Business today is more dynamic than it ever has been in the past. Business models need to be constantly reinvented in order to stay at the top. It’s been evident with the rise and fall of giants. Threats come now from all angles. Reputational crises – see Arthur Anderson, the Oscars panic at PwC and the race to spin it. Regulatory changes – being ready for CRS/FATCA/AIFMD, impacts of other jurisdictions tax regimes. What I wanted to discuss today though is the impact of leaner competitors that disrupt a marketplace. Staying relevant, cutting unnecessary extravagance and being innovative are cornerstones of the finance industry in Guernsey. Both at a firm level and at a jurisdictional level we’ve reputations for quality and expertise and doing things properly. Yet increasingly those pillars of trust come under threat from cost, technology and increased competition.
Guernsey’s true expertise is not Finance business, but the art of being lean, innovative and quick to react. Finance business is just a manifestation of this.
The future is coming though and understanding it and what it means helps us stay relevant. Blockchain technology for example will impact systems and processing. But it has implications for trust and confidence that can amongst other things be used to create better forms of internal control. Boards need to change. Audit approaches need to change. Constant reinvention is needed. Achieving that change and planning to make sure it happens is another matter entirely though. Often just working out where you are at comparatively is difficult, never mind where you need to get to and how to make it happen.
This environment though is where visionary leaders are forged. It’s also where change management and project implementation come to the fore. Its where change management models such as McKinsey’s 7S, Weisbord’s six box or Kotter’s 8 Steps can help, but where commitment to success and a clear vision is far more important.