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James Robert Lay: 

One of the greatest growth opportunities financial brand leaders can capture is to bridge the empathy gap both with account holders, as well as with prospective account holders. In fact, the empathy gap was the subject of a recent keynote that I did at an industry event, where I transformed the thinking of hundreds of financial brand leaders out on the east coast. So how can you bridge the empathy gap at your bank at your credit, nurture fintech? Let's find out together on today's episode of the banking on digital growth Podcast.

 

Greetings and Hello, my name is James Robert Lay, and I'd like to welcome you to another episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. This episode is part of the real solution series where we take real challenges from real leaders to transform them into real opportunities. And joining me for today's conversation is Jonathan Clay. Jonathan is a data analyst at Louisiana Federal Credit Union. Today, we're going to talk through how to navigate the complexities of change and transformation by bridging the empathy gap. Welcome to the show, Jonathan, it is great to share time with you today.

 

Jonathan Clay: 

Hey, thanks for having me, it's good to be back.

 

James Robert Lay: 

Absolutely. And before we get into breaking through a roadblock in real time, so that you can continue to move forward on your journey of growth. What is good in your world right now what is positive personally or professionally, it is always your pick to get started.

 

Jonathan Clay: 

You know, always lean into the personal. So I'll just stick with that. Because that's that's on brand. For me. I'm just excited for a new year and fresh perspective, it's exciting that as cliche as it might sound, the New Year presents a fresh start. And then you can change some of those habits and move forward to the goals that you set out for yourself. And that's what I'm looking forward to doing this year.

 

James Robert Lay: 

Absolutely New year, new start new opportunities, but also there might be some obstacles that stand in the way of those opportunities. But as you and I have worked over the years, every obstacle is in fact an opportunity. It's just the way that we perceive that obstacle. And I would say, I get so much energy, working with financial brand leaders to help them transform their perspective so that they can transform the the obstacle to then capture the opportunity. What's an obstacle right now thinking about the new year new new growth opportunities, what's an obstacle that is standing in your way that we could talk and break through together?

 

Jonathan Clay: 

Um, I think one of the obstacles that I I know that I'm facing is when you're doing something well, and it's working. There's, there's a desire to change to continue to grow. And I think that when there's no case, I guess, for lack of a better term to make the change, it's really, really difficult to get all the people who have the say so in the room to agree on it, because everyone has their own perspective. And that's one of the things that I'm I'm doing, I'm on a team at work, where we're looking at all of our channels and all the things that we offer to our membership. And we we have amazing successes in those channels. But as you start to look at your competitors, and I think the competitors just just look alikes in the industry and how you want to grow, you have to start looking at the things that you're doing. And just because it's working, can it be improved upon? Right?

 

James Robert Lay: 

So the obstacle it sounds like is what I actually opened up with, it's a matter of perspective is when it comes to change and transformation. There are four steps, there are four levels for human change and transformation that I want to walk you through And walk, walk those who are watching or listening through so they can think about their own unique situation here. Coming back to this point of perspective, it's about sight. It's about vision, it's how we perceive it's how we see the world. So you're bringing a certain perspective, your team has a certain perspective, and all of that is rooted based upon their previous experiences. Agree or disagree.

 

Jonathan Clay: 

Absolutely agree for sure. Okay.

 

James Robert Lay: 

So we're all bringing a different perspective based upon our previous experiences. So we're all seeing things a little bit different. Step number one is getting everyone on the same page, seeing the same thing. Otherwise, if we're seeing things, even if it's two different perspectives, that's gonna be a challenge. Now you add a third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh perspective, and then it increases the complexity which increases the confusion when when we're staying in a state like that. As you know, when we've talked over the years, you're going to end in some type of chaos. So it all comes back to seeing things things the same. Thinking about your situation here. And we don't have to get into too much detail about that. Why do you feel there might be a lack of perspective or different perspectives brought by others not that one is right or one is wrong? I don't think we ever approaches a right or wrong. Perspective is perspective based upon previous context and framing of experiences. But why might there be a lack of alignment, that could be an impediment to future growth right now?

