|Possibilities: Anything is Possible.
By Stephen M. Klein
Friday, 4th November 2011
With the recent passing of Apple icon Steve Jobs and all the articles and insights on this visionary, it made me think of what is possible.
Steve Jobs’ biggest legacy may not be Apple, or the Mac, or the iPhone or iPad. His legacy may very well be his belief that anything is possible – with vision, imagination and persistence.
What Does This Mean for Us?
Jobs changed the way virtually everyone worked, lived and interacted. His influence transcended the technology. It was life-changing and culture-changing. Beyond the technology that he brought us, didn’t he really bring us dreams of the future? How can we make things, our lives, and the lives of others better? Did we learn to think “outside the box” and imagine? Now the trick is to successfully apply these important lessons to our everyday lives.
Making Our Industry Better
Technology may very well be the key to maintaining the banking industry. Imagine a world of all-electronic transfers of money. Imagine the ultimate smart phone that lets you handle all of your banking needs in one interactive device. It’s here. Just as printed books, newspapers and magazines will soon be relics, over time traditional banks as we know them also will be archaic. While some customers may still prefer to visit branches, those numbers will dwindle significantly over the years, rendering traditional branches virtually obsolete.
Imagine a totally paperless world of banking, with all transactions handled electronically and remotely. It will revolutionize branches and the whole delivery system. For those who come into the bank, think of kiosks with Mac-like devices expediting customer transactions. Much like the airline industry with online booking, check-in and even baggage check-in, banking is headed in the same direction.
The real challenge is to take the lessons learned from Steve Jobs and apply them effectively to the banking industry. While there will still be a segment of customers who desire personal service, the reality is that the future is filled with technology, whether we love it or not. The trick for a community bank is to retain some semblance of personal service, while still embracing technology. It will allow them to compete on a more cost-effective basis and offer a broader array of products and services competitively.
Embrace the Future
We as a country and an industry are going through a metamorphosis. Many other parts of the world have actually passed us in terms of creative technology and embracing cutting-edge alternatives. Like it or not, we must all adapt or perish, so let’s embrace it and think creatively and proactively.
We should all be asking ourselves what consumers will want or demand in the next three to five years, and then go about repositioning ourselves for the inevitable changes. Let’s embrace the possibilities, instead of resisting them. Welcome to the future!
Steve has served as a member of Graham & Dunn’s board of directors and as chair of the firm’s Financial Services Team. He counsels financial institutions about federal and state banking matters and related securities law and financing issues. Steve utilizes his background and experience as a bank regulator with the Comptroller of the Currency and as an accountant on Wall Street in advising our diverse group of banking clients throughout the Western United States.
Steve assists financial services companies in creatively structuring and successfully implementing mergers and acquisitions and has been involved in well over 100 transactions as counsel for buyers or sellers. Graham & Dunn has been a leader among law firms in the Western United States in the number of deals in which it served as counsel during the past decade.