Rob: So, Kate Young, I've got you here. Thank you so much for your time on the podcast today.
Kate: Thanks very much for having me, Rob.
Rob: It's really, really great to see you and no doubt you're doing this with a little bit of a different perspective to what you might, if we weren't in the middle of COVID.
Rob:So currently, your current role is Senior Manager of Customer Centricity and Capability at ANZ Bank, who no doubt everyone in Australia and probably half of the world is familiar with. But before we get to your current role, I'd really like to learn about Kate Young and sort of where your journey started. And I have it on pretty good authority that you may have stolen your neighbour's roses to sell them when you were a girl. So.
Kate: Yeah. OK. So, yeah, it is on good authority. You know, as kids, we were really always interested in, you know, ways to make money and, you know, thinking about things through sort of an entrepreneur's lens. And, you know, we're always really interested in thinking through that. And I'm not sure if it was because of the work ethic that our parents sort of instilled in us, you know, as kids, you know, and the value of hard work from a values perspective or whether it was driven by independence or a combination of both. But, yeah, we would be off doing lots of things. Baking cookies, selling them to the neighbours. Probably without really knowing what we were doing, did actually pick our neighbour's prize winning roses and sold those. And I can actually remember.
Rob: We'll say borrowed.
Kate: Borrowed. They went to good homes. I can remember my mother and my and our friend's mother who lived next door actually making us go around the neighbourhood and return the money that we had made by selling, those flowers. So we did get in a lot of trouble for that. But we were always thinking about new and creative ways to make some money. And actually probably my first job was when I was either 10 or 11, quite young, a morning paper round, six mornings a week. 5:30am start and and I'm from Melbourne. So, you know, Melbourne winters, 5:30am your usually sort of dealing with zero or one degree. So it was it was a hard slog, for three dollars a day. But I did it for a number of years and enjoyed components of it. Maybe the fitness side, not necessarily the early start.
Rob: I mean, when your 10, the fitness is sort of just an added bonus, right, because we're all active. But I mean, how did that instil, you know, that work ethic from such a young age? Was that, did that come from your parents down or was that guided, or was it just something that was in you from that point?
Kate: I think a bit of both. I probably enjoyed work and sought work at an earlier age than my sister did, but certainly our parents, from a values perspective, you know, really encouraged us to work hard and to see the value of working hard. So regardless of what job we had, they always made sure that we saw the importance of giving it 100 percent and trying to do our best because, you know, opportunities lead to opportunity. So I think, I think it was a combination of the environment that I grew up with and my parents values, but equally just the desire to have independence as well. I think I recognised at an early age that if I was making my own money, I maybe didn't have to do all those chores around the house for extra pocket money. So that might have that might have also contributed to it.
Rob: So obviously, you came through and did a degree and things post high school and all the rest. Was there ever a time before you got to that point where you thought that maybe, you know, the academic side wasn't so important and maybe you just wanted to keep making a buck?
Kate: Yes and no. I actually started my degree in catering and hotel management. I actually thought that, that was going to be my path, you know, working, big hotels. I think I probably perceived it as glamorous at the time. I was working for a large hotel chain, part time while I was studying. I soon realised that wasn't my calling, that wasn't my passion. And what I was passionate about was the customer. And that obviously led me to change my degree sort of midway into a Bachelors of business and marketing. So I don't necessarily think that I was less interested in academia. I just think I wasn't really sure exactly what my passion and my calling was at that point.
Rob: So you started down the hospitality route. And I know that you started as Marketing Manager for Accor at some point, was that an internal transition that helped foster that or was it a deliberate change?
Kate: No is really funny actually after university. I took a gap year, went off and did some traveling. Really trying to work out what I wanted to do with my life and came back pretty, pretty broke. You know, I spent most of my money over there. What wasn't working was just travelling. Actually took a job in finance with Accor. So I did a, my first official job was as a debt collector. So collecting debt for the hotel. I did that for about a year. I liked components of it. I liked the fact that it was quite a methodical, kind of process driven job. I liked the idea of ticking things up a list and tasks being finished. But again, it wasn't my true calling, so I actually transferred from that role into the marketing role with Accor.
