In the mortgage industry, the rate of change has been unprecedented in recent years. From regulations and CFPB audits to acquiring referral sources and customers, the business environment is constantly changing and managers can no longer play it safe or settle for the status quo if they want to succeed. As Buckminster Fuller, who created the “Knowledge Doubling Curve”, noted many years ago, by the end of World War II, knowledge was doubling every 25 years. Today on average, human knowledge is doubling every 13 months. According to IBM, the build out of the “internet of things” will lead to the doubling of knowledge every 12 hours!
The increase of knowledge and access to it reinforces that incremental adjustments to managing is not really going to match to what is being demanded to win in any business sector. Financial services and the mortgage industry specifically are facing a marketplace that demands a new or bold approach to stay ahead. The list is long for companies that recognized that they needed to change, but couldn’t pull themselves together fast enough to make it. Consider the examples of Borders, Blockbuster and Research in Motion (Blackberry). While these companies were once leaders in their respective industries, staying in a status quo position helped cause their demise.
As John Kotter, a Professor of Leadership at Harvard states in his book Accelerate: Building Strategic Agility for a Faster Moving World,, the need for agility and speed has been well known for years. He cites a survey that asked managers “How will your sources of competitive advantage change over the next 15 years?” The number one answer was their responsiveness to changes in the environment.
The $64 million question then is what will drive change? According to Kotter, the answer to this issue is “having significant numbers of people acting as leaders — not just at the top executive level but throughout the organization. Leadership comes from all levels by having people who can mobilize a group of people to jump into a better future. This acceleration demands more change agents and not just a few.”
Are your managers ready to lead with their vision, energy and passion or are they holding your team back by maintaining the status quo?