Banking, Insurance on Mobile for Customers “You are just seeing the tip of the iceberg…” -Tripp Braden

To give a short personal impression: let us know what are your top 3 books everyone today needs to read and top 3 tech gadgets one needs to have? 

I’m in the impact business. I have to know how to influence my clients and their customers on emerging technology trends and opportunities. Since many of my executive clients aren’t technical, I share books with them to help them better understand the impact of technology on their business. My clients are all avid readers they love to read books and almost all have favorite podcasts they love to share. At any time, I’ll have between 10-12 books on my must reading stack. 

A large part of my role is helping them connect the dots and then implementing strategies to help them differentiate themselves in their marketplace. 

The first book I’d share is by Daniel Burrus called The Anticipatory Organization (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain). It helps provide a framework to better understand how people, technology, and innovation can go together to create extraordinary businesses.

The second book is Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain). We live in a connected and communication age. It’s critical we can shape how we share our ideas with others. If you want to stand out you must plan how you engage your listener. This book shares a strategy to help you frame your ideas in a way that allows the listener to connect the dots for themselves and their organizations. It’s a great book to help you pre-frame your ideas to impact not just influence. 

The final book would be Servant Leadership in Action by Ken Blanchard and Renee Broadwell (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain). I believe how we serve is how we succeed. As technology continues to evolve it is critical that we incorporate ethics and values into our development. This book shares great ideas on how you lead today by serving your people, clients, and partners. I’m a huge fan and writer on Serving Leadership. I’m always looking for new ways of getting clients to look at leadership as one of their organization’s core capabilities.  

My three guilty pleasures in technology are my iPad (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain), my Apple Pencil (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain) and my Tripp pad (my clients’ name for yellow and white legal pads I do most of my serious thinking on). I’m hoping to add a new full frame camera when I master the Apple Pencil, it should be about the same price as the paper I use every year. 

What is your analysis of the fintech and insurtech ecosystem? What kind of trends and new use cases do you see? All these markets are relatively new or have a new name. It’s not that we haven’t had technologies in financial services for many years. It’s that these new named categories have attracted significant attention because of their power to disrupt very large markets, quickly maybe. 

The early stage technologies have received significant venture capital and funding. They have also created alternative ways to fund your software business. Consider how many traditional financial service organizations have started up venture funding groups to help them find and develop the next generation of financial technologies. 

It’s remarkable. I see a new paradigm being created for how we do business in financial services. I see the most obvious implication is that we have a global market place for financial services. 

In my opinion we are at, using a Jeff Bezos term, Day One of the next generation of financial services organizations that include many different business models focused on serving their clients and customers better.

The question is what we don’t know is coming. There are significant entrepreneurial opportunities for organizations to get into the game. When you think how many people in the world don’t have a relationship with a financial institution you can see how great the opportunity could become. When you consider how mobile has already transformed banking and insurance customer acquisition you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg. 

I see many of these new technologies improving current business processes. This may be because the financial organizations are very conservative. Incorporate compliance and government regulations and you are seeing significantly slower adoption than might be expected. 

I believe there are going to be many unintended consequences to many of these emerging technologies. We can see some of these challenges already in cryptocurrencies and bitcoin. I cannot imagine governments and regulatory bodies getting more involved as they try to meet increasing government expenses for a growing aging population. I’ll stay away from controversy here, I’ll be sharing my different thoughts on many different platforms over the coming months and years. When I speak at conferences it’s one of the most popular parts of what I share. I can see a huge global revolution being driven off these emerging technologies and markets.   

Many smaller organizations have adopted a ready, fire, aim approach to growing their organizations. This is a speculation-driven market for investors and, with the abundance of capital available, it could be interesting to see what emerges in the next generation of financial organizations. When getting my clients to think about their strategies I call it death by a thousand paper cuts!   

What can you share about the differences of fintech and insurtech ecosystem in the USA, EU, and ASIA? Who was the most progressive and who has the most opportunities for investors and startups? I believe the different fintech and insurtech ecosystems represent how these markets deal with large scale change. Each has their own unique way of dealing with innovation and new ideas. 

I have many clients in the EU asking what is happening here. They are very concerned about how and who will emerge as market leaders. The current political polarization in the United States has limited a national strategy for these critical markets. I see gridlock as a positive opportunity for entrepreneurs. I’ve worked on both sides of the aisle at very high levels in the US government. Many of my entrepreneurial friends are taking the opportunity to build stronger relationships with their government agencies. The division has provided an opportunity to work with state and local governments on these regulatory challenges.  

In the EU I see significant regulations arising as the education gap continues to create shortages of key technical talent required to develop and implement new technologies with very old, reinvented organizations.  The London hub has been creating many new products and services for their markets. The question here is how the next generation of customer deals with the many changes that are occurring in financial services. Several of my clients who are UK based are leveraging changing regulations to help their partners offer new products and services to entrepreneurs and micro biz in the UK and Europe.

Finally, Asia is heavily involved in transforming their financial services markets. I see many Asian financial organizations transcending traditional geographic boundaries for their products and services. In many ways, they seem to see financial services as boundaryless. China may be looking to dominate an emerging artificial intelligence market. They are making huge strides in many different use cases. As one of my clients quickly reminds me, there is significant interest in Japan and India for new ways of growing their financial service markets. Many see mobile as a giant killer as they continue to grow their market share in large and many underdeveloped countries,   

You’re focused on developing organizations, entrepreneurs, decision-makers, and teams for companies – what do you think are the unlikely but common mistakes that end up losing market shares What would be the best solutions you may want to share to avoid these issues.