Rob: And so obviously, that started on what's become a very profound career in the marketing sector across a few different industries. I know a few years after that, you became Marketing Manager for Westfield, which is quite a prominent and, you know, diverse corporation. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Kate: Yeah, sure, it was it's a great job and it was a great way to transition into a new sector, into a new industry. So obviously working in retail and property management. So it gave me a really good insight into those worlds. It was a it was a tough gig. You know, that business is, it's pretty hard or it was at that point in time. The model looks pretty different today. This was sort of before the surge of online shopping and the demand from customers around that. So it's pretty much the traditional bricks and mortar setup. Well, what was great about that from a marketing perspective was actually being able to see your customer. So at any point in time, I could be collecting research and intel on customers simply by opening the office door. Walking around the shopping centre, seeing how people navigate the centre, what bags are they carrying, what times of the day, all of those types of things. So it was a it was a really interesting role, a really fun role. We got to do a lot of a lot of great stuff. And it was it just great from a customer perspective of being able to bring those insights back to the organisation to help them make better decisions for customers.
Rob: And so then there's a transition there to Marketing Leader in G.E. Capital. What's sort of fostered that shift from, you know, retail and property management to finance?
Kate: I think I just came to realise that I wasn't really wedded to one particular industry or the other. And the role came up and it was actually managing some of the largest G.E, was at the time, the underwriter or the financier behind some of the biggest retail credit cards. So be thinking about, the Coles Group of credit cards, Myer, Harvey Norman and I was actually brought on to lead those books for G.E, and so it was kind of a nice segway out of Westfield and purist's bricks and mortar retail into a different side of the business and thinking about the role that financial services can play to actually help retail businesses grow. So it was a it was sort of it just felt like a natural transition into a new industry, but also leveraging some of the expertise that I had acquired at Westfield.
Rob: It's probably quite an interesting evolution. And like the retail experience coming into, you know, the finance side. But in such a prominent retail capacity, because this is also what is behind essentially, majority of interest free terms and things that you see broadly advertised in Harvey Norman and that sort of thing, obviously changing a little bit with buy now pay later schemes and some of the newer, disruptive players. But, you know, how much of. What was different about that role where you're sort of your marketing to, well, I'm actually making an assumption there. Are you marketing to the retailer in that aspect or are you marketing to the direct customer or is it a bit of both?
Kate: It's a little bit of both, so, you know, if I was to describe it, I'd say it would B2B2C model. So our first customer was the retailer and we had an obligation to them. There was a partnership in place and there was obviously, obligations and commitments around what our role is in helping them grow their business. Then there was also the expertise that we brought to the table around. How can we help them understand their customers more through data. So that was probably the biggest difference between the roles I'd been doing with Accor and Westfield, where I could, as I said, open the door of the office and see my customer to now understanding the customer through a different lens. And that was an analytical and data driven lens. So we were very much about providing insights, to our partners, really to help them make sure that we were delivering the right solutions to the end customer. So it was a bit of both.
Rob: Is there any unique challenges that really stand out there when you are operating in a as you say, a B2B2C space where it's sort of an indirect connection to the customer as opposed to when you were at Westfield's?
Kate: Yeah, I mean, I think probably the biggest challenge would come from potentially conflicting priorities between the two different organisations. So that's quite an obvious one in terms of how do we make sure that we are delivering what both partnerships need out of the relationship, but also making sure that we are therefore prioritising the best things for the customer as well. So that would probably be, I think, the biggest challenge within that model.
Rob: Certainly some interesting challenges there. And so you took a few different roles with G.E, and then ultimately moved through. Can you, I could probably put words in your mouth that you could summarise it better, how you've got from G.E. to ANZ currently.
Kate: Yeah, look, I'd love to tell you it was a really deliberate. Rob, I'd love to say, you know, every five years I've sat down and I, you know, answered that standard interview question of where you want to be in five years. And there was a deliberate and purposeful plan in place. That's actually not the case. If I really was to reflect on the pathway that's got me to where I am now, I would actually probably put it down to the complete opposite of that plan. I'd put it down to an element of luck to some extent, synchronicity to some extent, and probably more so, being open minded and being open to new opportunities. Sometimes I think if you've got a really rigid plan in place, it means that sometimes you might miss the opportunity that is going to lead to the big thing. But look, I just took a number of different roles. I was always and still am really interested in learning, growth and development, which is probably led me to the role I have today at the bank around capability. And so when I was working at G.E, I was very much a consumer market. An opportunity came up to move into the commercial side of the business and to manage our distribution finance business, which is basically floor plan finance, cash flow management and also our fleet businesses. So that was a really great opportunity for me to again bring some of the expertise that I had gained in the consumer business, bring that into the commercial business, learn new industries and really start to build skills in B2B marketing, which then led me to an opportunity at AIA insurance, life insurance and then an opportunity going back to my roots credit card and personal lending marketing at ANZ. And then about a year and a half ago, the role that I current have, currently have, which is around customer centricity capability building, which was actually a newly created role at the bank. So I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to apply and be successful for that role. And it's been a terrific journey so far and a real privilege to have that responsibility within the bank.
