Career Advice

5 Tips for Encouraging Innovation in the Finance Industry

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As technology continues to improve machine learning, automation, and artificial intelligence will continue to transform and influence the finance industry. As these changes occur, you and your staff will find a new world of opportunities. You can either prepare for these changes and embrace them, or you can continue to waste time on repetitive tasks like data entry or report generation. Manual tasks are effective, but in a vastly digital world, they are no longer efficient. By allowing innovative thinking and processing into your financing company, you will also be able to maximize your time and productivity. Here are six ideas that finance experts like Mark Stevens use to increase their business success.

Develop Cultivate an Organizational Culture That Embraces New Ideas

Innovation is going to happen all around you, and if you don’t make it a cornerstone of your business culture, it won’t have a positive impact on your operations. It is common for leadership to feel threatened by employees with good ideas, but rather than worrying about job security, these employees and their ideas should be explored for potential. Good ideas, whether it be a way to streamline a process or change a project,  should be encouraged. Your staff should be given the opportunity to provide input, whether you ask for it directly or through an anonymous survey that is sent out. As your company looks for new directions and opportunities, evaluate the perspectives of your employees. You may be surprised at how much they can divulge about efficiency.

Create Channels for Feedback

As a business owner, you may be swamped with meetings or reports. Your lack of prompt attention to employee proposals or timeliness of delivering feedback can leave a communication bottleneck that stifles change. Employees become unmotivated and discouraged when they feel ignored or slighted, even if it is accidental on your part. Failing to acknowledge proposals will leave employees unwilling to contribute new ideas in the future. It is more empowering to your team when they see you are considering what they have said, or at the very least, acknowledged for taking the risk to submit an idea.

Stay on Top of Technology

Innovation is coming mostly due to the changes in technology. The professionals trying to stay ahead of the curve in finance need a strong handle on the trends of AI, robotic process automation, cloud-based solutions, data analytics, and machine learning. While it may be an expensive move to integrate these technologies into your company all at one time, you should make sure your team is both prepared and trained well in whatever integrations you do make. Your employees may not have a lot of confidence in these areas, but you can overcome a lot of the anxiety with thorough training. Don’t let huge gaps occur in your organization and the implementation of technology. This only creates a bigger deficiency in tech-related skills among your people. Start working on developing these skills now.

Cross-Train Your Employees

Since technology will do a lot to minimize the amount of manual entry that goes into finance decisions, now is the perfect time to cross-train your team members. There are a number of areas in your company that can easily be understood by several individuals, and if you take time to do job shadowing for a day or have mentor programs between different departments, you may find that some of your employees would thrive better in a different area. Whether it be the marketing side or a sales position, by allowing your team members to experience different positions within the company, even if just for a day, you enhance the cross-departmental collaboration needed for your company to thrive. Helping your staff develop a big picture mentality makes it a lot easier to welcome change when everyone sees how it benefits the entire company.

By allowing innovative thinking and processing into your financing company, you will also be able to maximize your time and productivity. Here are six ideas that finance experts use.Click To Tweet

Encourage Thinking Time Each Day

Running your team ragged snuffs out any hope of creativity. Though you may feel the pressure to produce results, having a brainstorming session in departments or among leadership is a way to relax and think about what is good for the company. Individuals should be encouraged to spend 10 to 15 minutes a day looking over their tasks or project and think of ways they could make their job more efficient or effective. At the end of the week, hold a brief team meeting where members can share some of their ideas. This gives others, who may or may not have the same position, a way to gain insight for their own work habits or an opportunity to expand on the idea and add new insight.  Make sure all ideas are welcomed. One person may have one part of the idea, and another team member can fill in the holes.

In the long-run, you will find your company does better with change. You, as a leader, take the time to model what you expect from others. Set an example in innovative thinking, but be the first to research or embrace tech changes. Make innovation a personal and corporate responsibility.

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