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Notes by Nina

Be the leader you wish you had

Leadership courses can go one of two ways; they either resonate with you or you want to hide underneath the desk and wish that you were watching grass grow.

I was on a two day course Management skills for managers and leaders and I was apprehensive to say the least. Well this time I was lucky, I found a course that hit the mark.

I came out of day 1 with my head spinning there was so much content, how could I possibly remember it all? Also being told that what you don’t implement in the first 48 hours, you probably will never use – the pressure was on!

Leadership styles

The first thing to highlight is that everyone has their own leadership style and understanding what yours is, is critical.  Leadership is all about being authentic, you can’t be Richard Branson but you can be an awesome version of yourself.  By shining that mirror to your own face and understanding what are your strengths and your weaknesses, you can start to build a plan for success.

In a study completed by Zenger Folkman 2012 the traits of exceptional leaders were reviewed and came out with three interesting findings.

  1. Of the 16 traits highlighted, you only need 4-5 to be an exceptional leader. This means that you don’t need to be brilliant at everything. Instead understanding what you bring the table and then surround yourself with people who compliment your skills (i.e. they bring the skills that you don’t have).
  2. There is a mismatch between how leaders rate themselves, what makes and exceptional leader and what the people want.
  3. The most effective leaders are emotionally intelligent.

Emotional intelligence is critical, as a leader you need to not only be aware of your emotions but be able to control and manage them appropriately for the situation you are in – especially when under pressure. It allows us to turn intention into action and make rational decisions not for our own benefits but for those that we are connected with.

Increasing our emotional intelligence

We can increase our emotional intelligence through 4 key areas of development:

  1. Self awareness – being able to connect with your own emotions is important in understanding how your emotions impact your thoughts and behaviour
  2. Self management – once you are aware of your emotions, you can then begin to manage them. Understanding when to control impulsive behaviours and how to generate positive outcomes and interactions with others.
  3. Social awareness – being socially aware allows you to pick up on the emotions and feelings of others and respond accordingly. This is an important skill, you can’t lead a team to delivery if you can’t relate to who they are and therefore their behaviours and actions. Empathy is therefore essential for social awareness
  4. Relationship management – Once you are able to understand the emotional and nonverbal cues of others you can then build more meaningful and effective relationships. Relationship management however is not just connecting but being able to effectively communicate at all times through negotiating, conflict resolution and motivating others to work towards a common goal.

Leading is such an important job, and as said by Simen Sinek on his recent tours of Melbourne “Leadership is a choice, be the leader you wished you had” Chat soon. Nina

Let’s talk automation

We are living in an automated world and we love it. Automated windows, automatic doors, wipers, taps and soap dispensers and thermomixes to name only a few. These things are taking the repetitive tasks out of our day and enabling us to focus on the things that add value to our lives.

This expectation of automation, simplicity and increasing value is also changing the way we want to interact with our services and products. We want it in one click , in one phone call, in one interaction and finance is no exception. Similar with many industries, the difficulty that finance faces is we are usually well established organizations, with a multitude of different systems built up over time which complicates the necessary straight through processing to deliver quick and easy delivery of products and services.

Automation provides a tactical and affordable solution. Providing the illusion of a digital process, it is able to ingest information and/or data provided by the customer and transpose this into core systems. Automating tasks that were previously manual, time consuming and therefore error prone.

This provides a multitude of benefits to our customers and therefore our business.

Automation ensures every action is performed identically and therefore we are able to increase the quality and the consistency of outputs ensuring that we are reducing the variation of our service delivery to customers.

Automation saves time, as they are able to process requests faster than when manually completed. Increasing the volume of requests that can delivered in the same time period.

Automation enables greater value add activities, by reducing the number of tasks an employee is required to complete therefore enabling them to work on greater value add activities

Automation reduces turnaround time for our customers, by processing faster, reducing errors, rework and focusing our people on further value add activities we are able to process a higher quality service outcome at a faster pace for our customers.

Before we begin we need to remember that just because you can automate doesn’t mean you should.

