As a tech based industry Fintech bears the brunt of the march of progress. Progress waits for no one they say, and those at the top have the furthest to fall. But if you can’t find your next C Level superstar, everybody falls, and your business collapses faster than a house of cards.
Analogies aside, keeping up with market trends, leveraging technology and maintaining customer relationships is essential to long term success. The leaders of today must be in touch with Fintech’s current challenges to be able to plan strategically for the future. We dive into todays C- Level challenges.
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Whilst companies certainly recognize the importance of diversity, frenzied recruitment plans will attest to this, actioning this desire is easier said than done. Whilst changes have and continue to be made in diversification at lower levels, this has yet to filter all the way through to C -Level.
Redressing balance in the board room will require leadership to turn the magnifying glass upon themselves, does diversity drop off as you move up through my organization? Does my leadership and board reflect the market, my employees at large and my customers? What needs to change to align all these variables?
The “line of succession” if you will is a true pain point at the C-Level. The Baby Boomer generation is rapidly retiring, leaving organisations scrambling to identify leadership potential amongst Gen X and Millennial talent.
In an ideal world companies would have long term plans in place to prepare for the eventuality of retirement. Such plans should include talent mapping and talent futureproofing - will your talent still be competitive in tomorrow’s market, how will that talent differ, what skills will be required, what must you do to attract or develop that talent? Answering these questions is a step closer to sustainable long-term growth.
The industry continues to diversify, whether it be through innovation, disruption or regulation and this only drives up the stakes in the war for premium talent. Only organisations that maintain a strong brand, embrace technology, and foster innovation can hope to retain the best candidates.
Again, the best plan of attack here starts with self-analysis; what do you need to do as a company to stand out in Fintech, but also remain authentic? Whatever you decide has to be more than a promotional message, you have to live it.
Back to the future
Technology often out paces business strategy, meaning that today’s leaders can often be more reflective of where their business has been going, rather than where it is going. This means that current leadership competencies don’t always align with new strategies for growth.
As a result, the leadership competencies required to lead over the next decade prioritize agility, emotional intelligence, lateral thinking, cultural acumen and comfort with uncertainty. Leadership teams of tomorrow must also be reflective of the diversity of thought required to drive innovation and growth in a changing business environment. Talent of today needs to rapidly acquire theses skills in order to progress.
While Fintech and Payments requires digital expertise at a minimum in a tech based industry, talent must be prepared to embrace the march of progress to be able to steer their strategic ship in the most profitable direction. Constant learning is required, a digital native of one age is floundering before his successors in the next. A laser focus on tech trends is required to stay at the top in the Fintech market of today.
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