Rob: That's awesome. I want to come back to that role in a second. But I think the way that you have a perspective on your professional development over time is is interesting. And how it's a little bit element of luck, a little bit and not being sort of locked into a specific plan or being open to opportunity. And how important do you think it is for professionals to be open to new things and unexpected opportunities?
Kate: I think now more than ever, extremely important. I think we are facing into a rapid rate of change that we can't even imagine. And I think that the way roles look, you know, if I was to think about marketing and, you know, I'm thinking about this at the moment, what does the future marketing function look like in the next three, five, 10 years. You know, if you were really to lock yourself into a plan around the type of role you might want in five years or exactly the steps that you need to take between now and then. I'm not sure that that's going to be as effective as it potentially was 10, 15 and even 20 years ago. I think that the makeup of organisations, the model, the way we work is fundamentally changing. And there's talk of this concept of, you know, a Hollywood model, which is, you know, if you think about the way films are recruited for and made in Hollywood, they're the best producers and directors come together. They have their A-list. There A-list is usually invited to pitch for the role. You know, there's talk in the future that some corporations to some extent might start to bringing that type of model and actually ask potential candidates to pitch for large scale projects. So I think that an open mind, an open mindedness around, you know, the type of role you might have or the type of role that you could have, you just to be a little bit more flexible than perhaps you did in the past.
Rob: So it's a really interesting perspective on, say, this Hollywood approach where it's very project driven. And do you see that within larger organisations where you can bring teams together to work on, you know, drive specific outcomes?
Kate: Yeah, I think so. I think ANZ's, you know, really pioneering that from a corporate perspective. You might be aware the Australian business within ANZ about two years ago moved to a large scale, agile transformation. And really, that was exactly what you're talking about. The objective was to bring together cross-functional, purposeful teams that are actually working on specific projects. And the intent was really about efficiency and effectiveness, recognising that the traditional waterfall model in large corporations like ANZ means that it can reduce speed to market. So that transformation was really about doing that exact thing.
Rob: And, an interesting remark there is or interesting phrase that you just dropped, there was speed to market. And I think when we consider large corporations, we think around real slow operations and it's very entrenched and, you know, very, just traditional behaviour. Are there some examples that you can share where that hasn't been the case in order to compete with, say, an upstart that can move very quickly?
Kate: Look, I think, as I said, that that transformation that ANZ made a couple of years ago was really the bank trying to do that, recognising it was a pretty big ship that was quite static, quite hard to move and shift and almost too big for its own good, if that makes sense. So it was really about making sure that there was greater transparency and visibility within the organisation to know who to connect with in order to get the job done quicker. So I think a lot of the changes it's made were very deliberate and very effective around reducing some of the challenges that it had faced in two previously around and a bit slow.
Rob: And it's perhaps a little bit of a segway, but was there any, when you first joined ANZ and came, you know, through different sizes of corporations. Was there anything unexpected there in terms of how they do operate or how, you know, business units are broken up or anything like that?
Kate: Because it's probably a little bit more traditional than I had expected. I think coming out of some smaller businesses, they were a little bit more nimble in their approach. I found the bank quite traditional, when I joined. I worked at the bank for about 12 months before we went through the transformation into scout agile. So it was only a short sort of tenure before large scale transformation was being made to enable us to work more effectively. But certainly it was a very traditional model and operating in quite a traditional way.
Rob: And so obviously, that does tie into your current role where you are trying to really revolutionise and change what people are, or what people within ANZ are doing. What are some of the things that, may be entrenched in the company that you're really trying to pick off?
