LAS VEGAS -- Americans are looking to move out of the routine in jobs and financial services as industries commoditize in search of meaning and positive experiences.
Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind, told attendees of CUNA's America's Credit Union Conference and Expo last week that the logical, left-brained type jobs are going away as foreign competition and technology increase. Certain jobs that are routine can be automated or moved overseas and certain services, including those in the financial services industry are becoming increasingly automated. "If work is routine, it is disappearing," he said.
"Today, those abilities are absolutely 100% necessary," Pink said three times over, "but it is no longer sufficient." There are lawyers losing jobs because actions like an uncontested divorce can be done online at one-tenth the price of hiring a lawyer. He added the U.S. is moving from a logical to artistic, more right-brained manner of thinking, which is where credit unions can step in.
The modern financial services consumer is still interested in getting a good deal, but many are really shopping for the experience. Branch and online design are crucial, particularly for young adults. "These millennials are the most design literate generation ever," Pink stated. Other industries are realizing it, he said, noting a recent comment by GM Vice Chairman Robert Lutz that GM is "in the arts and entertainment business...You have to put a premium on world-class design."
Pink challenged credit union attendees to keep a design notebook for a week and every day write down one instance of good design and one of bad. Almost immediately you can improve your design instinct, he promised.
Secondly, he said that credit unions really have an advantage in their differences from other for-profit financial services providers. "Story matters because we live in a world of ubiquitous facts. They're everywhere and they're free," Pink said. Put your facts in context and deliver it for emotional impact.
Nationwide Insurance has done this with its "Life comes at you fast" Web site and contest where customers could post their stories where Nationwide
has come through for them and posted them in
Times Square to "differentiate what could be a commodity product."
Convince people there is something they were not even aware they were missing--similar to the iPod phenomenon. He quoted comedian Sid Caesar, "The guy who invented the wheel? He was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three? He was a genius."
Empathy is also crucial and another place where credit unions can step in because it is "valuable because it's hard to outsource and it's hard to
Finally, consumers are looking for meaning. While the gross domestic product of America has tripled in the last 50 years, a world values survey shows that people are no more satisfied with life and are in search of meaning, according to Pink. Meaning is also something important for young adults entering the workforce; both are areas where credit unions have the edge, he said.
"This is where credit unions, which have a public purpose, are ahead of other companies," he concluded.