The digital revolution. The reality.

A true story.

I was recently in an elevator heading towards the heavenly heights of the Nth floor of a major bank in a major capital city on Planet Earth. My destination: The Digital & Innovation Lab. (or some other trendy title). I’ve seen plenty of these places just like this all over the world in recent times. You’ll know the ones I’m talking about.

My fellow digital astronauts heading for the same planet had their obligatory familiar spacesuit uniform of jeans, trainers, t-shirts, and one or two had the white-noise of their Beats headphones keeping their ears warm and defended against non-productivity. It wasn’t dress-down Friday. Whilst ‘the suits’, well no-one cares about them now, right? They get off the spaceship much earlier at Planet Grey, or the Moon of Mundane. Yawn.

Inside, on either side of the mirrored elevator door, the travellers look upwards at 45 degrees towards a TV screen showing news. Today, this live 60 second ‘elevator pitch’ was announcing that this particular bank, the payer of their salaries, had topped the charts for customer complaints, again! Someone at the back of the elevator chuckled “Ha!”, and almost spilling their sacred cafe latte, and buffet of lunchtime Asian takeaway treats, quipped “at least we’re top of something”. Sadly, almost everyone bleated an approving chuckle back to the heckler, as the news swiftly moved to the next big story of the day.

As the digital astronauts spewed out of the elevator, and returned to their bean bag, Post-It® Notes re-arranging, and a quick game of ping pong before calling it another hard day at the office, I thought to myself…which one person of the thousands walking to and from this corporate beast every day can actually take it upon themselves to make a difference to the elevator pitch they’d just heard? and would they have stood in stony silence if their CEO/CIO/COO was in that elevator.

One of my first tasks working at a major bank many years ago, was in customer experience. OK, so cleaning puke off the ATM, and clearing the car park of dog shit [in a suit!] were not the most glamorous tasks I admit, but it keeps me grounded and connected as to why my employer was in business, and the job I needed to do for our customers if I was to keep my job, and maybe, just maybe get a move up the career ladder.

It’s time, to take the time, to look at the same things but very differently.

You probably all know Tim Peake is the British astronaut who recently blasted off towards the International Space Station, but do you know about any of the dozens of experiments he is conducting that may change our lives forever? Highlights of his scientific roster include growing crystals and blood vessels in space, simulating atomic structures and charting areas in the brain as they adapt to stressful situations.

I’m sure the digital revolution in banking is going to work out alright, isn’t it?