Recently, I helped my daughter move out of her college dormitory. Once I got over the fact that my firstborn child had just completed her first year of college and that I must be getting old, I reflected on how much the “college move out” process had changed since when I was a freshman. While there were a lot of typical activities like the moving of boxes, disassembling of bunk beds, and fighting for elevator time, there were many changes that I noticed. At the heart of these changes was technology. An example of this was that my daughter was finishing up some laundry, and she informed me that her college has a “smart system,” meaning that the washer and dryer would text her when her laundry was done—a significant improvement over finding your clothes strewn across the floor by a fellow student! Another example was the checkout process itself; everything was completed on my daughter’s cell phone—quick, efficient, but little or no human interaction. This, of course, was normal for my 19-year-old daughter.
In hindsight, none of this was really a surprise. Technology and the changes it brings are part of almost every life experience we have. These same changes also really shape the expectations that all of our customers have when they interact with us. I’m not suggesting the “personal touch” aspect of business has gone away completely, but there is little doubt that customers’ expectations have changed and will continue to change because of technology and other societal factors.
It is incumbent that all of our organizations embrace the changes that come with an ever-increasingly technology-dependent world. This means changes to our business models, including how we are organized and the business processes we put in place to meet and exceed customer expectations. At the core of it all is how well we manage all the changes that are coming at us at increased speed. Do we have a culture that is agile when dealing with the planned and unplanned changes in our industry? Have we developed our people to have the skills to effectively navigate change? Whether continued changes in technology or other changes that effect financial institutions, those financial institutions which treat change management as a strategic differentiator will be the ones that thrive.
If you want to be more change-agile and prepared for the next thing that comes your way, we are here to assist. Wipfli can help your financial institution to better manage a current or pending change or to grow. We have a full range of change management services, including change-readiness assessments, communication planning, and resistance management. We are here to help!