Kate: Well, the role that I have at the moment is really around helping ANZ be more customer centric. So what that means, in essence, is that if we were to think about customer centricity on a maturity curve at the bottom end, where it's totally irrelevant to the top end, where it's fully embedded, how are we helping our board now Executive Committee make decisions that are truly customer centric. And the way that we're doing that to the role that I have is actually by accelerating the capability of the marketing function. So we're basically looking at what are the current and the emerging capabilities that are required to be a modern day commercially minded function. And as a result of that, marketing then can step up and play a much bigger leadership role than it is traditionally played within the bank, which then helps the board and the executive committee make those decisions that are truly customer centric.
Rob: And so with this customer centric role, which you have at the moment. Was that something that was spawned from the royal commission, which we're all familiar happened in Australia recently?
Kate: I don't think directly, but I think it certainly played a role. I think the bank coming out of that period of time recognised that it needed to be much more customer centric, that customers had a certain expectation of what they wanted from the bank. And I think a number of areas within the business were starting to think about how they could help the bank better respond to customer needs. And certainly our CMO took the responsibility to build this role within her function to really help address the requirements and the expectations that customers have around the relationship with the bank.
Rob: I think it's really admirable to see large companies making, you know, really trying to challenge things and do, and foster positive change. But obviously with a company the size of ANZ where you have, you could probably tell me how many thousands of customers. Where do you start with customer centricity when you have such a diverse client base?
Kate: You know, I think for us, it was about first of all recognising where we felt we sat as an organisation on that maturity curve. And then setting an ambition around, you know, where could marketing shift the needle to in one, three, five years. And what are the programs that we need to put in place to actually help us do that. So, you know, there's certainly a roadmap in place. You know, you can't fundamentally transform from one end of a maturity curve to the other. You know, quickly, you have to set, you know, some type of ambition and work through a prioritisation around what are the things that are really going to be, the most meaningful and impactful for customers. And for us that transformation of marketing, to be really analysis and insight rich and very strategic around what it was doing, we felt was a really great place to start in order to make sure that what we were delivering to customers, whether by way of communication, services or experiences, was actually delivering to meet the ever changing needs.
Rob: And is there a challenge as well, such as COVID, which were in the throats of right now where a customer needs change so dramatically and rapidly?
Kate: Look, absolutely. And, I think no one expected the world that we're living in at the moment. I think if I look at what the teams have done and in particular the marketing function, their rapid response to alter the structure, how our products work, change fee structures, reduce rates, really help protect our customers and help them through this period, I think it's really admirable. I think it's been a really great opportunity for the bank to rebuild some of the trust that perhaps we felt was missing coming out of the parliamentary inquiry. And I feel really, really proud of what the bank is doing and in particular, what our marketers are doing to really provide the best support possible for customers.
Rob: That's really cool. I'm curious to know, and I'm not sure whether we can go here or not. But when it comes to regular business and marketing, there's a very you know, there's the finance side and a product side, whatever that product may be, or service. But in banking, finance is the product as well, in a lot of ways. Is there ever a challenge where the finance side doesn't meet the marketing desire or do you just treat it like a product like any other?
Kate: Well, I think the way we build and structure products is obviously to meet a customer need. So, you know, we recognise in particular that, you know, life stage events, for example, play a really critical role in terms of the structure and makeup of the financial suite of products and services that a customer may need. So, you know, for us, the customer is at the heart of actually how we structure our products and services. If I was to think about somebody like Jeff Bezos at Amazon, you know, for him, he finds it really confusing that people feel customer centricity or customer outcomes and needs a different to commercial outcomes. And for him, you know, his mantra and what he talks to is always start with the customer, find out the problem that you're trying to solve and then work out how to monetise it. So I think for us in marketing, that's certainly the approach that we like to take, which is let's start with actually building something that the customer wants and then we can actually work out the monetisation or the commercial side of it. But the two are not incongruent. And I think that's actually probably the biggest shift that we're seeing banks and financial services provided go through is that is that shift away from thinking that the two are actually mutually exclusive.
Rob: That's an interesting perspective and certainly, starting with the customer and being part of that lifecycle, is certainly interesting. And when a slight segway, but when you think around other aspects of competition for your products, such as the upstarts in the buy now pay later sector and things like that. Does that create new challenges for you guys in order to address those? Or is it just a different market segment?