 

Jonathan Clay: 

I think that the perspective, the difference in the different perspectives that we're facing is because everyone has a different responsibility. As it relates to the organizational goals, we want to optimize one of our digital channels, and in regards to our our online banking, if that if that's an obstacle we're facing, well, that deals with maybe four different departments, and they all have a different book of business that they're responsible to. And so it's very easy for us, myself included, to only see it from the perspective that I'm responsible for, and how that change in the short term can affect that good or bad. And so you want to be protective of that you want to uniquely bring your perspective to the table and hope that everyone gets it. But I think that would the bigger obstacle, I guess the biggest thing is we can all have a different perspective. But we all have to have the same goal. Yeah, I think that that's the that's the kicker, it's it's really realizing that the conversation isn't about whose perspective is more right or wrong, I'm, I would venture to say probably everybody's perspective, correct. Because they have a responsibility that is unique to them or their to you. But the goal is all the same. That can't be they can't move multiple goals for the same thing. It's it is the goal is to better the organization and the membership and how they interact with the organization. So I think that that is the part that can prove difficult, because you can have the wrong conversation. Am I wrong conversation, me, we're not talking about perspective, we're actually talking about the goal. So once we get the common goal, and play sandmaking, we can decide for the perspective and get to where we need to go.

 

James Robert Lay: 

So it's actually interesting, your your, your your thinking. And that's the second step in human transformation, you see things differently. And when you begin to see things differently, that's going to then influence your thinking. So when you see different, you're going to think different. But what you've done in just this quick five minute conversation is you've already shifted the perspective from it's not about me, it's not about what everyone else thinks that's an internal perspective. And you use a very interesting word hear you use, you know, we want to protect, like what we're responsible for. And so there is a little bit of maybe internal competition, shuffling and whatnot. But on the flip side, if we transform that competitive perspective, into a mindset of collaboration, it's the collaboration that leads to growth, I heard something on the point of collaboration versus cooperation, cooperation is when you're working well together. And I think everyone watching and listening would agree, we have to work well together. We want to make progress. The difference between cooperation and collaboration, though, is collaboration. Of course, you need cooperation, for collaboration to work well together. But the end state of collaboration is you're now not just working well together, you're co creating together, and to bring your thinking back into this. It's not about us. It's about the external perspective, the perspective of the member or of the account holder. And how often do we or do we not bring the external perspective of the account holder into our internal decision making goal driven processes. And that is, I would say, oftentimes the big breakthrough that we can experience and you've experienced this yourself, I mean, think back on the digital secret shopping studies that you have been a part of over the years, and how you bring in that objective external, and they're not even members. These are prospective members or prospective account holders who do not have a relationship with the organization. And so there's no emotive affinity or tie. So it's even more objective. I mean, think back how has seen the external perspective, help to influence your thinking differently, once you understand what others are experiencing and feeling and I think that's the key point here, what they're feeling through a digital journey.

 

Jonathan Clay: 

I think that you bring up a really good point by bringing me back to that place. I think that that experience and that exercise actually forever changed how I approach collaborative projects for the sake of conversation. The reality situation is if you think about the buyer journey as it relates to the consumer, it changes the individual perspective. So I might want to do something a specific way, because it's comfortable to me and my experiences. However, what I can account for is that my unique perspective is not the entire world's perspective. When we went through those mystery shops, and we heard people who look like the customers that we serve, but have absolutely no connection, say, what's important to them, you get to hear something that you don't get to hear every day, the reality situation is, while you may have three or four different departments in the room, we all work for the same company. So we have some form of a semblance of thinking, similarly, you have someone coming in from the outside, and then they share their perspectives like oh, wow, that's a fresh chicken ever thought about. So that one exercise that we did, however many odd years ago, has kind of shaped how I how I pitch ideas when we're working together collaboratively. And so one exercise that I try to employ, I try my best simple or maybe I'm not the greatest at all times. But first of all, listen to everyone's share, listen to what they're saying. And listen for key points that might be them, either speaking from personal experience, or from experience of them working with members and understanding something that I don't have experience or privy knowledge to, but I ultimately try to bring it back to hey, we're all as at the end of day, we're all consumers somewhere. How do you best want to do business? What actions or features or whatever words you want to fill out like there, what have you seen in another place that you did a buying journey with? That you like that actually made a great experience? For me, it was seamless, I will love that in my everyday life. And so I try to bring that the shopping cart analogy that we use when we talk about, you know, Amazon, you, you know, you want something you have the money for, but you're not ready to commit that perspective. And being able to tell that to our or greater team is like, Hey, this is this is how people are buying these days, we live in a day and age where it takes one click, and it's at your door in three days, for most in most cases. So how can we get as close to that as possible? And really listening to that? What Our Customers Are Saying, like, how can we match what they're saying, as it relates to us. But what's realistic for us, I think that's the other part about it, is even if you want to do something, because it's great, and it seems easy, you can't do everything at once you can't do everything that everyone is doing, because then what's the point of like, there's no individuality in that. So it's really getting hyper focus in what you're trying to do. And the best way to solve a problem for your members.