The most common mistake for many entrepreneurs is looking at the past and expecting to see the future. We are moving into uncharted territory in many aspects of our everyday lives. Its critical that people step up into leadership roles. The more leaders who are closer to the customer or client, the less likely you are to miss what’s happening in your markets.

Because of increasingly complex solutions, we need to work on teams and collaborate more both inside and outside the organization. Creating successful businesses is a team sport. It’s critical that training and development keep pace with emerging demands. 

My secret weapon is emotional intelligence and coaching. We need to not only deal with many different cultures but with our own view of the world. I can’t always predict the future. My clients like to believe I can but if I can help people master emotional intelligence, I know they will be able to achieve both their personal and professional goals. 

The number one skill that I learned from Warren Buffett and Bill Gates was a commitment to lifetime learning. They both believe that the future belongs to the lifetime learner. 

I’ve never met a successful leader and entrepreneurs who aren’t always insatiably curious, almost to a fault with a bias toward getter better at making better decisions faster. 

I coach my clients to look for an edge in their markets. Not a mile and it could be very small, but they almost always come from people who are serving their clients and partners. Take time to learn how to work closely with your people, one of the things I’ve seen Richard Branson do very effectively. He’s always looking, always asking questions, then making sure he captures the ideas and, many times, how to implement them from the people who will be doing the work. He credits an action bias and speed of implementation for providing him a competitive edge. 

Let’s have a look at traditional companies versus emerging digital transformations, what they should expect in the coming years? Any strategies you might want to share for them to catch up?

My best advice is get started. My first consulting work was with Dr. Deming in the 1990s. He was one of the early leaders of the quality revolution after World War Two. He taught me that quantitative analysis on its own was not enough to build a future on. You must get your people involved. Both inspiration and perspiration with many of my early manufacturing clients helped transform global manufacturing.

Digital transformation is really a business transformation. Business transformation is hard work. I’ve seen many companies fail in their early digital transformation efforts because they haven’t got their teams engaged and empowered. They invest large amounts of capital, but they fail to align their employees’ compensation and development with the new direction they’re moving.

Successful digital transformation requires people to have strong soft skills to develop breakthrough results. The earlier you can engage your team, the more likely you’ll achieve success. The more you keep them engaged, the better the results.  Sounds simple, but it can be quite challenging for old command and control leaders. Business transformation requires a different leadership style when changing how the business is doing business. But that’s a whole different discussion than we’re having here.  

Same for the startups, any mentoring bits of advice for them entering any industry?

Can you give us your best 3 new technologies that you think would improve the finance and insurance industries?

Yes, learn to be a fast learner. Be willing to make mistakes and change your strategy when what you are doing is not having an impact. There are so many ways to fail in a startup. If I could only give one piece of advice to any startup it would be “Don’t try to build a product or service for everyone.” When my clients and I invest in a business I always ask who is your ideal customer and why is your solution the best solution for them? If they can’t define the target market, we don’t invest. 

Have I ever been wrong? Yes! And I always build relationships with the startups I work with. There will always be another round that I can get involved with or an IPO. Either way, it works out well for both parties. 

Congratulations! You made it in our Top 30 Digital Influencers – I hope you’re up for a Skype interview or YouTube guesting for Digitalscouting? Any ideas about the latest trends and topics that would excite our followers especially from the Financial industry?

You’re well known in the Fintech industry, how do you manage work, followers, personal, and family? 

I don’t have much of a life! Just kidding. I really enjoy what I do, so there is little separation between me and my business. Which makes for interesting vacations with my family and friends. 

By choice, I see my role in the industry I work in as the voice of the client. Most of my client selection process revolves around having great clients who keep me growing. This keeps me always thinking and implementing new ideas for clients. Since I’ve spent most of my career as an advisor, it’s sometimes hard not to provide advice. 

Luckily for me, my clients are interested in many of the same things I am. On the other hand, I cultivated a rather revolutionary group of advisors who don’t like to color inside the lines. They are always challenging how we do things and why. They can be a real pain. 

I find most people become too complacent with their lives. They have so much more potential than they believe. My job has been to help them see their potential, continue growing and achieve the success they want in life. On their terms. 

What would you recommend to young people who will start their career today?

One of my long-term partners is IBM, all the way back to Buck Rodgers in marketing. The most powerful thing I learned and share from Ginni Rometty is something she said when talking to a group of younger women about the opportunities STEM presents to women. She was on a stage in front of 30,000 of the most influential people in technology today.  She said “One of the most important things for any leader is to never let anyone else define who you are. And you define who you are. I never think of myself as being a woman CEO of this company”  

This is great career advice for everyone. Don’t let others define who you are.

Tripp Braden has spent his career working with executive leaders on growing into market leaders.

His clients see him as a “human engineer” who understands how to get special projects implemented successfully.

He spent over 30 years partnering with clients on some of their largest business challenges. 

He lead teams that help clients align their people, processes, and technology to create a competitive advantage for their organizations.

His clients have included many of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Tripp had significant experience in helping clients decide where to invest their resources. He is doing it as a business development executive and as a senior executive advisor.

On behalf of Dr. Robin Kiera and all of us here in – A big Thank You to Tripp!

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