• Employee Development
  • Performance Management
  • Compliance Management
  • November 22, 2017

The Ability to Learn and Change is the Lifeblood of the Financial and Insurance Sectors

Organizations must not delay in integrating learning as part of their daily operations. Developing competence is a prerequisite for utilizing new technology. Artificial intelligence, the buzzword that is often talked about, will not save you in the future if you are unable to implement and utilize the information AI provides in a way that impacts your daily tasks.

GDPR, PSD2, blockchain, cryptocurrency, Robotic Process Automation; The financial and insurance sectors are being revolutionized by both new regulations and the digital transformation.

Superimposing digitalization onto the usual services and organization is not enough when the industry is being taken over by agile startups that are constantly developing new technological solutions and operating models.

Digital initiatives are failing

In the finance sector survey, 2014–2016 conducted by Deloitte, 70% of the respondents stated that organizational management does not have the sufficient skills to master the digital transformation. Moreover, 90% of the respondents assessed that the digital transformation is a threat to the core business of the organization.

According to Gartner's 2017 CEO Survey a Financial Services Perspective report, published in April, "Digital initiatives are failing to reach the core of the enterprise, inhibited in part by an inability (or unwillingness) to measure outcome. "

The inability to fill a new and quickly growing skill gap due to emergent digital workplace technology invokes fear surrounding the digital transformation.

The ability to change is the lifeblood of companies in the finance and insurance sector. Change takes place through organizational learning.

Need for change penetrates the organization and its interfaces

The digital transformation requires the financial sector to invest in their internal procedures. The ability of organizations to change and learn plays a key role in grasping digitalization, and investing in these abilities would increase the competitiveness of the organization.

Training should be offered to employees, such as customer service workers, in an integrated manner between their work duties. This is so-called microlearning, always taking place in the correct context and implemented through a digital learning environment.

In the financial sector, adopting such a model is challenging as the provision of individual learning opportunities requires an infra which is able to utilize data from the learning platform as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning. The resources and competence of an HR unit are usually inadequate for such extensive data.

Whose responsibility is it to develop competence?

As the concept is based on developing a business model, the development of competence is the responsibility of the management. The management must cooperate with sales, marketing, HR, and data administration in order to make the measurement and development of learning an essential part of business development.

The pressure to develop and learn is high.

In addition to developing internal competence, the operators in the banking and insurance sector are also responsible for training customers and interest groups due to new regulations. It is hard to find a person so deeply knowledgeable of, for instance, the details of an insurance agreement that they understand its impact on their own life. Personalized learning with the help of the artificial intelligence of Watson, for example, may enable the assessment of product impact in the contexts of the customer's own life in the near future.

However, training the customer will not be possible until the organization itself knows what it is doing.

Tangible goals motivate the development of competence

Instead of trying to absorb the digital transformation all at once, the learning and its measurement should be integrated into the organization piece-by-piece. Do not focus on controlling a specific bot or AI, focus on developing skills and agility.

Microlearning enables you to learn new skills flexibly while working. When a tangible, measurable goal is set for learning, the development of competence can even be justified from a business point of view. At the same time, the development of competence seems more purposeful for organizations when there is a motivator and a destination for the training. Reducing errors or shortening delivery times, for example, could be set as goals.

Forerunners in the Financial sector are looking into the potential of digital learning environments to develop competence. Valamis for example, has been developing a tool that measures the impact of competence on profitability within an organizational change project. As a result, training has been focused on the requisite areas of personnel skill-levels and the organization as whole benefits from these micro-learning, diagnostic interventions.

In managing an organizational change, the key part is to understand the competence of people and its role in the success of the organizational shift. Integrating the development of competence as part of the everyday tasks of each team requires a cultural shift to which the management must also commit.

About The Author

Janne Hietala, Haallas - Board Member at Valamis | Technology Enthusiast | Investor

Janne Hietala

Board Member at Valamis and Haallas, Technology Enthusiast, Investor

+358 40 831 42 45

Janne has worked with the top visionaries of NASA, Gartner, IBM and other distinguished industry and academia developing an epochal digital learning concept.
Janne started his first company at the age of 21. He joined Valamis in 2008 at the age of 25. Previously, he has lead the company’s global sales and spent two years in London establishing Valamis strongly in the UK market. While there, he completed his Executive MBA at the London Business School, one of the top-ranked business schools in the world.