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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Changing the way we educate bankers

In the next five years the world of traditional banking is going to need to adapt in more ways than we can possibly imagine if it is to survive. These changes are likely to be driven from external factors, that is obvious. Recently however, internal catalysts seem to be appearing in the market that may question the very way these institutions function.

In this post we look at how some banks are starting to rethink their training environments to meet tomorrows banking challenges.

A recent journal on the 10 drivers changing banking technology on our sister blog site; QuantoGate, seemed to generate quite a lot of interest. We have applied that link here because the topic is very much in the theme of this post.
Gartner predicts that by 2015, new external social web and cloud based services will generate 25% of consumer-driven banking products and services, and that by year-end 2014, "at least one social network provider will become an insurance sales channel"
If we look at disruptive technology and a shifting market together, these claims aren't so unreal. In our opinion, we see ten specific factors which are driving the change Gartner refers to. 
10 Drivers changing banking technology QuantoGate
Without a matter of fact, the world of banking is in for shaky times and it was inevitable that the too big to fail stigma would eventually give way to sweeping changes across banking. In the first wave of practices under question, the public started to query the very modus operandi some of these large institutions seem to employ.  

Why should we nationalize losses and privatize profits, this is wrong?  If banks are to operate in a capitalist environment, a founding pillar they seem to uphold in their work when they sell their products, then surely they should also play by the same rules they are flogging.

The global financial crisis is already giving way to massive sweeping regulatory changes for the banking community and traditional banking was definitely in for a culture shock before the Global Financial Crisis even took hold. High fee banking, average information technology (many banks have rubbish systems, they really do, it's no longer a secret), banking facilities that are dated when compared to business practices today and of course the desire to simplify transaction processing was already pushing banking clients to want more from their banks in a bank simple environment.

In the last two months alone, Causal Capital has been approached by three banks who are keen to "Radically restructure their organisations" and they want do this inside out. One of these banks is looking to create a new product for supply chain finance away from letters of credit type facilities. This bank apparently considers such facilities have passed their use-by date but this topic is not for discussion today.

Three Novel Training Approaches
Another bank we are working with has decided to completely revamp the way it trains it's staff and Causal Capital was asked to propose three new training approaches which the bank can use to educate different teams of people in the bank. As you can imagine, we started out by proposing the interactive training concept, real case studies, live models, customized programs, new "prezi methods" for presenting information which are all grand and wonderful in their own right. To be bluntly honest this isn't really that different to what we do on any standard workshop in Causal Capital anyway. 

Either way, the concept simply wasn't "radical" enough for the bank, it didn't drive to the heart of the matter.
We aren't looking for cosmetic changes to the way information is presented to workshop attendees or better service or even new technology. We want to change the way people think!
The bank has decided to train staff as if it was their organisation, as if staff were presented with truly make this work, find a new way or you fail and you will leave.  Now my first reaction to the human resource group was that they might find some of their employees are actually not capable of this kind of thinking. This way of working is very much in the entrepreneurial domain and surely banks are a lock stock barrel kind of place where you just have follow the status quo of the institution in some ordinary manner and all should be fine. Apparently not any more.

 New Bank Training Approaches | Causal Capital

We have developed three new training approaches to meet this challenge, one of these methods is not that radical but extremely bespoke. The other two however, flip a training workshop upside down and play with concepts such as "We learn by teaching, you teach the teacher", "We learn by questioning, it will change and we will change it" and "We embrace disruptive technology rather than shy away from it".

Now the thought I am left with is, will this bank have the stomach for a new world it is about to enter but anyway it is a sign of things to come.
The presentation is available here [ New Bank Training Approaches ]

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