When to use a Close the Gap pattern
Today’s thought emerges from the group coaching session we held just before Christmas.
The key takeaway for those present related to the difference between the technically ‘right’ answer and the one that addressed the people issues that needed to be addressed.
Playing with patterns enabled us to tease out the real issue that involved more senior leaders taking on responsibility for a non-financial loss. Here’s how it played out.
- At first, the story seemed superficially simple, but it included a twist
- Playing with patterns enabled us to tease out the real issue and identify the best story
- Merging two patterns together was the best way to address both the practical and political issues
1 – The story was superficially simple, but included a twist
We were preparing a request for Brooke who needed to gain agreement from stakeholders about who would absorb the hit to their P&L if a particular change was implemented.
The plot twist here was that implementing the change was in line with the objectives of the broader streamlining initiative, but Brooke didn’t want her team to ‘take the hit’.
2 – Playing with patterns enabled us to tease out the real issue
So, we played with some storyline versions and ended up comparing two after discounting Houston: Close the Gap and another story which merged Opportunity Knocks and Watch out.
Houston didn’t work because the statement was actually known to the audience. It looked a bit like this
- Fraud will occur when there is an opportunity to transfer funds outside the bank [known, not news so doesn’t belong below the so what]
- However, there is good commercial reason for transferring funds outside the bank
- Therefore, consider enabling the capability of allowing OFI transfers within term deposit widget
Close the Gap was promising and looked a bit like this
- Successfully streamlining customer experience requires us to enable customers to transfer early maturity funds outside the bank [list of reasons aligned with the criteria including allow maximum use of digital channels]
- However, we currently don’t allow them to transfer early maturity funds outside the bank through the online portal
- Therefore, allow them to do those transfers online
The merged Opportunity Knocks and Watch Out was even more promising and looked a bit like this
- There is an opportunity to improve customer experience by enabling customers to transfer early maturity term deposit funds outside the bank in line with brand Z [the statement from the ‘Opportunity Knocks’ pattern]
- However, enabling this new digital feature will expose the bank to greater non-lending losses [the comment from the ‘Watch Out’ pattern]
- Therefore, decide whether to accept greater non-lending losses [the recommendation that naturally follows from the statement and comment]
3 – Merging two patterns together balanced the personal and political issues best
Once we could see all of the potential patterns laid out in front of us, it was pretty easy to decide which way to go.
The merged story targeted the real reason why Brooke was raising the issue. It went further than just saying ‘we should do this because it will support customers better’.
It focused on getting agreement for who will take on the risk that needed to be accepted to allow customers to transfer funds outside the bank through the digital portal.
The leaders were of course then free to decide whether they supported this new capability being included in the program or not.
You can watch the session recording below.
I hope that helps. More next week.