Portions of the following commentary have been excerpted from the July 17, 2018 BIGcast series, entitled “Out-Partnering Your Competition,” with host John Best. Jeffery Kendall, Executive Vice President & GM of Global Banking & Financial Solutions at Temenos, and John Janclaes, CEO of Partners FCU, were both interviewed.
Let’s face it: when compared to the speed of innovation, digital banking transformation in a banking leader’s own institution can feel like it moves at a frustratingly slow pace. Technology is disrupting the global banking sector at an unprecedented rate, and it’s more important than ever for banking leaders to watch where the hockey puck is going, not where it is today.
As I meet with banking CEOs across the globe, I find that those who are most successful in furthering their innovation agendas are those who look beyond the size of their budgets: They focus on out-partnering – not out-spending – their competition. It’s more important than ever to recruit and lead a team of both internal talent and outside digital banking experts. Every vendor relationship matters, and every vendor is part of the team.
If you start treating your vendors less like vendors and more like people who are accountable for results, that’s a way for companies to extract more value out of that relationship.
One of the best examples of this approach is Temenos’ experience with Partners FCU, which serves the employees of the Walt Disney Companies and is one of the nation’s largest credit unions. From the beginning, CEO John Janclaes was smart about inviting its outside members to be part of the family. That meant introducing us to the full results that the team was hoping to drive – and having us all work together to maximize our specific strengths.
Their viewpoint was that Temenos was much more than a vendor and much more than a commodity. Opening arms and embracing their outside experts into their strategic vision automatically started holding all of us accountable for driving results, no different than any of their internal team.
If you start treating your vendors less like vendors and more like people who are accountable for results, that’s a way for companies to extract more value out of that relationship. Another thing that John Janclaes did was to bring together all of the diverse backgrounds and skill levels – internal and external – to drive results. This extended to people outside of IT and outside of direct responsibility for digital, such as employees from human resources, lines of business, and many other areas.
Partners FCU also called upon the Boston Consulting Group, and we all came to the table to bring everyone to an understanding of how to accelerate digital. It was key to watch the lightbulbs go on for people who were outside of the delivery responsibility, as they started understanding what we were all trying to do together as part of a digital team.
This is an important factor in the success of banking CEOs and C-level leaders. I see this strategy play out with financial organizations that have the right vision to truly create digital banking transformation. These leaders are inclusive, and they harness the talent of both their internal and external teams in a way that unlocks more value than simply outspending the competition.