Changing times upon us without doubt, and it is really saddening to see the fruits of so much work and effort for many disappearing in front of our eyes. Some challenging times ahead for our industry, however, change is not new and often is the time for recasting and resetting.

We perhaps are going to experience the fastest acceleration of change in history, not only through the use of technology to bridge the gaps in communications, and automate processes, but also non-technological innovation.

So what is non-technological innovation ? Well, there doesn’t appear to be a single definition, but generally, it appears to be the innovative development of organisation and marketing methods. I read into this that is about taking organisations to new levels of efficiency, not by just doing what they do already with more efficiency, but innovating new ways of achieving the same or superior outcomes, often with reduced costs.

With the journey of wealth management as an industry in many cases originating from transactional stockbroking and / or product distribution, both with ecosystems to support all participants in those methods, there is not only quite a legacy of systems and infrastructure but also a library of techniques, compliance methods and ways of doing things that in many cases are ‘just the way we have always done them’, often compounded with the regulatory change to ‘tick boxes’ of new rules.

With a shift to client best interests and a professional footing, we are in an ideal time to take a step back and really consider what our industry is about and re-frame it and the associated methods and processes. By doing this we can consider not only what we do, but why we do it, consider the real essential governance, risk and control considerations, rather than just ticking the old boxes, and the costs associated with such.

If we re-frame the industry around client value, recognising that this is a single interface of levels of relationship with clients, brand support and investment judgements there are golden opportunities to create new methods and processes (non-technical innovation) that when supported by technological innovations, can lead to superior operating models both in terms of service delivery, genuine relevant governance, and risk controls, and operating excellence. To do this in many cases we have to ‘un-learn’ what we have learned in the past, look at the industry from a new perspective and critically assess what is important moving forward.

I suspect most organisations are absolutely scared to do this as it challenges the status quo, it requires a change in people’s jobs and more importantly mindset. However, if we face option A of continuing with practices and operational models of the past (questionably sustainable) vs option B of showing leadership to find the new form of best practice, what real options do we have in the new world era ?

If this is on your mind, feel free to reach out to me. We have been helping firms see things differently for some time, and the results can be spectacular in terms of client servicing, business readiness for scale. Starting with establishing an achievable vision for your world moving is the foundation for strategy, structure, and execution. After all accepting option, A may not be an option anyway could be something we just have to accept.