Digital transformation is a cultural shift more than it is a technological shift. It’s not about the tools; it’s about how the people within your organization use those tools. It’s about creating a culture of constant change and improvement.
In this episode of The Digital Banking Podcast, Jay Tkachuk, Chief Digital Officer at Golden 1 Credit Union, explained the digital transformation process. He and host Josh DeTar discussed why digital transformation should come top-down and from the inside out, how the pandemic profoundly changed our society, and how a community FI can be relevant in a time of need.
⚡ You must have a clear vision to motivate your team to achieve amazing things. Elon Musk founded SpaceX and implemented the SpaceX Mars program, a set of projects through which the aerospace company hopes to facilitate the colonization of Mars because, claims Musk, that is necessary for the long-term survival of the human species. Tkachuk has learned from Musk that having an audacious goal and pushing yourself and your team to get there is very important. “I’m not trying to build the colonial Mars,” noted Tkachuk. “I am transforming a very large financial institution in a way, in a pace that we can sustain into something that it can, and should, become in order to become successful or more successful. And to do that, the first and the most important factor I had to deal with is people; not just the people that report to me, but everybody else.” Jay noted that organizational alignment to digital initiatives is paramount to its success.
⚡ Digital transformation implies a change from within. According to Tkachuk, digital transformation is changing the way of business, moving away from paper and siloed operational organization to a value stream-based approach. “True digital transformation always comes top-down and from the inside out,” he explained. “It is not about having the best and the slickest user-facing technologies and solutions and the snazziest digital banking platform. All that stuff is important, absolutely, but it’s just the outcome of the actual transformation that goes on inside.”
⚡ Your data is your competitive advantage. According to Tkachuk, any financial institution can differentiate itself by the data only it possesses, as well as how it leverages that data. “The productivity boost that these technologies bring to us is amazing; we just have to learn how to use it properly and actually adapt it at the workplace,” he said. “Right now, it’s still being played within the consumer space, but it’s inevitable that we’re going to start utilizing these platforms at our place of work because it’ll save us hours of time. The difficulty will be, basically, in fencing something like this within the limits of your company because you don’t want to upload your data to ChatGPT, Google, or whatever because your data is your competitive advantage. If you share it with other platforms, you are eroding that advantage.”