Following the credit crunch, banks began to aggressively alter their service offerings and processes in order to win back customer confidence and remain relevant in a world of rapid technological evolution. Consequently, change management has boomed in the banking sector.
Change management is the transition of business processes, human capital, technology and other key functions in order to adapt to changing business and/or market conditions to deliver a certain goal or outcome. In banking, business change is often in response to new regulations imposed by a governing body, such as the FCA, or in response to customer demands. Banks need to continually adapt to change in order to survive and develop, and failure to do so can have drastic consequences – like extinction.
Most of us are familiar with Darwin’s theory of natural selection and the expression, “It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, it is the one who is most adaptable to change”. Although this is based on evolutionary change in the animal kingdom, the basic principle is relevant to many aspects of life and work.
As in any industry, keeping up with change in the banking sector is challenging. Business change by nature should be proactive rather than reactive and the ideal situation is to keep ahead of the curve by leading industry change. Barclays have been very good at this, offering the best online banking service out of the top five retail banks and paving the way for their competitors to follow.
Customer needs and societal shifts have been a large driving force behind changes in retail banking and regulations. Online banking has only really been around since the turn of the century and mobile banking has just outgrown its infancy, driven by the popularity of smartphones and the 24/7 accessibility customers have demanded as a result.
Another pearl of wisdom, this time from media mogul Rupert Murdoch, says it all, “The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow”. It’s now imperative to be at the forefront of change and being a shepherd, not a sheep, will guarantee success in today’s banking sector.
George works in Investigo’s Change Management division and manages the supply of interim Project and Programme Management professionals to two of the largest banks in the UK. To contact George please call 020 7194 8305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.