This week’s Financial Services Institute OneVoice 2019 conference in New Orleans served up a full plate of regulatory and industry updates for independent advisors and brokerage firm executives. But it also featured two keynote speeches with healthy servings of tips on innovation and leadership.
Jay Shetty, a motivational video blogger (or vlogger), former Accenture executive and ex-monk, told the crowd on Monday that he likes “to test companies … and see what is happening inside the minds of innovators and the mindset they have developed.”
These insights can help advisors and broker-dealer leaders, he says, so they can see — rather than miss — opportunities “that are right before our eyes.”
We now have technology like robo-advisors that can be placed in our cars and talk to us and online mortgage-savings programs, he said.
But we “are so locked into our daily lives that we miss the things that come up behind us and steal the show,” Shetty said, referring to Blockbuster’s three chances to buy upstart Netflix. “We see this consistently. Opportunities are right in front of us, and we miss them … because we don’t have the mindset of an innovator.”
A poll of 3,000 executives conducted by Harvard, he explains, finds they believe the future of leadership is tied to being a connected thinker — being able to “find associations between seemingly non-associated things, finding patterns and anomalies.”
And these connections aren’t obvious, Shetty adds; they come from broad networks and different fields — such as how Steve Jobs mixed art and computers at Apple.
When looking for innovation and direction, “The answers in technology do not always come from technology; for finance, not from finance; and for media, not from media,” he explained.
In other words, “You need fresh eyes.”
His second message is to “go all in” with your personality and to fully embrace it in your coaching and support of others.
If you are an introvert, extrovert, taskmaster or people-pleaser, work with those attributes and don’t focus on changing them.
In addition, Shetty said, “Be childlike, not childish.” And when it comes to tackling tough projects and problems, keep in mind that “the brain cannot be logical and truly creative in the same day.”
Trying to accomplish too much at once can lead to burnout and stress, he adds.
Finally, the speaker urged indie advisors and firm leaders to “have a coding mindset, meaning be a consistent, innovative learner.”
Since coding changes constantly, high curiosity and thinking like a student are required.
Shetty suggests diving into different issues and following varied news items and trends on Twitter.
“Be curious and refresh the mind continually. Adopt a behavior of learning by keeping the mind active, stress-free and on a path of progress. Constantly learn and grow,” he said.
Looking at the future, economists suggest the following traits for success, according to Shetty: being a complex problem solver, thinking critically, being creative and being comfortable managing people.