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For decades Canada has had a productivity deficit compared to other countries especially its neighbours to the south. Efforts to improve output with technology and other process efficiencies have shown some improvement but only incrementally compared to others.

The Canadian financial services industry sector is no different than the country trend. So why do we lack the ability or drive to make quantum leaps forward in productivity? Is it our leadership? Complacency and comfort? 

If each institution took a long objective look at themselves they probably would find the clues for improvement strategies. First of all, every CEO wants a upward,continuous curve of profitability. So how is this generated? Simply increasing prices/fees/rates more than costs are rising and expecting customers to be loyal and accommodate them? Or does the organization team truly identify and implement "best of breed" changes in a culture where productivity improvements are part of everyone's job? For example, in an omnichannel world which channels are more productive and how do you synchronize the trends with customers' preferences? Perhaps there are organizations that try to "buck trends" and carry on investment increases in less efficient channels! 

Having a people-productivity centric culture is got to be everyone's goal which means competing silos must be replaced with new attitudes and motivations. One of the consulting strategies we have always used is to have people isolate areas or activities which they feel are cumbersome and add little value using a matrix analysis approach for customers, staff and the bottom-line. It is always amazing listening to excuses why something can't be changed and coaching the people through to simple solutions. There are a variety of techniques that can be used to accomplish this purpose. Obviously leadership has to demonstrate its focus on productivity improvements plus a willingness to change.

Another strategy is to do a value for money audit on selected current and,yes, proposed processes, products and programs. 

In other words there is no reason why productivity improvements can't be made on a sustained basis in our industry and country. Do we have the will to do it?

Pat Palmer | Friday, October 06, 2017 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


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