ABA Banking Journal - May/June 2015 - (Page 64)
> BANKER RECOMMENDED READING
Got a Random Brilliant Thought?
BY JANE HASKIN
LUKE WILLIAMS' DISRUPT: Think the
Unthinkable to Spark Transformation
in Your Business challenges
businesspeople to change the way they
do things. But we've heard it all before,
haven't we? Open your mind, the cliché
goes, and kick your
creativity into high
gear. Success is
sure to follow. Only
it doesn't always
work out that way,
about Disrupt is
that Williams, an
NYU Stern School
Disrupt: Think the
Unthinkable to Spark
presented his ideas
last February at the ABA National
Conference for Community Bankers
in Boca Raton, offers readers a
methodology for turning their random
brilliant thoughts into honest-togoodness action plans. That's worth
the price of admission-and more.
We bankers are prime candidates for
this sort of step-by-step approach.
We work in, let's say, a mature
industry-but it's an industry that's
facing unprecedented disruption.
Technology-the Internet-is slapping
us in the face and yelling at us to wake
up. Meanwhile, brass-and-walnut
traditionalists pine for the old ways
because they've been so successful
for so long. In theory, we all know that
innovation is the foundation of the
American dream. But some bankers
don't want to acknowledge we're being
innovated out of our socks. Williams
gives us the help we need.
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | MAY/JUNE 2015
"To start moving in a new direction,
you need to kick hard against what's
already there," he says. Through his
"five stages of disruptive thinking,"
Williams turns a kick into a process
that can work in any organization. Even
a bank. Here are the five stages of
persuade internal or external
stakeholders to invest or adopt what
The chapters in Disrupt expand on
these five stages and guide the reader
all the way from crafting a hypothesis
to formulating a persuasive pitch. The
process will work just as well for big
banks with large product development
departments as for community banks
with only a few employees.
Williams encourages the would-be
disruptor to develop a hypothesis that
offers an unreasonable provocation.
Here's an example. Let's say I make
cellphones. They need power, so I put
batteries in them. A way to improve the
performance of a cellphone is to make
the battery more and more efficient.
An example of an unreasonably
provocative idea about cellphones is to
imagine one that doesn't need a battery
at all. Bizarre, you say? For Williams,
no idea is too bizarre. In fact, the more
bizarre the idea, the greater potential it
has for disruption.
Now comes the hard part. The process
of transforming your great idea into a
successful new business or product.
Here's how. Use your disruptive
hypothesis as a source for defining an
disruptive market opportunity. Then
develop three or four disruptive ideas
that address that opportunity, and hone
those ideas into a single solution. To get
there, you need to focus on what's best
for your customers. If you're creating a
product just for the sake of creating a
product, and you skip the task of vetting
it against customer expectations, you're
destined to fail. So Williams goes into
quite a bit of detail here, addressing
the nuances of market research and
An interesting idea is that the best
market research involves just a few
exemplary customers rather than
a massive focus group. That's an
approach tailor-made for small banks.
But what's the use of developing a great,
disruptive solution if you don't know how
to convince your bosses that it's great
and disruptive? Disrupt's final chapter
is about developing a nine-minute
presentation to sell your stakeholders
on your idea. Nine minutes doesn't
sound like much, but research proves
that if a presentation lasts more than 10
minutes, you'll lose your audience. So
make those nine minutes the best nine
minutes of your life.
Disrupt is for people who want to
explore new ideas for doing business
today's transformational marketplace.
The emphasis is on ideas that work not
only for customers but for business and
JANE HASKIN is president and
CEO of First Bethany Bank,
based in Oklahoma City.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - May/June 2015
CELEBRATING A TRADITION OF INNOVATION
SOUND RISK CULTURE
AN INTERVIEW WITH FDIC’s MARTIN GRUENBERG
NEW RESPA/TILA MORTGAGE DISCLOSURES
BANK DOMAIN ROLLOUT
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
FROM THE STATES
BANKER RECOMMENDED READING
INNOVATIONS IN SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
ABA Banking Journal - May/June 2015
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