Category Archives: design thinking

It is a kind of cliché to state that the financial services industry landscape is changing rapidly, continuously and often unexpectedly. Customers don’t seem to care about those incumbent financial services firms that are not responsive to their needs. Although there has been a constant stream of assurances from various banks, wealth managers, and insurance companies that they are customer-oriented and responsive to customer needs, a lot of things remain to be done. Customer-orientation hot talk, as I call it, is a form of self-deception, and although most of the financial services companies still heavily rely on old-dated goods-dominant logic, they talk as if the reality is something entirely different. The truth is that most financial services companies are again faking true customer-orientation and this is a real problem. This is very problematic as it deceives both the client as well as shareholders (or stakeholders). Signaling, shouting out loud random words, is simple but…

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“Customer dis-intermediation is one of the biggest challenges that a retail bank must contend with when it comes to retaining its central standing as the number one go-to provider of financial services.” – Bragi Fjalldal, CMO & VP, Meniga 1)Banking Technology: “The race to meaningfully engage with customers is on“ We are living fascinating times in the world of financial services industry and institutions. As the late, great business professor C. K. Prahalad and his collaborator Venkat Ramaswamy pointed out in their magnificent book The Future of Competition: Co-Creating Unique Value With Customers (2004), the role of the consumer is rapidly changing, and consequently the traditional mindset of company-centric value creation (and goods-dominant logic) is disintegrating before our very eyes. Prahalad and Ramaswamy argue that we are now witnessing the emergence of “the informed, networked, and active consumer, combined with the convergence of technologies and industries. Driven by these two forces, the consumer is increasingly…

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There has been a lot of interesting discussion on how bots, and especially chatbots, could redefine the future of customer service and customer experience. The rise of bots has been exceptionally fast, and Facebook played a significant role in the chatbot revolution when they announced in April 2016 that Facebook Messenger platform supports chatbots – the number of chatbots on Facebook Messenger has been growing fast. We have been living in the world of (chat)bots for a couple of years now, and Facebook’s adoption of chatbots has been a significant landmark in the more general adoption of bots. There has already been some evidence that chatbots are gaining legitimacy amongst consumers. According to Aspect Software Research’s report published last year, “44% said that if a company could get the experience right, they would prefer to use a chatbot or automated experience for CRM.” This discussion has been, of course, promoted mainly by those…

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Mikko Leskelä recently asked for some recommendations on books, articles and other (digital) resources that cover design thinking and business anthropology. While I think that it’s actually much more important to get things going rather than just reading and studying them, I have to admit that the complexity of design thinking can be quite overwhelming for most of us. There is no reason to overanalyze design thinking (or business anthropology), but at the same time, things should not be done on the fly, instinctively without giving any rational thought on the things you really want to accomplish. Design thinking, thanks to the fluidity of the design itself, is not a carved in stone by anyone, and therefore it’s important for everyone to expose oneself to a wide variety of perspectives. Design and innovation companies, like Fjord (acquired by Accenture in 2013), Lunar (acquired by McKinsey & Co in 2015), Heat (acquired by…

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