Ready for a change?


I’ve had a busy week this week attending a number of conferences in London and thought I’d share some insights on the topic of ‘preparing for change’.

Tuesday – SWIFT Business Forum London: With 1,200 registered, the 900+ financial services attendees of this free one-day annual event covering all aspects of financial services seemed to weather the storm of the tube strike with aplomb. The overall theme was ‘doing good business in an era of re-regulation’, and one thing that struck me was that there’s two ways that financial services firms (and the technology ecosystem surrounding them) can cope with the massive changes coming from regulation. See them as a threat/cost/pain or see them as an opportunity. An opportunity to overhaul legacy systems and processes, and re-focus on core values and strategies.

Wednesday AM – Cognito‘s #cogspeaks Breakfast Byte: A similar theme about accepting change came out of this session that focused on ‘The Evolving Role of Social Media in B2B Financial Services’ and featured Cognito’s , Hootsuite’s and from Deutsche bank. There’s no denying that social media is here to stay, and if your company does not have a strategy for managing your online reputation, then you need one! Twitter and LinkedIn seemed to come out as the most relevant channels to consider (with a caveat that you should know what audience each platform is best suited to reach), with one comment from @Andrew_Marshall that senior executives are put off by some connotations of the term ‘social media’ and consider LinkedIn as more of a business tool. A further very relevant point was made about educating your employees, potentially your best network for reaching all your customers.

Wednesday PM/Thursday AM – Finextra Future Money: A fascinating conference with panellists from all sectors of today’s new world of finance and the mission of ‘Redefining money, banking, commerce and finance for the digital world’. Everyone’s favourite buzzword of ‘disruption’ came out a few times, with @BadMoodMasood finally getting frustrated and saying “if there’s a game-changing Disruption coming, by definition we can’t plan for it because it will disrupt all our current planning!”

Thursday PM – SWIFT’s Innotribe European Semi-Final: Innotribe’s mission is to bridge the gap between the startup community and the established financial community to the benefit of both. 5 great companies won through to a place at the final in Sibos, from some tough competition. The fact that there was a record number of applications this year shows the strength and growth of global #fintech innovation.

So, how does one deal with change? To share a #careercurveball of my own – I used to work in the engineering industry, and clicked on an email one day to apply for a position doing marketing for financial services that caught my eye. Though I had no prior industry experience I did my research, and showed my potential in the interview – starting my career in the capital markets.

My point here is that change is a fact of life. It’s your attitude to change that will make the difference – think not of how the change will affect you, but how much you can affect the change.


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