Fintech Employee Innovation Capabilities
There are a couple of great Fintech innovation programs out there to help early stage and growth companies scale their businesses. Their focus is all on validating value propositions and market fit, helping the Fintech to scale from a product or service perspective.
However, there is one significant flaw or gap in these types of scaling mentoring programs for Fintech companies. That is the challenge of how to move away from a traditional change management approach to a more rapid, diverse one that better enables successful customer, problem, solution, technology, or growth pivots.
How do you incorporate the innovation of the few, and enable the wider employee community to take that brilliance and incorporate it in the reliable and predictable delivery that even a Fintech organisation requires?
In our last Fintech blog post, we talked about five capabilities that are needed to help scale up a Fintech business. Let’s talk about the first of those in more detail.
MI-GSO | PCUBED recommend building an employee connection capability that uses a repeatable approach to reset and realign employees and appropriate stakeholder groups to any significant pivot. This needs three stages:
Empathise – The approach should enable employees to take stock of the proposed pivot, assemble, and understand alternative views, and deepen collective understanding of context, challenges, enablers, and individual, as well as collective capabilities.
Envision – Gain expanded understanding from organising and analysing the gathered information to create user centric opportunity statements across relevant topic areas. For example, create low resolution views of the revised customer, problem, solution, technology, or growth direction.
Engage – Generate innovative solutions to the opportunity statements collectively and gain sponsorship. Set the objectives and key results and get ready to release a burst of activity that rapidly overcomes barriers to achieve forward momentum on the revised direction.
The approach must be time-flexible to enable a scale of approach of between a two-day session experience to a comprehensive ten-week problem solving exploration. Let’s look at a short session experience example.
M|Pulse™ Session Short Experience
M|Pulse™ is a focused, inspiring, multi-day event that leads large, varied sets of stakeholders through the Empathise, Envision, and Engage steps to quickly co-create pivot responses and align to a rapid burst of activity to push aside organisational inertia and get the whole ecosystem team onside to the pivot direction.
This works across various industries, and we’ve seen significant success with the M|Pulse™ session experience with a range of clients including a missile manufacturer, a nuclear projects organisation, a blockchain engineering firm, an aerospace manufacturer, as well as an automotive OEM software division.
The experience avoids a traditional workshop approach of tackling topics one by one in a pre-determined structure, and instead uses a fluid approach, addressing challenges in a more holistic way. First at a high level, then digging deeper for innovative scenarios and stress-testing possible solutions and only then, in the Engage phase put all the pieces together to build a collaborative and sustainable approach under pinned by objectives and key results.
Less significant product or operating model changes will typically be managed through a quarterly business alignment process like PI planning or similar management cycle event.
This experience approach is well-suited to significant, gnarly changes that originate from any of the levels in the Pivot pyramid – customer, problem, solution, technology, or growth. It provides a really fast change management approach to realign and re-launch team efforts.
Employee Connection Capability Development
Given the frequency of pivots in the modern business environment, it’s important to build internal capability for this revised change approach.
But rather than running loads of training classes, it’s more productive to co-facilitate with experts on either a short session experience or a narrow focussed, but comprehensive ten-week innovation exploration and train both facilitator and participants “on the job”. A session which has both capability and topic goals:
- Create an internal change network that really sees how an employee-connection approach aids rapid pivot change management.
- Co-facilitate to create internal capability to run internal events going forwards.
- Develop actual solutions for the topics in the pilot M|Pulse™ experience.
Employee Connection Benefits
This kind of approach gains more diverse input to resolving challenges of direction change, it gets a faster aligned response and build’s more internal ownership to the path ahead.
Increasing employee connection empowers the broader team which increases job satisfaction, and ultimately, retention.
Your culture benefits from having a visible demonstration of trust in the team, while still getting the clear objectives and key results needed to verify that progress will be made.
This article was written by John Sheffield – managing consultant, with over 40 years business and technology delivery experience, most recently with a C-level transformation role within a major blockchain engineering company