How to cultivate innovators for financial services

Grayce Financial Services Practice Director, Daniel Sutherland shares his take on people development for a post-COVID world.

"As Grayce’s Financial Services Practice Director, I’m interested in continuously improving the Grayce experience for our clients and our people. I work in partnership with our clients to understand their needs and help them build capability where they need it most. Working closely with range of organisations across financial services, it’s clear that both our clients and Grayce have changed rapidly in response to the pandemic.

COVID-19 has been a catalyst for digitisation in most industries - and financial services is no different. Banks with a robust digital infrastructure were on the front foot when the pandemic hit. In a matter of weeks, banks worldwide were delivering their services virtually on a scale we’d never seen before. And with much of the world working from home, the channels for customer engagement went digital overnight. Many organisations accelerated their data strategies in an attempt to better understand their customers. Now they’re trying to strike the right balance of digital and human interaction that best meets their customers’ needs in a post-COVID world.

Alongside digital innovation, a demand for social justice characterised 2020. Beyond re-evaluating their ways of working, the purpose that banks fulfil has been brought into question. ESG principals are taking centre stage as consumers expects banks to address global issues, including climate change, racial, gender and economic inequality.

To play our part in providing well-rounded emerging talent for financial services, the way we develop our Analysts must gel with the evolution of the industry. More than being adaptable in their approach, we are helping to hone our Analysts’ skills so they can bring an innovation mindset to your projects and programmes. Here are some of the ways we’re cultivating innovators at Grayce.

Empowered to drive change

The Grayce Leadership Team and I believe that everyone within our community should help to drive innovation. Every perspective is unique and by harnessing this diversity of thought, we can make Grayce a better place. Our innovation channel, thoughtlab was established this year to promote a culture of innovation at Grayce. Everyone from our CEO to our newest starter is empowered to submit their ideas to improve our business at any time, along with helping qualify and implement these changes.

Mastering digital tools

The biggest concept to date that’s come through thoughtlab was our recent virtual innovation festival, thoughtfest. This week-long webinar series was led and delivered by our Analysts. From a Q&A panel with innovation expert, Isabel Parker, to demonstrations of PowerBI, Google Analytics, Miro and Splunk, thoughtfest strengthened our Analysts’ technical toolkits, shared industry knowledge and new ways of working. Already, we’ve seen Analysts use these tools to improve their outputs and efficiency on client site.

Growing global awareness

Our Analysts are natural changemakers with a passion to support social and environmental issues. In 2020, we established our diversity and inclusion initiative, EveryOneEmpowered, through which we’ve held discussion forums and knowledge exchanges about Black History Month, Islamophobia, age discrimination, and LGBTQ+ history, as well as raising money for Movember UK, Bookmark Reading Charity, and the Black Curriculum.

Grayce is committed to developing future leaders. Whilst the in-demand tools and skills look different for every organisation, we know that these fundamental innovation principals are here to stay.

Our community webinars, demos and discussions demonstrate the value of Grayce’s 70:20:10 learning philosophy. Despite remote working since March 2020, our Analysts continue to be developed in a holistic way, combining 70% on-the-job experience, with 20% social learning, and 10% formal training.

You can reap the benefits of Grayce’s innovation culture. Our Analysts are ready to put their digital skills and innovation mindsets into practice on your projects and programmes, supporting the evolution of your organisation."

Find out how we can help your organisation

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