Five principles to building a digital mindset

A CEO recently told me he wants to transform his community financial institution into a digital bank but keeps hitting an all-too-common internal roadblock: “But this is how we’ve always done it.”

The CEO instituted a lot of changes during his first 18 months in the position, but establishing a digital strategy poses a more formidable challenge. I understand what he wants to do and why he’s facing resistance. When he says “digital bank,” he doesn’t mean doing away with branches or dramatically reducing staff. He’s talking about a shift in how his staff thinks about the way they deliver products and services.

In short, he wants to build a digital mindset.

“Digital mindset” is a fine phrase to toss around, but it doesn’t mean much if you can’t back it up with a clear definition people in your organization can grasp and act on. To me, it means you can no longer look at digital as a distinct channel serving a specific segment of your customer base. Every consumer is a digital consumer, and to be in banking means you have to be in digital banking. Frankly, digital is no longer an expense; it’s a necessary investment that can deliver real returns for the financial institution.

Leaders across the financial services industry are at a tipping point. Digital banking, particularly mobile, is the fastest-growing banking channel. That’s putting the onus on financial institutions to understand and adapt to the digital maturity, preferences and financial life-stage needs of multigenerational consumers.


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