We had one process whereby we automatically populated a PDF smart-form with customer details. The form was then printed, the customer signed a copy, and it was sent off for processing. We were trying to automatically scan all the customer information that had been printed onto the form, and we were asked to help improve the accuracy. The question had to be asked – we’d already captured the customer’s details once, why didn’t we keep those details stored, and then when we receive the validated signature we just cross reference the two? 100% data consistency

Automation is only one tool in the process re-engineering tool kit. Some tools, like Automation, make waves and look very attractive for any number of reasons, but simply because it appears to be an attractive option with a lot of buzz around it, doesn’t make it a silver bullet.

Identifying Opportunities for Automation

Before you automate ask: are your processes standardized? If so you will be able to implement automations across functions.

Ask are your processes simplified? Therefore that you are not automating processes that should not exist and do not add value.

Ask what is the best way for our customers to interact with us? Good customer service demands that you don’t lose valuable face to face interactions.

 

You also need to understand your risk appetite, what are you willing to automate? Automation is often viewed as the big ticket item “we can reduce 50% of our workforce through automating our processes”. Well, this may be true you will need to be mature in your organizational process hierarchy and standardisation to support this approach. Knowing and understanding what similar processes are completed across the organization and developing a consistent format that can then update the individual systems is the key to success here – although you will need to be prepared to handle the exceptions since automatons don’t learn.

In reality, it is easier and far less risky to automate singular processes, which still have a benefit but lack the big bang often associated with the idealized image of Automation.

A good example of a process that can be easily automated would be processing customer requests for a point-of-sale terminal. Merchants running convenience stores, restaurants or coffee shops need to submit their details to provide a point-of-sale terminal – a portable device for charging credit cards for those of you not in banking. Strategically, we deployed a platform to capture this information that some of you may already be familiar with – Adobe Experience Manager. You can build beautiful forms that capture rich, validated data from our customers.

But, and a big but, what do you do with this data once it’s been acquired?

A strategic fix would link it directly into core systems and have the form processed without the need for anyone to touch it – straight through processing or STP, the holy grail. However, this would take a lot of time, money, and would have its own set of organisational overheads and challenges like steering committees & funding drives.

We were able to build an automation for that process over the space of a couple of months that takes the data the customer provides, validates it, and then does all the actions of an operator who would typically do this process manually. We were able to repoint half of the team onto other value add activities with a couple of months’ worth of effort from one developer.

Ensuring successful programs

Once you start identifying opportunities to automate you will soon have a pipeline of work greater than your team can handle. Prioritization is therefore critical – what are they key processes that will make a difference to our customers, our people and then our business? Which of these processes have the ability to be used across multiple different teams? What people/ teams have the best skills to deliver the required automation? Having a visible and prioritized list will help you implement the most valuable initiatives, with the best skilled resources for the task.

Finally, governance is key, especially if you have automations being built across different business units and/or geographic locations. You must ensure that there is a standard to coding, this will help with the quality of your automations, reducing failures or bugs. And that you have all automations documented and logged so you can track, manage and maintain them not just at launch but on an ongoing basis. Whilst automations decrease your manual error risk they will increase the complexity of your technology and therefore need to be well managed.

As a tool, properly managed and correctly deployed, we know that automation will enhancing the customer experience in the financial industry – our job as Change and Transformation agents is to have the insight to see where and how it can best deliver meaningful value to both the organization and its customers.

 

All thoughts are my own.

Financial services – what’s coming next for OpEx?

IMG_1629Last week the Operational Excellence conference was held for Financial Services. Over 300 people came to the financial capital of the world NY, to talk about the latest trends in delivering customer excellence and share their war stories; the good, the bad and the ugly. These stories help each of us grow our programs, focused on delivering better customer experiences. This year the theme was clear, Automation and Robotics and how the financial industry is using them to transform their businesses. And at ANZ we are no different, with our own robotics and automation program. A colleague Huw Pattinson was also presenting sharing our journey.

