Jay Shetty, a motivational video blogger (or vlogger), former Accenture executive and ex-monk, told the Financial Services Institute OneVoice 2019 conference crowd recently assembled in New Orleans that he liked “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 said, so they can see — rather than miss — opportunities “that are right before our eyes.”
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 Harvard poll concluded that future leaders will need to be “connected thinkers,” he said, and be able “to find associations between seemingly non-associated things, patterns and anomalies.”
And these connections aren’t obvious, Shetty added; 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 was to “go all in” with 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. 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.”
Finally, the speaker urged indie advisors and firm leaders to “have a coding mindset, meaning be a consistent, innovative learner.” Shetty suggested diving into different issues and following varied news 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.”
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. “All of [these four traits] will help you to be an innovator of the future,” Shetty said.
‘Tours of Duty’ Author and tech entrepreneur Ben Casnocha said it’s time for financial firms and advisors to talk honestly with employees about their careers. When businesses “treat people like free agents,” they do not get much commitment or great results from them. Instead, it’s best to work with employees as allies.
“On the first day or so, have honest conversations about what is realistic … and take it slow” as you would a personal relationship, Casnocha said at the FSI OneVoice 2019 closing general session.
In an article he wrote with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Chris Yeh, the speaker discussed a new framework for working with employees around specific projects or multi-year plans, aka tours of duty, which has four elements: a mission objective, benefits to employees’ careers, benefits to the company and a concrete time horizon or duration.
“No one has to leave the company” automatically when this task is done, Casnocha said. Rather, the framework serves as “an ethical compact to describe expectations.”
It also aims to be a way for managers to have “high-quality career discussions” that can be referred to on a regular basis for “check-ins” with staff.
Managers can ask employees, “What do you want your resume or LinkedIn profile to look like in two years? What should be new?” And, he stressed, “Make this discussion really concrete. Look at marketable skills, which recognizes the open, free market for labor” that exists today.