 

James Robert Lay: 

And I think that comes back the best way to solve the problem for the members or solve the problem for the account holder. Because if you think about what you're you're you're explaining here, the internal, quote, unquote, conflict, getting aligned around a common goal that's bigger than us as individuals, whether they be individuals as human beings or individuals as a team, because let's just say there's three, four different key stakeholders, ie teams, that are a part of this experience. And coming back to the idea of optimizing the online banking experience. How often do we bring the fifth element, great movie, by the way, bring the fifth element, the fifth key stakeholder into that dialogue into that discussion. And that is the voice of the member that has the voice of the account holder in they don't necessarily have to be involved in the day to day decision making. But I think we should provide a forum to where we can get that feedback can get that response. And so even thinking about digital secrets shopping from an external buying journey perspective, there also might be a way to look at digital secret shopping from an online banking back in servicing quote, unquote, perspective. And this idea of expectation or experience setting, from other experiences, digital experiences to use your example, Amazon, well, that is going to directly influence how we perceive our other digital experiences. It's a benchmarking, if you will. And so if we come back to these four different steps for human transformation, to guide human transfer, transformation, first and foremost, entirely so that we can guide that transformation externally. We see things differently through learning, asking good questions, listening, learning through observation, that's going to then influence our thinking we get really clear on a common goal that's bigger than our own individual selves or our own individual teams. But that brings us to the third point, which when I asked leaders, what happens when you see different what happens when you think different 98 Nine And I percent said, Well, we're going to act if we're going to beat if we're going to do different, I challenged them respectfully. And I'm like, No, you're not how many times you have the knowledge that you need to do something different, but you're continuing with the status quo. And they kind of pause and I'm like, Listen, I'll be the first one to tell you that there are I know, there are things that I need to do, but I'm choosing not to take action. Because of one thing, to bridge the gap between the thought and the action comes down to feeling an emotion. So you see different than you think different, you think different, does that mean, you're going to do different to do different your feeling your emotive state, your inspiration, if you will, has to be greater. And I think that comes back to the you know, looking to the outside, once again, if we can make that inspiration, an external driven inspiration, I don't use the word motivation, because motivation is like a muscle motivation is going to eventually fail. And we're going to fall back to previous state of what we know, and how we operate. Because it feels safe, it feels secure. So you see think feel different. And then that's where you, you're going to continue to do different being mindful of not falling back on the previous mind, state, the status quo of what you know. So thinking about your situation here, see, think feel, then do or act be different. Where's the greatest opportunity in your situation, to continue to guide others internally forward to, to capture new opportunities?

 

Jonathan Clay: 

Thank you, it's in the field, I think it's understanding that people actually do bite with their heart. It's it's a, it's a unique thing to discuss specifically when dealing with finances. Because at a at a baseline, everybody would say people are just things that were based on how they feel or what they're going through what's important to them or what they're responsible to. But it's so easy to fall back into a business perspective. And like, Oh, we don't want to talk necessarily about feelings or emotions. In reality, you kind of have to not necessarily in everything, that you're marketing to your consumers, or maybe you should, obviously, I know that you should, but I'm saying, but changing the perspective on talking about the feelings of the consumer, I think is the area we could experience the greatest level of growth, because you have to understand that we're looking at it from a business perspective, but they're not looking at it from that I for me, the challenge is, it's been many, many years since I've sat in front of members, as I tell her and had the day to day interaction. But I shared this story before, I think even on the pockets here, I had a single mom with three kids who was going through something difficult, and her kids wanted all the coolest toys at the time, and she was crying, and I was telling her Ma'am, your kids are not going to remember that you got them the latest toy, they're going to remember that you showed up and that you cared enough to get what you could. So don't stress yourself out trying to get something you can't. And so for me, the challenge is I'm not in those conversations anymore, day to day. And my hope is that I never lose that perspective as I can see you in my own day to day, because I'm not faced with that with that conversation. But what I can do is look to friends and family around me and listen to their struggles. And that's actually where most of my ideas come from. I'll see a situation that I'm hearing someone talking about whether it's related to industry or not, I'm like, hey, what would that look like if we could take that on and we try to meet that need for our members. I'm fortunate enough that I've been able to get some of my family and friends to convert with us, even if we're not their primary FBI just to find a way to add value to the lives and so listening to them talk through different things that they have, at the end of the day, it's not about whether or not they have the money, those things are going to come and go. It's really how they feel, and how they felt through the process. So that's to answer your question, I think that's where we can have the greatest growth is understanding that just as much as we feel strongly about our unique perspective about this book of business, you feel that way because you contributed something to it. So if you can understand that, for your perspective, which appears and how do we get that perspective for our members and understand that they're coming to us with their buying journey based off of their unique perspective and what they're feeling? Does that make sense?