At every conference I attend, I look to take home three things that I can share with my team and then execute to uplift our own program. Apart from the great content that Huw presented, the three outcomes for me were:

Process Ownership
Dietrich Fisher from BBVA compass stated that Process Ownership is something that we all know we should be doing however execution can be really hard.
Process owners are to define the future vision for the process, they are to ensure the process supports business objectives and are continually looking at improving them – Great this sounds like something that we should all be doing but to get that accountability in a large organization is difficult.
4 different models were presented; A volunteer model, joint ownership model, single owner model and a process organization model. Each with it’s own benefits and restrictions. As our business progresses up the operational maturity curve choosing one of these models and embedding it is going to be critical.

Designing a system for embedding specific behaviours
This talk by Ewan Goddard from Voya Finacial, was closely aligned to our approach already however great to hear and reinforce. We need to ensure that Continuous Improvement is part of the planning process at a strategic level. This strategy then needs to be reinforced with metrics that change and drive behaviour. Questioning what are the specific leader behaviours that are required? What are the questions that we should be asking? and What things should we be hearing on the floor?
This was followed up with not being wedded to the standards that we implement, ensuring that we are putting in constant check points making us fit for purpose.

Automation
The two companies that excelled here from the presentations were BNY Mellon and Citibank. These companies are not only implementing Automation, but have strong strategies and governance in place, these implementation strategies are also including Machine Learning to excel the outcomes that can be delivered. Challenging our current models, and looking at how we focus our people on work that our customers value, providing insights and delivering great service.

And finally Customer Experience is not going away, however it is now expected that we are all living and breathing it, it has become a fundamental to what we do. Karen Pascoe of MasterCard spoke about the technologies that they are deploying to ensure that they stay current with how fast the technology industry is moving and how they are using Design Thinking and Hackathons to excel this process.

Whilst this is just scrapes the surface of the presentations, it provides an overview of the trends of Operational Excellence and I am looking forward to hearing more on the outcomes of using these techniques and technologies to progress customer centricity.

WOW your customers today!

IMG_1621You won’t finish a marathon, if you’re not focused on the training required in the lead up. This is the same with delivery of transformation, focusing on the fundamentals of your process, means that when it comes to race day and execution of the new flashy toy (or app), you will be ready to run.

WOW your customers
Everyone is moving quickly to deliver iconic customer experience. We want to WOW our customers but we won’t be able to do that if they need to wait until 2019 when our new app has been released – we need to be making a difference today.
At ANZ we are delivering The World Class Delivery Model, and we are focused on ensuring if there is a best way to do something that we are doing it that way across the bank.
We have specialised resources that will support the business in designing and implementing standard behaviours and we train and coach the business to be able to become self-sufficient in embedding Operational Excellence.
We are implementing a standard approach to what we refer to as the 8 Core Practice areas. These are 8 areas of work that any well managed business should be executing to such as; Customer and Quality, Business Performance and Operational risk to name a few. These Core Practice areas then break down into standard ways of working and therefore become the behaviours of our leaders. Through these behaviours we will progress up a maturity curve to deliver a World Class Organisation. Aligning these standards to our strategic road map we are able to deliver meaningful results today.
Over the next 6 months we will focus on three Core Practice areas, these will deliver great customer experience in a 30, 60 or 90 day period allowing us to WOW our customers today.
What to focus on

1. Process Technology: After reviewing our journeys, we need to map them back to a process classification framework. Highlighting the opportunities for consolidation, simplification and automation.

For example if we have 18 different teams that open accounts. “Why 18?!” You exclaim, well because over time we have increased how complex we are, there are new products, new systems. By using standard language across our organisation we increase visibility of what we are doing, are able to see where we are doing it and how and therefore determine where our biggest improvement opportunities are. This leads us to understand what capabilities are required across our teams, how do we get economies of scale and therefore greater service potential without making a detrimental impact on the end to end service.

This work can take time and can be difficult to implement. Start in your priority areas, map carefully and move your way through the business.

