THINK 17: The Digital Transformation Journey Has Begun

THINK 17: The Digital Transformation Journey Has Begun

THINK 17: The Digital Transformation Journey Has Begun

It may be the third day of the THINK 17 conference, but it is “day 1” in New York City.

That’s how Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos insists his company will remain at the top of its game by treating every day like it’s the first, capitalizing on the energy of fresh minds, new ideas and intrapreneurial spirit.

That’s not a typo. Intrapreneurs are people who work in legacy organizations but think and act entrepreneurially. At THINK 17, it became clear that the future heroes of digital transformation will rise from the legions of intrapreneurs in our nation’s finest credit unions.

THINK 17 audiences have learned that digital transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey, but conference speakers, panelists and journalists have shown us that shifts taken now can make for an easy trip ahead – for us and our members.

Here are just a few of those shifts:

Focus on the consumer’s jobs to be done.

“Jobs to be done” are reasons for members turning to credit unions. They describe the practical and emotional requirements of consumers as they weigh choices that affect their financial lives. People “hire” a person, company, product or service to meet their requirements – to get jobs done. That’s where credit unions come in with unique value.

Stephen Wunker, keynote speaker and co-author of “Jobs to Be Done: A Roadmap for Customer-Innovation,” challenged his audience to consider the last time they bought themselves ice cream. Why did they do it? What was the experience they were looking for? Respondents came to realize that the ice cream was incidental to the inquiry. The moment of indulgence, the enjoyable retreat, was the motivation and the value. A desire to reward themselves was a job to be done that day.

Wunker brought his “Jobs to Be Done” concept to life with the first of three pieces of new and exclusive research rolling out to THINK 17 attendees. Credit unions in the audience saw how financial consumers –credit union members and non-members alike – think and feel about their financial jobs to be done.

THE TAKEAWAY: When thinking about members’ jobs to be done, go deep. Act like a four-year-old and ask, “Why? Why? Why?” What does the member really need and, if the products and services you provide didn’t exist, where would they go? What are the obstacles to delivering on those jobs to be done?

Digital is not just a technology. It’s a shift in mindset.

Keynote speaker and digital strategy firm co-founder Aaron Dignan reemphasized the importance of Day 1 thinking in his THINK 17 session on what adopting the digital mindset means.

“Digital is a way of working that prioritizes speed and learning,” Dignan said. “If you’re moving fast, you’re ahead of the market. If you’re organized for learning, as customers change their habits, you’ll be there to see it.”

When Tom Goodwin, executive vice president of innovation at Zenith Media, shared examples of fast-moving market disruptors like Uber, Casper, AirBNB, Tesla and Dollar Shave Club, he also shared that each has technology at its core. Digital transformation is not achieved by simply layering technology over a legacy system. Yet, it’s something anyone can achieve, as THINK 17 audiences also learned through case studies from legacy-based businesses Scotts Turf, Broadway HD and Reebok.

“Digital transformation is not digitization, Goodwin said. “Digitization is using technology as a garnish, something on the side. The companies who have the greatest success overcoming the challenges of digital have innovation and transformation at their core.”

THE TAKEAWAY: You don’t have to be a digital native to succeed. The digital mindset is available to everyone. Credit unions do not have to start from scratch, nor are they alone. The cooperative movement is just scratching the surface of possibilities for working together, alongside great strategic partners, to begin the transformation journey.

The best definition of the digital workplace is the intersection of people + organization + technology.

Over the first two days at THINK 17, the experts were clear: Innovation is not a trendy project. It is oxygen, essential to transforming organizations and delivering what members need to achieve their jobs to be done.

Culture is the backbone of innovation, as former president of the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Meg Crofton noted. As she shared Disney’s own digital transformation via the introduction of Magic Bands to guests at properties all around the world, she also paid forward some of the leadership lessons learned along the way. Among them was the idea that leaders are not defined by the number of people who report to them. Anyone can be a leader, and that starts with the right attitude.

“Positivity is contagious,” Crofton said. “Leaders should strive to create epidemics of optimism.”

THE TAKEAWAY: Leaders are at every level of an organization. When trusted and empowered, these individuals can focus on the member, going above and beyond normal boundaries to deliver magical moments that resonate.

Credit union leaders are beginning to see how digital transformation requires “choiceful” changes in direction that may not always be easy. If one thing is clear here in New York City, it’s that credit unions are embracing the challenge. As an industry, we are ready to do what it takes to transform. We will look at the member experience through the jobs to be done framework, reward the intrapreneurs among us, champion positivity and infuse our organizations with day 1 energy.