 

James Robert Lay: 

That makes total sense. And I think it's, it takes courage to lean into that because it is almost very unnatural to talk about feelings and emotions, particularly through the lens of financial services. I wrote about this in banking on digital growth, you have the bankers brain, and then you have the consumers brain. And they they look at the world very differently. But to your point, financial decisions are a lot of times emotion, emotive ly driven, emotionally driven, and if we can remember that, that creates a tremendous growth opportunity. So for those who are watching those who are listening, think about your own situation. Where's there an opportunity to help others internally first and foremost, See, Think feel, so that they can continue to do difference so that you can take that same idea externally when it comes to members and account holders where Can you help them see, think feel so that they can then do different on their own financial journeys? John, this has been a great conversation for someone who wants to connect with you and continue to expand the digital growth community, what's the best way for them to reach out and say hello to you?

 

Jonathan Clay: 

I am on LinkedIn. I'll be honest, I'm not the greatest that check it out quickly. But I do check it I keep up with it. You can shoot me an email and you know, how are we going to do we'll connect I love helping people. So obviously, I'm sitting here talking about feelings and banking. So I'm kind of a guy that's going to talk to you about how you feel about it. And let's figure it out. We can help each other get through it. That's right.

 

James Robert Lay: 

Connect with Jonathan learn with Jonathan grow with Jonathan. Jonathan. Thanks for again for joining me for another episode of the banking on digital growth podcast, to break through real problems for real people so that they can continue to move forward and capture new opportunities on their journeys of growth. There's been a lot of fun today.

 

Jonathan Clay: 

Thank you, James. Robert, it's great.

 

James Robert Lay: 

As we wrap up another episode of the banking on digital growth podcast, where we've taken a real challenge from a real leader to transform that into a real opportunity. I have a question for you. Where might you be able to help others to help guide others on your team to bridge the empathy gap by helping them to see think and feel different about the future, so that they can be inspired to act to be to do different and as a result together, you can create an even bigger, better, brighter future for your account holders. One thing I am confident of that will help you to see think and even feel different, that will help maximize your future growth. It's your bank credit and our Fintech is one of our websites, secret shopping studies, this is the fastest way to learn where you're losing millions of loans or deposits for a key product line and less than 30 days and for less than $5,000 Plus, I guarantee that if a website secret shopping study can't find at least $5,000 worth of value for you that you can either create or capture in the next 12 months, you're going to get 100% refund. So text me 832-549-5792 To schedule your 100% risk free websites secret shopping study. That's 832549579 to text me right now, and my team will show you where you're losing millions and loans and deposits in less than 30 days with no risk to you. Until next time, and as always, be well. Do good and make your bed

 

Brief Summary of Episode #365

Aligning different departments and perspectives within an organization is not just a challenge, it's an opportunity.  

On this episode of the Real Solutions series, Jonathan Clay, a skilled data analyst at Louisiana Federal Credit Union, joins the shows to discuss the challenge of balancing individual responsibilities and shared goals within his organization.

When we shift from internal competition to collaboration. It's not just about working well together; it's about co-creating.

We must also remember the external perspective – the members and future account holders.

The insights gained from external viewpoints, like digital secret shopping, offer fresh perspectives that challenge our internal assumptions.

By embracing diverse perspectives, we can create a more inclusive, effective, and customer-centric digital banking experience.

 

Key Insights and Takeaways

  • Obstacles to growth and the importance of perspective (1:33)
  • Collaboration vs cooperation in digital transformation (5:35)
  • Optimizing online banking experience through member feedback (12:07)