2. Embedding Continuous Improvement: We need to provide our team with the skills to highlight customer pain points and implement solutions themselves.
When you run any improvement workshop a list of items will come where people will say – why do we do that? These items should be a quick fix, managed and controlled by the business and implemented through Continuous Improvement channels. You need to empower your people to implement the small change, so that you can focus on the bigger impact items.

At ANZ we support by delivering a standard approach to continuous improvement, coaching people and providing a standard portal for capturing and realising the benefits. Ensuring that once the buzz of the end to end reviews have left that continuous improvement still remains through an embedded culture.

3. Capacity Management: If we have redesigned our processes and embedded continuous improvement how many people do we need? We often underestimate the benefits to our customers on simply ensuring we have the right number of people to do the work, in the right locations with the right skills to deal with the variation of our customer requests.
Being able to effectively forecast and then monitor and control through appropriate cross skilling, lending and borrowing resources between teams ensures we can meet the variation of demand of our customer requirements whilst keeping our costs at a minimum.

If you are able to do these things three things well, you can WOW your customers. Implementing meaningful customer outcomes today and not waiting for the big bang. So when that new app does arrive it already has the foundations for success.
Tell me your approach in implementing continuous improvement, BPM or capacity management. Those with the most likes will be added to my list of things to talk about in a webinar. Chat soon. Nina

Why is it so hard to give customers what they want?

Everyone likes the idea of the ‘future state’ but delivering it is hard. It was easy to get everyone together to create the Customer Journeys, but when it’s time to get stuff done, why does it all fall to pieces?

Be prepared to fail and learn from it

Getting ANZ to become world class has definitely been a journey; we’re still learning and continually adapting our processes to remain agile in our changing environment. There hasn’t been a program like ours before – we’re crossing so many borders and in some cases, have needed to completely overhaul how we do things – a major effort when you’re trying to change the way people have done things for decades, over multiple countries and convincing over 40,000 people that there’s a need to do so.

So how do you move an entire organisation to purpose around delivering the journeys you’ve created.

In a nutshell, we needed to try new approaches, new delivery methods, new engagement techniques and when they didn’t work try something else new – we failed fast, and changed quickly.  How did we do this? I’ll step you through something we tried, how we failed at it and what we did that had better results.

Failing Assumption: That what everyone agrees to in the room, will get done when you leave.

We ran workshops, we had the right decision makers in the room and we left with a clear vision and governance model to support implementation. We left. We went back to our days jobs with the best intentions…..but it failed.

We didn’t understand why it wasn’t working. The CEO was supportive, all the senior stakeholders had bought into the process and the Customer Journey. So where did it go wrong?

  • Because it had CEO support everyone wanted to be involved – we needed to narrow down our decision making rights.

 

  • We didn’t have the right resources – A component of this is increasing the continuous improvement capability of our staff which is an ongoing thing. But it comes down to prioritising initiatives so that the few improvement resources we have are working on the right initiatives. If this is really important (which our customers are telling us it is) then we need to stop all the extra things that we are doing and focus on those one or two things that are going to have the biggest benefit for our customers.

 

Now I’ve only talked about one failure point when delivering end to end solutions; there are many more. It is difficult to deliver transformation

The key: You are going to need to be agile and review your approach regularly.
We used the ‘5 why’ technique on the issues to ensure that we were addressing the root cause and taking actions to respond accordingly.   It doesn’t matter what methodology you use, but you’ve got to reflect regularly, to ensure you don’t get stuck on the wrong path…or that will be your biggest failure.

Next week I will share my thoughts on what you can change today, to achieve sustainable results. In the meantime tell me your experiences with transformation and how you have learnt from failure. Those with the most likes will be added to my list of things to talk about in a webinar at the end of March. Chat soon. Nina

Thinking from the Outside In

We all know the customer is important but how do we become customer centric?

I don’t know about you but my LinkedIn and twitter feeds are filled with people talking about customer experience and how we all need to put the customer at the centre of our organisations, but how do we do this?

