I start with an introduction from the book "Banks of the Future". The book is a puzzle of new, inspiring knowledge from inside and outside of the banking industry which was put together in a creative way. The reason for writing "putting a puzzle together creatively" was that never before were new areas like music or art associated with banks in order to better run day-to-day business.
I think that running a bank is like driving a car, as one needs to understand the rules and techniques, but we also need to develop the ability to understand and use the other human senses, like gut feeling. I think a reason for banks being fragile is because we miss to combine logical, analytical and creative thinking. While driving we must use all our senses in order to avoid a disaster, why is it different when it comes to banking? There is a need to change our way of thinking, as Edward de Bono has explained since decades. De Bono calls it lateral thinking while Daniel Kahneman calls it cognitive ease, which is what one needs to develop in order to avoid many of the human biases and to become more creative.
Here are some examples of the outmoded way of thinking in banking:
- Gathering facts logically and getting analytical afterwards; start a discussion or debate in order to come to a conclusion.
- IT infrastructures are cost intensive and will grow historically, like in the past.
- Robots can be introduced as a means to improve relationships with customers.
- The terms 'mindfulness' or 'creativity' must be avoided in day-to-day banking, as they would make us being perceived less professional.
- Let's innovate with solutions from the car industry.
- Communicate and document as much as possible to monitor and control risk; don't use too many pictures, cartoons and videos and be serious in order get the credit of being professional.
As much as the banking industry wishes to innovate, changes in financial institutions take place quite slowly. In order to compete in a fast changing world, a change in bank's cultures is needed to allow for the introduction of a creative way of running such organizations and to attract clients more to banks than to non-banking institutions, who started to offer some of the traditional banking services. Here are some creative solutions to make a revolutionary change in bank's day-to-day business:
- Use robots to control risk instead of using them for improvements in interaction with clients. Identify key areas, like trading or IT-related day-to-day processes and let robots control them. The robot which is in charge of controlling the key areas in a bank is called the brain of the bank. The key areas are those areas that will harm a bank if issues arise. As every IT expert will confirm, an early warning system for some of the key areas is relatively simple to develop and implement. This simple robotic control would help banks to avoid losing billions of Dollars on the trading floor by automatically controlling day-to-day processes behind the control of trading limits and the access permissions for certain areas.
- Engineers in the car industry are also the users of their end product and therefore have practical experience in what they have built. The banking-related knowledge of the majority of engineers in a bank is mainly of a theoretical nature. Instead of putting in endless efforts to improve communication between IT and the business, a future bank needs to enable young engineers to start their careers in finance by gaining work experience in different business areas for a pre-defined period of time, followed by a move to the IT area. Such a career path would enable them to develop an understanding of the culture in a banking business and at the same time would help them avoiding frustrations in the future when collaborating with business areas.
- Value emotions and creativity during the process of finding solutions for a particular problem.
- Introduce music, humor, mindfulness or art to your employees in order to avoid tunnel views and burnouts in the work place.
- Build a banking club in order to increase internet security and focus on technologies that are future-oriented. Avoid providing a change of IT solutions for similar activities. The aim should be to ease day-to-day work and not to be focused on the trees while losing sight of the forest.
- Provide a non-profit service to your clients and employees in order to build long-lasting relationships.
- Become mindful and treat clients and employees the way you would like to be treated, as satisfied employees and clients have a brain which works well. It is a fact that our brains make mistakes when dealing with negative emotions. The bottom line of behavioral finance is that best decisions can be made when we are in balance with our family, colleagues, friends, our finances and with ourselves.
The book 'Banks of the Future' is like a Google search which comes up with tons of information where you might not be sure initially what to do with it. Google does not provide you with one chapter to read in order to understand what is included. This book will not tell you a story, as it is only a collection of ideas, concepts and insights about the future of banking, from the brains of almost one hundred experts of our time, enhanced by almost two decades of work experience in the banking industry.
It can be considered as a basket of knowledge, which supports the reader to generate new and creative ideas. Sometimes it might be refreshing to write one word in the eBook version of the book to see what will be listed. If it sparked your interest you might search the web for newly added information on the specific subject. Below you can find a link on Amazon to make this book your personal copy. All readers who order the book before Christmas via the link below will receive two paintings of similar style instead of one. Read the details about the product on Amazon in case you are interested in knowing why adding a painting at all.