance of keeping the customer at the center of design initiatives.

March 27, 2020

Digital Transformation Momentum

We’re in an interesting moment in time right now.

Now, more than ever, people are turning to digital ways to get things done. Mobile and video chat usage are through the roof, Amazon orders have surged, and gyms and trainers are sending daily workouts through IG TV/Stories. People are having virtual happy hours, conferences and music festivals are going remote.

What we’re experiencing right now is going to force many companies to become digital. And it’s going to set a precedence that will accelerate changes that businesses had planned to take years to complete.

What does that mean for banking? What opportunities do we have to leapfrog legacy mindset to foster an environment of transformation and business agility — to change the way we operate in this new world? And why wait?

How can we…

  • move faster on innovations that have been in the backlog or on the shelf?
  • reorganize our key talent to be agile and focused on driving change?
  • cut through the clutter and deliver on North Star customer experiences?
  • shorten our timeline to get to the future? Because the future is now.

February 28, 2020

Design is a Business Tool

As we evolve to an environment where design is a verb, organizations move into a level of maturity that peels away from Design is form-giving and a service, to Design is strategy. It’s no longer simply designing the app or the website, making the thing — it’s crafting the end-to-end customer journey and experience.

To our clients, all of our touchpoints are one experience — one brand.

This is an important POV to remember as we partner across the enterprise to raise the bar, focusing on experiences that truly resonate with our clients, and foster a customer-centric culture at its core.

Design is a business tool that makes strategy visible.

January 31, 2020

The Tech Movement into Financial Services

Last August, I mentioned that people are concerned about fintechs/techfins getting into banking, but the real ones to watch are tech companies moving into financial services out of a necessity to remove friction in their process, improve their customer experience, and enable increased sales. As this signal gets louder, the interesting thing to note is how some are moving from the fringe and closer to core FS experiences.

  • Uber started by enabling more drivers to work on their platform by providing car loans and bank accounts, and is now looking to keep riders [and cash] in the ecosystem through Uber Money/credit card.
  • Amazon started providing small business loans to enable more sales on their platform, partnered on a credit card, and now also provides Amazon Cash for the unbanked and Amazon Pay to reduce online purchasing friction with more to come.
  • Apple started with Apple Pay and then moved to partnering on a credit card to keep money in the ecosystem, turn PFM into a lifestyle choice, and leverage the power of the default.
  • Microsoft is working on a retirement platform.
  • Google started with Android [Google] Pay and now announced a partnership to launch consumer checking accounts.

As we look to solve client needs across our companies, it’s critical to use a first principles approach vs. design by analogy. It’s not enough to digitize current processes — we need to innovate by deeply understanding our clients and solving problems that set the experience bar across industries. Experiences that meet clients where they are and integrate into their lifestyle, are relevant and timely, and align to their mental models of how things should work.

January 17, 2020

From Products to Experiences

The move from consumer products to consumer experiences is upon us. Customers see their interactions with brands as one continuous experience, and we need to design them accordingly. Understanding and designing for the end-to-end customer journey is now a requirement, not a nice-to-have. So what are the best ways to connect the dots? How do you orchestrate a seamless experience in siloed organizations? And what needs to change about the way we work to make that a reality?

Envisioning Products as Holistic Experiences
Give Your Customers an Experience, Not Just a Product
You Sell Experiences Whether You Realize It or Not
Customer Experience Is The New Brand
Building a design-driven culture

©2020 Kobewan