The human element driving transformations 21 March 2021

Recent Efma webinar with industry executives discusses the most important element of any transformation.
Transformations are on the mind of most every financial services executive. What behavior changes will stick post-Covid and how can banks and insurers evolve to be successful in that coming world? When it comes to successful transformations, people are more important than processes. That was the theme of a recent Efma webinar. Transforming mindsets, however, is a much bigger lift than transforming a backend operating system. That’s why we invited executives from top institutions to discuss how they are implementing their future plans.

At Santander in Spain, the bank is changing the management role, recognizing management isn’t just about product development, but people development. “We are moving toward leaner structures, flatten structures, more agile design of products. We are redefining the role of middle management towards more supporting this transition and reskilling of our workforce instead of only on account of designing products for our customers,” said Andres Bianchi, Global HR Transformation Director.

The crisis obviously forced so many institutions to transform how they do business overnight. At BNP Paribas in Poland, they found that empowering people was a key element of surviving and thriving during this crisis. “One of the key lessons, in terms of the transformation mindset, that will stay with us is empower people, delegate more control, remove bureaucracy, remove paperwork and things will develop faster and better,” said Przemek Gdanski, CEO of BNP Paribas (Poland).

A little bit closer to home, Jean-Marc Pailhol, Allianz Partners Board member & GSP Chief Officer, and also Chairman of Efma, spoke about the one word that has underpinned his company’s efforts in recent years: simplicity. He said: “We did a great survey some years ago even before the Covid-19 crisis, where we tried to understand the evolution of the market needs and behaviors and what we have seen is that there is a huge transformation of the market, we call it a mutation even, going from a traditional world to a new world or a digital world, where the five main words were simple, fast, transparent, lean and user-friendly. And we have decided to move the company to become simpler, faster, leaner and more user-friendly.” This simplicity-driven mindset is leading the global transformation at Allianz.

Finally, Michael Ruckman, Founder and President of the consultancy Senteo in the U.S. spoke on how he formulates change projects with his clients. For him, it is about seeding the innovation with the right people in order for it to permeate the entire company. “We look at the law of diffusion of innovation as how quickly people will adopt new ideas. The same thing works in change projects, which is how we can build teams that are motivated and ready to move without the constraints of doubt and resistance. There's about fifty percent of the organization that you use to structure your project teams, and the other fifty percent that you have to just move out of the way, otherwise they cause problems,” he said. 

There were so many more great thoughts and contributions from our outstanding guests. Be sure to check out the entire webinar on: https://www.efma.com/webinar/7717-transformational-mindset-the-key-to-success-episode-1

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