2 lessons your financial institution can learn from a dance mom

Cheer hair? Check. Purple glitter eye makeup? Check. Thousands of bobby pins? Check.

Outrageous dance mom shirt for me? Of course!

After triple-checking my packing checklist and attempting to compose my beyond-excited 8-year-old, I loaded up my decorated SUV and headed out for the annual American Youth on Parade (AYOP) dance competition at the University of Notre Dame.

Watching these girls and witnessing firsthand their determination and dedication has proven to me that they are impressive athletes. These teams work endlessly striving for perfection.

Even without the hundreds of hours of carting a kid to and from practice, planning your vacation time around competitions, or tackling hair and makeup on a crying child, here are two things your financial institution can learn from this proud dance mom.

1. Unfortunately, you are replaceable

Millennial demands and evolving customer expectations are forcing all financial institutions to change the way they do business. And technology is at the heart of most change initiatives.

These younger people expect to apply for new accounts and loans, deposit checks, pay bills, transfer funds, and receive alerts via online and mobile devices. If you aren’t giving them that immediate access to their financial transactions, they look at alterative banking options.

As the infamous Abby Lee Miller of the television show ‘Dance Moms’ says, “Do your job. Do it the best you can. Do it right, because somebody, sometimes your best friend, is waiting for you to screw up so she can take your place.”

That’s a little harsh, but shows you cannot become complacent. Look internally for improvements and prevent your financial institution from getting dumped and replaced by an alternative banking option.

2. Be prepared for change

Two weeks before the big competition, a young girl on my daughter’s dance team had an unfortunate incident on a forbidden hoverboard. Sadly, she was unable to compete due to her injuries. After months of practicing their routines and placements, the team had to make countless adjustments to compensate for the missing teammate (who was beyond devastated).

Some changes are almost impossible to plan for, like my example. But, some changes – the kind your financial institution can anticipate and prepare for accordingly – are the changes associated with digital transformation.

Whoever is leading the unavoidable digital transformation project at your financial institution should ensure that the organization provides the managers with the support necessary to lead their teams through the change, gives them a clear understanding of the vision, and supplies them with tools and talking points to help manage their teams throughout the transformation.

The steps to a successful digital transformation journey have a lot less to do with technology changes than they do with people and planning effectively for change. And that’s the key to technology in general – if it doesn’t fit well with people, it won’t work.

Competitive dance is so much more than sparkly outfits and matching eyeshadow; it has shaped my daughter into the kid I adore. She has a newfound and undeniable confidence. She has a sense of team and community; it has allowed us to create everlasting memories and it has even taught me a thing or two about adaptability, dedication, and evolving for relevancy.

Those are dance lessons we can all learn.

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Harbinak Shapiro

Michelle Shapiro brings more than 15 years of experience in the banking industry to her role as Financial Services marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of ECM as a tool for banks, credit unions and lenders to help automate paper-based processes and proactively manage regulations.

1 Response

  1. Love this! Thank you Michelle for this post!

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