Author: David Woltman

DOL Fiduciary Rule Challenged in Court

On Wednesday June 1, 2016 the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Financial Service Institute, Securities Industry Association took action against Thomas E. Perez, Secretary of Labor and U.S. Department of Labor (Get Civil Action No. 16-cv-1476)DOL Civil Action

Technology ecoSYSTEMS

In creating “technology ecosystems”, the process is similar; we integrate disparate systems so when the ancillary systems are connected they complement a “core solution” and expand its functionality and allow new and even unanticipated uses.

When properly done, it is difficult to identify the “core solution” because the once disparate systems now are interdependent and act as a seamless solution, exchanging real time data and calling upon other applications to execute processes.

ScreenHunter_2367 Oct. 13 16.33In the future successfully technology ecosystems will be developed around industry accepted open standards and offer the customer a wide variety of hardware and software integration opportunities.

Open design will also reduce innovation time from what was once measured in years, to weeks and months. This agile development and rapid delivery will place ever increasing importance on project management and vendor selection.

The best way to meet ever increasing demands of regulators and clients and to expand new business opportunities is for senior management to build cultural of supporting corporate “technology ecosystems”.

Be successful; Fail often….

 Learning to Fail Quickly and Effectively!

effort_results

Mastering the art of Failure

Unlike the “trophy culture” of today where participation is rewarded, the real world is all about results….not participation. And forwhatever reason failure has a negative connotation in our society, hence the “trophy culture”.

In today’s complex world, failure is not only inevitable, it’s also greatly undervalued. And there is an art to failing and its called “Failing Fast”. 

The premise is simple; once a single component of the project falls outside the acceptable range, it is acknowledged as failure. The next step is to triage the situation, and to find alternative solutions.

Failing Fast allows teams to get projects back on track with minimal delay and cost overruns. Often lessons learned in the failure of one element of a project will benefit another.

Be successful; Fail often … but Fail fast.

 

About FDS & CAESAR

Financial Database Services’ CAESAR provides enterprise solutions to securities broker dealers and registered investment advisory firms through a suite of functions, including automating compliance and commission processing.

Contact us (858) 526-8147 or email us

Thinking like a fighter pilot in volatile situations

Headup displayFighter pilots are trained to make immediate decisions utilizing a recurring cycle of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act. How quickly they can do this often means the difference between life and death… in business it can make the difference between success and failure.

The OODA model was developed by Col. John Boyd, U.S. Air Force fighter pilot ace, to describe the process needed to win at war. This model matured as he won aerial dogfights in Korea and Viet Nam and later used it to describe how to gain a competitive advantage in any situation. Recently, the OODA loop has begun to be applied to business and product development as a way to describe their decision-making cycles. In these situations, the loop often gets stuck at the D. The OODA loop is a succinct representation of the natural decision cycle seen in every context: war, business, product development, or life.”

Financial Database Services uses the OODA  loop in our daily business. We start every business day with a 15 minute OODA meeting where we Observe what has happened in our business in the last 24 hours, Orient the team to facts, risks and opportunities.

With this information our team makes Decisions and Act with confidence. As we repeat this process on a daily basis, we are better able to gauge results and refine our decision making process.

If you would like to know:

How your firm can use the OODA loop to improve your team’s organizations success;

Or how FDS can support you in the Observation of your workflow processes, and solution Orientation for improving operations;

Or how FDS can help you Decide and ACT on making broker dealer technology decisions for 2015

Then call us: 858-526-8147  or email us

Compliance, Books & Records and Holds

Financial Database Services recently hosted a CAESAR Focus Group with clients around the theme of Compliance where we discussed Books & Records, Hold Recommendations and Compliance Reporting.

One of the items discussed in detail was the need for enhanced tracking of changes made to investment objectives, above and beyond CAESAR’s compliancecurrent data tracking for Books & Records. The common need was for Back Office staff to define what the client’s objective was at the time of the trade for regulatory audits.

FDS has had several internal conversations around this need, and has added a new task to our 2013 product development funnel. At a high level, this new feature will link the client’s investment objective to a trade as it is loaded into CAESAR, manually or from a file. More information will be provided as we finish the Design Document and make it available to you for retrofit.

