What Disruption Means for Financial Institutions

This guest blog post is by Soren Kaplan, author of Wall Street Journal bestsellerLeapfrogging. Soren is a leading expert in disruptive innovation and will be delivering a keynote at the 2016 TMG Executive Summit in Nashville.

In today’s turbulent environment, every organization – including financial institutions – is susceptible to disruption.

Disruptive innovation is an intuitive concept, mostly because we’ve seen the recent casualties of disruption:  Kodak, Blockbuster, Borders and Blackberry.  Most of us want to avoid a similar fate ourselves, or better yet, reap the benefits associated with being the disruptor.  Netflix, Amazon and Apple are prime examples. Disruptive innovation – or avoiding it – is now a widely embraced business imperative.

The biggest competitive threats no longer come from within the industry. They’re the emerging players, technologies and alternative business models that seemingly crop up from out of nowhere.

In the payments industry, there are numerous potential disruptions on the horizon that ride the trends of peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding and fund raising.  Companies likeLending ClubIndiegogo and GoFundMe tap into these trends and are starting to chip away at traditional models.  Mobile payment platforms and alternative currencies like Bitcoin also create entirely new consumer experiences around transactions and represent cracks in the tried and true business models of yesterday.

The biggest challenge with all of this is that there’s no standardized formula for creating disruptive innovation or preventing yourself from being disrupted.  So what can we do?

The good news is there are various strategies and practices that anyone can use to innovate in ways that can lead to the types of new products, services, and business models that change the game.  These include:

  • Uncovering unarticulated customer needs
  • Tapping into emerging technology trends
  • Exploring alternative business models
  • Creating a culture of innovation

There’s a lot behind these four areas, and that’s exactly what I’ll be discussing at the upcoming TMG Executive Summit in June.  I look forward to seeing you there.