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Today I’d like to commemorate this edition of MARKETvision to the Hispanic/LatinX community and express my gratitude for their contributions to society. 

Quick Market Recap 

  • Return to Office is happening – it’s not a complete return to the way things were, but it’s a move in the right direction to bringing people together again to work, socialize, collaborate, and execute.  There’s no perfect solution, but the momentum we’re seeing with creative leadership and flexible work models will create the “Office of the Future”.   
  • Digital Transformation and Customer Experience Projects – feeling the crunch from a shortage of talent, companies are struggling to build out their capabilities. Firms that can attract and retain the best minds in design thinking, user experience, service design and the customer journey will win the hearts and minds of the new and old consumers that want more self-service, less friction and more security in their financial lives.  This is where we are seeing the most growth in demand for consulting and professional services from our clients. 
  • Employee Experience continues to be front and center – The companies and organizations that focus on creating an environment of diversity, equity and inclusion while holding employees accountable for delivery and rewarding them for that will attract, retain, and grow their talent base.   
  • The Risk, Regulatory & Compliance environment is constantly evolving, but the snake seems to have finally swallowed the elephant and financial institutions are finding their rhythm with regulators and getting back to a state where they can invest in the customer experience instead of just keeping the regulators at bay. Crypto Assets are the new frontier that has the most unknowns in this space, and while the fog is clearing there are still many unknowns that government, industry, and consumer forces are coming to grips with, especially where state and federal agencies overlap in their jurisdiction. 

Perspectives on Talent 

My colleague Astrid Gravenor, one of our Talent Acquisition team members in our South Africa office has written this quarter’s issue of TALENTvision, where she shares key insights relevant to how companies and individuals can align for success in the post-COVID world. 

Collaboration – The Ultimate Market Force 

The animal kingdom in general – mammals and humans in particular – have thrived on the planet because of their ability to collaborate. I was particularly moved by an Apple TV production earlier this year entitled “The Year the Earth Changed”, narrated by David Attenborough that provides a stunning view of how the natural world responded when human activity slowed down during global confinement in the early days of the pandemic. One story struck me to the core – when the noise of humanity caused by cruise ships and other marine vessels was silenced in the Bay of Alaska, mother Humpback whales could hear their young and communicate again, allowing them to collaborate and hunt together, producing healthier calves and a stronger community. They could execute with an enhanced ability to communicate and collaborate. 

For those of us in the professional services sector, and in Financial Services as a whole, we are now rounding out 18 months of working remotely, where collaboration has been enabled by technology. Many will say that we are even more productive in this new way of working, although I would argue it’s just because we’re all working more. 

Indeed, there are limitations to technology that prevent us from fully collaborating – feeling the room, picking up on non-verbal cues, having a better perspective on the immediate environment, casual side conversations and the physical and spiritual exchange of energy between people that can only happen when you’re physically in the same room.  

In my view, we are at a turning point in human history that requires collaboration. Most people agree that without global cooperation and collaboration, the impacts of global warming and climate change on our daily lives cannot be mitigated. When it comes to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we have the opportunity now to join forces and collaborate amongst the various historically disadvantaged groups to overcome and reverse the wrongs caused by systemic racism and gender bias.  

We at GSG feel that now is the time to emphasize and amplify the need to collaborate, not just for the sake of organizational efficiency, but as a fiscal imperative and a moral responsibility. Therefore, we are launching a year-long campaign of collaboration, using our platform and position in the market to create awareness, provide tools and insights and inspire people, companies, communities, and governments to work do the hard work of communicating so that we can collaborate and move forward together. 

The Building Blocks of Collaboration 

There are 5 major themes to consider when you’re developing a culture of collaboration: 

  • Trust – Building, rebuilding, and maintaining trust through empathy, respect, and authenticity. 
  • Innovation – Developing new ideas into products and services that have intrinsic value. 
  • Communication – Listening, understanding, and validating each other’s opinions and ideas. 
  • Knowledge Sharing – Leveraging each other’s expertise, wisdom, and experience. 
  • Execution – Showing up and bringing it all together to execute and deliver 

Over the coming weeks and months, stay tuned to the GSG Blog for insights and inspiration on each of these areas, featuring original and compiled content that you can use in your everyday lives both at home and at work to take advantage of our unique place in history and time to improve the human experience. 

When we can communicate, we can collaborate. Together, we can execute! 

John Henning is the Chief Client Officer at Granite Solutions Groupe. He has over 35 years of leadership experience in the financial services and technology industries, and currently oversees all client account management, professional services, marketing strategy, business development and sales operations for GSG.