Convenience: Old Verses New

When I first became a community banker, people would ask how many locations the bank had in town. When I told people over twenty locations, with five in Chattanooga, they would say something like this:

Only five? That’s not convenient. Amsouth has about twenty locations around Chattanooga, and they are convenient.

True, Amsouth did have more locations, but let’s fast forward to the present: people ask different questions to quantify convenience and Amsouth ain’t around anymore.

Now, I work for a community bank in Knoxville that has a total of four locations, but that doesn’t seem to bother most people. Especially when they hear:

  • Free Worldwide ATM Access
  • Free Online Bill Pay
  • Mobile Banking
  • Mobile Check Deposits

Most people understand the first three examples, but a few have not hear of Mobile Check Deposits. This mobile app allows people to deposit checks into their bank account by simply taking a photo of the check. Talk about convenience!

This new mobile app (only available at four different banks in Knoxville), is a global trend that is defining the new convenience of banking. This new convenience is due mainly to the increase of mobile technology, and even companies outside of the traditional banking structure are benefiting. Paypal, Google and Apple all have virtual wallets that are slowly starting to break down the old convenient view of banking…to the point of replacing the need for a bank all together; unless there is a need for a loan.

Who knows, if Paypal merges with a lending company like Quicken Loans or Discover, then there could be an updated version of the new convenience.

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Game of Thrones and Organizational Charts

Admitting this will show I’m behind the times; however my wife, and I recently watched the first episode of Game of Thrones.  The episode was filled with different houses, family members and, what appeared to be, a level of incest.  At the end of the episode, both Jennifer and I were not sure if we completely understood who was related to who.  This lead me to find the following chart online. Jennifer and I were right about the family lineage, with the exception of a couple of questionable characters.

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The quick blast of several family members in four houses, brought to mind company corporate organizational charts.  I had recently updated my company’s organizational chart; so making the connection to Game of Thones wasn’t too much of a cognitive stretch.

Fortunately our staff is less than forty, which allows our organizational chart to be simple and easy to follow; unlike the following org chart from Walt Disney’s past:

Though the concept leads to a great vision, it is kinda hard to follow.  In order to get certain projects approved, it has to cross several sections of the organization.

Friends of mine who work for larger corporations have often asked what the importance of an organizational chart (aka org chart) is.  They don’t understand why one is created, and often question if it is only made to glorify the top people of the company.  Though I can understand where my friends are coming from, I disagree with their opinion.  Here are two ways an org chart can be implemented in a positive way within an organization.

  • New Hires: The org chart is an item that should be covered during a new hire orientation.  This not only shows a new hire a list of people in their department, but shows them how their job is an important factor in the company’s overall strategy.
  • Improving Communication: Exposing everyone in an company to the org chart allows people to understand how communication should flow.  For example, you see one of your co-workers do an exceptional job handling a customer complaint.  Your co-worker not only saves the account, but the customers purchases more of your company’s product/service.  You want to make sure your co-worker gets the credit the deserve and by knowing who they report to, you can let their supervisor know about the great experience.

The org chart may not be the most exciting part of a company, but if executed and communicated properly, it can certain help strengthen an organization’s backbone.  Now on to more episodes of Game of Thrones!

Social Media Bodyslam

Growing up in Appalachia, I was naturally a big wrestling fan.  My weekends were filled with matches of Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan and the Road Warriors (aka Legion of Doom).  Even in college, my roommates and I would watch WWF’s (now WWE’s) Monday Night Raw and laugh at the antics of The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Shoot, I’ll even swing by a bar and watch a Wrestlemania pay-per-view every once in a while.

So when I saw that Monday Night Raw was celebrating its 1,000 episode, I tuned in to the historic event.  While watching the show, I was amazed to see how professional wrestling has embraced social media.

But was it too much?

  • Twitter: Though out the night, little graphics would run across the screen that read, “#TheRock trending worldwide”
  • Tout: The ring announcers would keep referring to tout, while encouraging fans to “tout about RAW.”  During the show, clips were shown of fans “touting” what they thought of the show.  To be honest, I had never heard of tout until that Monday night.
  • Social Media Ambassador: Charlie Sheen was given the title of “Social Media Ambassador,” which essential meant that Charlie popped in from time to time via Skype

By no means is this the first time the WWE has relied on internet interaction for publicity and ratings.  In fact it can be debated that the company helped pioneer online social interaction.

In 2004, the WWE introduced Taboo Tuesday, an event where fans could vote on stipulations for every match.  Fans could vote via text messaging and online polls.  Since then, the organization has invested time and money into boosting their brand online.

But back to the original point, is the WWE’s current tactics over the top?  It depends on who you ask.

Even though I may find it over bearing, it doesn’t matter what I think.

The company’s current customer focus is children and teens; not early thirty somethings. By utilizing social media in their televised live events, the WWE is creating a bond with their target market by using a communication tool they use on a regular basis.  Through testing the waters and branching out to various social media tools, the WWE will be able to find out what works best and capitalize on their “trial & error” research.

Who knows, it may only be a matter of time before Brother Love has his own podcast.

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