Starbucks recently announced they were shuffling their management team to focus on the digital channel. According to the article, “CEO Howard Schultz has shaken up the upper ranks of his company and also announced that he’ll be working more closely with his Chief Digital Officer and Chief Strategy Officer on next generation retailing and payments initiatives.”
When was the last time your financial institution shook up its organizational chart? Maybe in the 1990s? If your credit union or bank is somewhat progressive maybe it shook up the reporting structure to accommodate a new sales culture. Perhaps making branches less operational and more sales focused.
That’s nice. That’s also now old news. We are no longer in a sales and service environment when it comes to financial services. We are in the digital age.
As James Robert Lay, CEO of CU Grow noted, “Credit unions must take a step back and begin to work from the outside in and align people, product and process around their purpose with a focus on digital channels.”
If your organizational chart is traditional (the COO, CFO and maybe VP of marketing reporting to the CEO) then you are not living in the Digital Age—you are more likely in the Stone Age.
So how can the organizational chart at your bank or credit union reflect the digital age? Here are a few items to consider:
Create a senior level position focused on digital—Call it a chief digital officer or something else catchy. But have someone (senior level) focused solely on creating the best digital experience for consumers.
Combine IT and marketing—We’ve said for the past several years these fields are merging. That merge is pretty much complete. Rather than have a traditional VP of IT or VP of Marketing combine it into one position. Then have mid-level managers focused on the day-to-day running of those operations. If marketing and IT are silos in your bank or credit union, expect conflict to arise.
Spend time in the “C” suite actively talking digital strategy—Loans, asset growth, non-interest income, new consumers, relevancy, wallet share. Those are all items on CEO and other C-level executive minds. While those are important, your executive team better spend considerable time in its regular meetings and strategic planning sessions talking digital. Get out of the day to day routine and think how digital is going to impact your institution in the next 3 years (or 18 months for that matter).
In Starbucks’ case, Schultz actually handed over some of his day-to-day responsibilities to others so he could focus more on digital. If the CEO of Starbucks is changing how he runs his organization because of digital, financial institutions should consider following his example.