Another item that came up in the webinar was Hold Recommendations. CAESAR currently has a “Note” features at the Rep, Branch and Trade level. Based upon our discussion, we determined that adding Notes at the client level would be a good place to document Hold Recommendations, as well as other free form notes on an account. This idea has been submitted to our 2013 product funnel, and is in development.

Successful Deployment

Changes are constant with every organization. Technology and process changes that accompany new employee and manager direct access or talent management initiatives like performance management, learning and development, and talent acquisition, can significantly impact employee morale and company culture. deployment_quote

Motivating behavioral change is accomplished through the engagement of the entire organization. By encouraging and supporting the change with clear and open communication, incentives to modify behavior, and executive support an organization can adjust the behavior of managers and employees in order to achieve the goal of the new solutions. Behavioral adjustments in the way managers manage and the way employees and managers interact can yield significant results.

An effective internal marketing and communications strategy can help maximize technology investments. It is imperative that you consider what to communicate, how to communicate, and via what communication channels.

  1. Conduct a workshop to:
    • Define goals and objectives of the initiative
    • Understand the current mindset of the targets of the change and current organizational culture
    • Identify and understand process and system interaction by audience
    • Determine required behavioral changesidentify and define motivators to encourage behavioral change
    • Understand the current mindset of the targets of the change and current organizational culture
  2. Identify branding, communication and training tools
  3. Design comprehensive Training Plan that includes end-user system training as well as strategic developmental training
  4. Define success measures
  5. Execute plan
  6. Measure and promote success

Improving User Adoption / Change Management

Successful deployment involves the process of creating effective organizational communications and training strategies that improve awareness of workforce initiatives; that motivate behavioral change, and encourage employee adoption of new processes and technology.User Adoption

You must engage every level of your workforce and ensure a successful rollout of new workforce-facing technology through the following components:

1. Internal Marketing and Communications: Educate, motivate, and inspire the workforce to adopt a new solution.

2. Comprehensive Change Management: Motivate behavioral change across the entire workforce population to gain buy-in and support at every level of the organization. 

3. Training Plan: Develop a strategy for end-user system training as well as soft skills training on topics like goal setting and creating effective development plans. 

An effective internal marketing and communications strategy can help maximize technology investments. It is imperative that you consider what to communicate, how to communicate, and via what communication channels. 
ScreenHunter_216 Jun. 27 13.31
Motivating behavioral change is accomplished through the engagement of the entire organization. By encouraging and supporting the change with clear and open communication, incentives to modify behavior, and executive support an organization can adjust the behavior of managers and employees in order to achieve the goal of the new solutions. Behavioral adjustments in the way managers manage and the way employees and managers interact can yield significant results. 

A comprehensive training strategy addresses the needs of every stakeholder within the organization, providing them with the opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge required to effectively leverage the new system ortechnology.

Communicate the why, what, and how of the change impacts the organization.

Avoiding Deployment Failure

Changes are constant with every organization. Technology and process changes that accompany new management directives can significantly impact employee morale and company culture. New technology initiatives consist of 3 primary components:

 

  1.    Process changeSuccessful technology deployment depends on the people.
  2.    Technology
  3.    Change management

 

 

Companies must consider each of these elements in order to achieve maximum results and ensure employee engagement with new workforce-facing technology. This requires both an understanding of how to execute the process and use the system as well as a change in behavior.

 

Studies show 92% of the reasons for failure of new system implementations are “soft issues” – organization, people, and culture. Even the best technology will not succeed without a well-planned change management and communication process. A deliberate, comprehensive, and effective strategy to manage change can maximize employee engagement and solution adoption.

 

deployment_quoteA well thought out and deliberate deployment strategy that addresses the needs of the business, encourages user input during the planning and development phase through open bidirectional communication, and ensures proper training will significantly impact the return on technology investments. 

 

Imagine deploying a new solution to your workforce, and having them lined up to use it. This is the goal of an effective deployment strategy – to obtain buy-in, support, and commitment at every level of the organization through a structured, organized, and repeatable process.