Deliver 5 min

Global Innovation & Digital Transformation Thought-Leader, Scarlett Sieber talks to us about what’s on her mind going into 2019

Scarlett is known for her innovative thinking in Technology and Startups and empowering women in the space through her passionate and powerful manner.

It was 6 pm in NYC when I phoned Scarlett. Having just come home from Money2020 USA, with a focus on the future of money, she was full of interesting observations.

Kylie Bonassi: What is on your mind going into 2019?

Scarlett Sieber: As you think about the future of your organisation, especially from a technology perspective, and the focus on innovation moving forward, you realise that culture is at the center and is imperative to success. If you do not establish and create a culture that is inclusive, and one that is focused on the right initiatives, then even if you have a great strategy, it will not be sustainable.

Impact of Culture on Digital Transformation is Number One.

That is a key component. It’s one that I’ve been seeing, which is nice, because that’s what I’m passionate about. You have to establish the strategy and vision from the beginning and ensure you have the right support and buy in.

“If you acquire the best talent but don’t have agreed-upon objectives or the understanding of and expectations for setting up a culture conducive to innovation, then it’s very challenging to be successful.”

So what I’m increasingly pleased about is that, in the marketplace, business leaders already seem to be very receptive to this impact of culture.

Scarlett mentions that she will be speaking more on this topic at NASA within the coming weeks. Impressive!

Digital Transformation within Financial Services is Number Two.

I think that a lot of the people within big banks globally who are more exposed to and aware of what’s happening. And you’ve seen a lot of change in the last few years concerning what that looks like.

Recently, there was an announcement about JP Morgan Chase teaming up with Plaid. They’re essentially making it easier for clients to connect their bank accounts so they can use other apps and services. It was a really long road to get there.

From that perspective, I would say that the decision-makers within the larger financial institutions certainly see the need for partnerships. As the incumbent, they have the resources, so they can hire the right type of people to lead these relationships and partner with the existing leaders within the organisation.

One of the reasons I enjoy the topic of digital transformation is that in the US of the roughly 7000 banks we have, if you take out the top 25, a majority of the rest still haven’t had mass exposure to fintech. Even if they are aware, it is challenging to know where to start and they don’t have the same resources at their disposal to experiment like the larger institutions.

“There are a lot of opportunities for the smaller banks and credit unions to move into digital. It will be very interesting to see which ones take initiative.”

These are the two main topics that are really intriguing Scarlett as we wrap up 2018.

From the data ADAPT collect and the conversations we are having with our CxO community, we see a huge need for the sharing of learned experiences. We also ask the following questions:

How do organisations acquire that talent? How do they walk before they run? Furthermore, how do they crawl before they walk? How can it be done on a much smaller scale? What are the fundamental ways to open this conversation without going all the way there and how can tangible results still be achieved on a vastly different scale? You have the right intent, you want to get involved, but how do you do that effectively? And what are some key strategies that can be utilised?