Emirates NBD and the Future of Work

This week I was in #Dubai, working with Emirates NBD, the largest banking group in the region and one of the largest banks in the world. My focus was on the future of work and the future of finance and how these two are intersecting in very interesting ways to define our post-pandemic world.

Over several sessions with both senior and emerging leaders, I talked about re-envisioning what it means to be a bank. While Emirates NBD has a strong physical banking presence, they are also adapting to the digital transformation that is influencing so many industries. Today 94% of their financial transactions and requests are taking place outside of their branches and they recently launched Liv., a digital bank built for a digital generation. Overall, nearly 90% of their customers’ face-to-face card payment transactions are contactless payments. At the same time, there are many who don’t want a fully-digital experience and we worked through some of the second-order effects that take hold when a consumer-facing business embraces digital.

I talked with them about the role the metaverse will have on banking and how Chipotle’s partnership with Roblox and Travis Scott’s concerts inside Fortnite are just the beginning. And yes, there will soon be avatar advisors offering investment advice.

We also talked about re-envisioning the value they deliver and what they can learn about their mission from Coinbase’s education initiatives, Carrefour’s Consumer Happiness Counters, Toyota’s e-palette platform, and Capital One’s cafés. The shift from digitization to ‘data’fication enables personalization at scale and this has tremendous implications for organizations. We explored how the next generation wants self-service and what that means not only for consumer-facing experiences but also for employee-facing applications. I shared with them what Amazon Care and Uber Money tell us about future competition.

Emirates NBD has a presence in 13 countries and serves over 14 million customers. It also has employees from more than 70 nationalities, making it a large and culturally diverse organization. I talked about how the future of work is redefining the nature of work. Bank of America recently reskilled and realigned over 23,000 employees to serve in new capacities and support clients in new ways. I walked through what some of the new roles appearing in industries like high-end fashion to healthcare. And discussed the six capabilities ING is working to deploy and develop through training, knowledge building and recruitment.

I also worked through tools to help them frame the future, dissect uncertainty, build scenarios, and measure the agility of their workforce using a simple tool I call the workforce readiness pentagon.

The future is bright and filled with opportunity and I’m excited to see where Emirates NBD goes next.