It all starts with Outside In Thinking. We need to stop thinking from our business perspective and make decisions not just with our customers in mind but thinking like our customers. Depending on your business this will change slightly but at the heart of it our customers are wanting simple, easy, and real time responses and we need to be able to respond accordingly.

Elon Musk is a perfect example of how this should work. He is active on Twitter for a start and a customer tweeted about trying to charge his car at one of the superchargers and wasn’t able to do so because other Tesla owners had parked their car and gone shopping taking up a valuable spot. In six days Elon had not only responded but had executed a fix. This is action. This is listening, this is responding to customers.  This is what we need now to succeed in today’s digital age.

But if your business is like mine – then your internal departments probably aren’t effectively communicating with each other, and this makes it really difficult to respond to customer concerns the way Tesla did, let alone implement an outcome in six days.

So this puts us in a difficult position to become a world class organisation, or achieve our goal to strengthen our relationships with our core customers by investing in sustainable innovations.

We need to change how we work to ensure that we are delivering end to end solutions for the customer that are simple, easy and responsive.

Delivering end to end solutions?

Customers don’t care about how your organisation is set up, and nor should they. They want a seamless experience.To have a chance at being successful the first thing you are going to need to do is get through those organisational boundaries. Bringing everyone in a room together not just to talk about where you want to be, but reflect on where you are today and the gap that you are going to need to fill and who is responsible for these outcomes.

At ANZ we ran workshops; we grouped a small set of our executives together, we mapped our current state. But mapped it from our customers perspective (back to Outside in Thinking). We looked at the whole eco system, from when they start to think about engaging with us, to when we deliver the product and the service following that.  Then used customer data including listening to calls and complaints to really show what was happening. This had a pretty big shock factor. When you put the customer at the centre and back it up with data it’s hard to argue the results, all of a sudden the usual politics has nowhere to stand. These powerful maps were Customer Journey maps.

What is Customer Journey mapping?

Customer Journey mapping is all about telling a story. From the dawn of time story telling has been used to engage people – to teach. And journey mapping is no different, it should tell the story of your business.

Often organisations are great at collecting data, but data and spreadsheets (as much as I personally love them) often fail to really communicate a customer’s joy, excitement, frustration and anger.

A journey map should help a designer understand the context of its users. For managers it should provide an overview of the customer experience helping them to identify opportunities to enhance that experience. But most of all the customer journey map puts the customer at the centre of the organisations thinking, it demonstrates how social media and the digital age have changed the customer behaviour and demonstrates the need for the entire organisation to adapt.

Tips for creating a successful Customer Journey map

  1. Do your research first – analyse your customer data, talk to customers, and know the current state, what are your peers and competitors doing?

Do not map the customer journey thinking that you know what the customer wants and thinks – you’re too close. Outside In Thinking is essential.

  1. Get all the important stakeholders in the room – lock them away, establish ownership through engaging them in the process. They need to experience what your customers are experiencing. Play customer calls. Listen and analyse complaints, walk them through all the steps and make it visual so the process, successes and pain points are clear.

Do not map the journey on your own – otherwise the only support you will have is your own.

  1. Critically review the map – look at the areas for improvement and what your future state will be. Develop your end to end strategy, get someone in to challenge you who doesn’t know the process, assign owners for the whole process and business owners for building blocks of work to come. It is also essential to think about how this journey aligns with other journeys, look at what are the capabilities your business needs that will generate economies of scale and consistency in service.

Don’t map and then do nothing with it – it will leave all those senior stakeholders with a sour taste in their mouth and your customers unfulfilled

Customer Journey mapping is a critical step to developing Outside In thinking and therefore enabling us to strengthening our relationship with core customers by investing in sustainable solutions and therefore progress us on our journey to being a world class bank.

As we continue delivering our principles, next week I will share my thoughts on being prepared to fail and how to learn from it. To ensure you don’t miss it subscribe on the link below.

In the mean time; tell me your experiences below with customer journey mapping, and post any questions that you have on Customer Journey maps or your transformation journey. The questions with the most likes will be answered in a webinar at the end of March. Chat soon. Nina

 

All views are my own.

