⇤ Back to edition

To ebb the tides of under-performing digital transformations, leaders need to trust and empower their teams to pivot when necessary.  

Stakes are incredibly high for financial services firms undergoing digital transformations, and yet they often flounder. To boost results, tech execs need to create a culture of empowerment through incentives and clear messaging. 

Nearly all banks are using technology to rethink their processes, features, and operations, but the road to reinvention is bumpy: A stunning 70% of leaders report witnessing a banking transformation that has underperformed in the last five years, according to a new Tearsheet report

One of the key reasons for those lackluster results may be a culture of fear versus trust, and stagnation versus reorientation. 

After all, only 43% of execs clearly communicate to employees that unsuccessful experimentation will not adversely impact their career or compensation, according to Tearsheet. In other words, banks need to learn to fail faster.  

Teams from across the bank need to work together and be aligned on positive incentives, not negative ones. Beyond the nuts-and-bolts of new technology, that requires a mindset of experimentation, teamwork, and trust. As former Credit Suisse CIO Radhika Venkatraman previously put it to Insights Distilled: “If you want to disrupt yourself digitally, you must reimagine your data, operations, talent, and culture.”

Summed up another way by Tearsheet’s Rabab Ahsan: “A successful transformation is less about jumping on technological bandwagons and more about ensuring that clear roadmaps, communication across teams, and incentivization for everyone are in place.”