Will robots rule the financial services industry?
Daniel H. Pink wrote one of my favorite books, A Whole New Mind, way back in 2006. And he absolutely knew the answer.
No. And yes.
There are many interesting tidbits of research in the book. Perhaps the most relevant to our world of financial services is his admonition that the talents associated with the Information Age will be quickly outsourced. In his idea of the Conceptual Age, leaders must master a multitude of right-brain aptitudes.
- DESIGN. Beauty, whimsy and emotional engagement.
- STORY. Compel and connect narratives.
- EMPATHY. Understanding and care.
- PLAY. Lightheartedness and fun. (See whimsy above.)
- MEANING. Purpose, wholeness and spiritual fulfillment.
Fast forward to the DCIIA Innovation Forum several weeks ago where I sat in on several presentations discussing artificial intelligence. Their answer to the question – will robots rule the financial services industry?
Yes. And no.
Shannon Nutter, Vanguard’s Head of Participant Strategy & Development in her presentation, A Challenge to the Industry: Personalizing AI to Drive Better Financial Health, shared her thoughts around the value of artificial intelligence (AI) in financial services. The places it will work and the areas where it won’t.
She shared that AI was good for basic and repetitive tasks – think growing, harvesting, moving objects, inspecting, monitoring, and gathering/processing information. Where AI doesn’t work? Advanced tasks such as maintaining relationships, developing teams, caring for others, and thinking creatively. I added my own words to her list: humanity, vulnerability, joy, .
Yes. The robots will win. There will always be a place for technology in our industry. In fact, we must welcome it. And then, working with people and their money? We must bring our humanity, not our spreadsheets. We need to celebrate their path, not point to their past. We must bring our hearts, not our heads.
Don’t Be a Robot!
Be human: Include more design, story, empathy, play and meaning into your brand and client experience. Be a leader: Eliminate the basic and repetitive tasks from your team and have them focus on high-value, advanced skills.
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