An Aussie with PEX – Disruption or continuous improvement?

Think about Florida; sunshine, oranges, Cuban sandwiches, seafood, beaches… well whilst the sun was out that was not the reason for the 24+ hours of flying – it was the annual Operational Excellence Business Transformation world summit where I’d be speaking to over 800 people about disruption vs continuous improvement.

Alongside other speakers from companies like Nike, EBay and GroupOn I shared my journey and views on whether a disruptive business model or continuous improvement was the better approach on designing and executing value for customers.

At ANZ we have been transforming our global services and operations to be world class for the past 18 months. Banks aren’t seen to be world class at anything. We have legacy systems and we have grown by acquiring new businesses. Not until recently, have we had a need to change…but just like all other industries, financial services is rapidly changing and we don’t just want to survive. We want to come out the other side as a world class organisation.

Disruption or Continuous Improvement?

Disruption is an issue or problem which interrupts an event, activity, or process. So when we refer to disruption in business, we often think of it as disruptive innovation or digital disruption.

Ultimately we are talking about when a new market or value network is created and eventually disrupts an existing market which can displace established leading firms, products and alliances.

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) has defined disruption as:

  • Disruption is a process – they all begin as small scale experiments – they focus on the business model and when they get it right they expand from the fringe into the mass market and erode the market share
  • Disrupters often build business models that are very different from their incumbents – they challenge and look at things from a different perspective
  • Some disruptive innovations succeed and some don’t – success is not built into the definition of disruption you have to be willing to fail
  • The mantra “disrupt or be disrupted can be misguided” – Businesses should not overreact and dismantle profitable businesses

Let me paint you a picture. This is what we’re facing in the financial services industry:

  • Peer to peer lending is expected to reach US$50billion by 2020
  • In Australia this is anticipated to be 6% of all our lending by 2020
  • Bitcoin which only came into existence in 2009, and the value is expected to increase to above $1000
  • Bitcoin transactions have increased from 1000 to over 10 million per month.

We can deal with this, this isn’t our biggest challenge. According to a report by Accenture, 85% of bank executives believe that the biggest disrupter will be the eco system. The industry boundaries are disappearing as our customers expect us to know more about their buying and usage patterns and therefore develop experiences based on their needs. Experiences that go outside the traditional product focus and expand to include the end to end from the customer perspective – outside in thinking.

So when we reflect on disruption and think about the size and complexity of the borders that we operate in it’s going to be difficult, not impossible but it’s going to take significant effort. We have a very structured business model that would need to adapt to become more flexible and we also have shareholders that don’t really like not getting a return on their investments – which makes failure very difficult.

And can’t ignore our existing customers who are still very profitable. As you can see, being a disrupter is going to be hard to achieve – we need to do things differently.

So how are we doing this?

When I was at the OPEX transformation week two years ago, we took home the award for the best business improvement program under 2 years. Our programme was focused on getting the employees engaged in improving their own processes and focusing on the customer outcomes no matter where in the process they sat. Delivering outside in thinking to our people and therefore delivering results through making our processes simpler for both our customers and also employees.

Well two years on this programme has expanded, we are not only looking at the quick wins but focused on re-engineering at all levels.

Over the next couple of weeks I want to tell you how we got here. I am going to share with the three key principles that we have been living by to help transform ANZ into a world class bank:

  • Understanding the customer journey – Customer Journeys are critical for aligning the organisation and determining investment decisions
  • Be prepared to fail and learn from it – End to end transformation is hard, and you are going to need to fail fast to succeed
  • Make sustainable change today – Waiting for tomorrow is not good enough you need to deliver sustainable results today

We are transforming through continuous improvement on mass. Whilst disruption is important, we need to be actively managing it, looking at market trends and responding accordingly. We need to focus closer to home, strengthening our relationship with Core Customers by investing in sustainable solutions to enhance their experiences.

Over the next couple of weeks as we explain these principles, post your questions below on your transformation journey, those with the most likes I will then answer in a webinar at the beginning of March.

 

All thoughts are my own.

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