Kate: No, I think. I think it does create challenges for us. I think it means that, you know, the potential traditional model of banking might be changing. There are elements of it that might still remain to be static. But I think when you start to see these new emerging players, you have to recognise that if customers are utilising those, that there is a demand for it, And, you know, I think traditional players need to determine what space they want to play in, whether they want to actually compete or whether they want to actually carve out a different niche for them. And that's, I think, what most established organisations are probably doing, irrespective of what category they're operating in.
Rob: Because we've even seen very recently there was some capital raised for a totally digital mortgage startup. And this is typically a space where, you know, we've become accustomed to small lending, you know, buy now pay later, Zip Pay, that kind of thing. But in a mortgage space, a lot of us still think at least a bank or a smaller entity, which may already be owned by one of the larger banks. Is there, does innovation in that space for very traditional products like mortgages. Does that still start from a marketing and customer centric focus? Or does it come from somewhere else?
Kate: Absolutely it would come from, you know, from marketing or certainly areas within the business that understand customer needs, market segments and where there is opportunity to grow. So it would usually be a cross collaboration, but certainly marketing would be playing a very strong role in terms of, you know, being the voice of the customer and helping to identify where those opportunities exist and what really is the underlying customer need that we're trying to solve for.
Rob: And when we look at, again, like competition in the market space. If we stick with mortgages for argument's sake or even just traditional banking. There are so many sub brands that are owned by one of the big four. Is that, does that provide any challenges for marketing or is it just like putting out different pairs of underwear?
Kate: Probably the latter. You know, I think that, you know, most marketers understand, you know, brand strategy well enough to be able to work, you know, with a house of brands. And really, it's just about, you know, understanding, you know, the brand strategy and which brands are serving for what segments in particular, so that you can actually, you know, if there are differences in the strategy, that you can recognise those and build those into your plans.
Rob: So if we think around working in such a large corporation now, are there aspects of your, you know, very entrepreneurial roots as even a kid selling flowers and making cookies that really still play strongly in what you do now?
Kate: Yeah, I think to some extent, I think, you know, that's probably also why I've gravitated towards, you know, financial services as an industry, but also marketing. I think, you know, marketing is where the innovation is driven from. And so I think certainly the privilege that I find within my role is the opportunity to obviously work with marketers, whether it's in the current role that I have today or in previous roles that I've had to really try to drive innovation through experiences, products, services, etc.
Rob: And so obviously are trying to catalyse some change, which is explicitly what your role is around. Do you ever sort of hit a bit of a wall where, you know, it's not received the way that you really hoped that it would be?
Kate: It's a great question. Look, I think the biggest part of my role is really around the fact that I play in an enablement role. So what I'm trying to do is to build programs, you know, infrastructure, etc., to actually help our divisional teams be more efficient and effective. So, you know, if I was to sort of it's almost a B2E model, if I was to actually sort of classified in that way, I'd say they're the customer. A large part of the role is making sure that, you know, I'm not of in my own little world coming up with these fantastic ideas that I think will resonate. The majority of the raiment is really around collaboration and engagement with the marketing leaders across our Australian, New Zealand and institutional businesses to make sure what we're developing is actually meeting their needs.
Rob: And so is that where the capability program Marketing Masters comes into play? Is that.
Kate: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you know, Marketing Masters was launched back in October of last year. So as I mentioned, I took the role in January of twenty nineteen. So I've been on the road just shy of 18 months. And the brief was really around. How do we help ANZ be more customer centric by accelerating the capability of the marketing team. But more importantly, it wasn't just about ANZ being more customer centric. It was also around making sure that we could provide the right support to help our marketers have a more fulfilling and sustainable long term career at ANZ. So it was really about recognising the desire of the marketing function, you know, to want to have a career with ANZ, but also to have a lot more transparency around what they needed to do to be awesome in their role today. But also, what were the things they needed to do to achieve their career ambitions in the future. So we spent a bunch of time, you know, going out and trying to identify what were the current and emerging capabilities that underpinned modern day commercial marketing teams. And we created a framework and a structure that basically detailed the critical capabilities that we believe existed across insights, strategy, design and execution. But more importantly, from there, what we did to really address that strong feedback from the marketing function around, how do I grow, help me with a pathway so that I know exactly what I need to do and that my efforts can be a little bit more deliberate from a learning and development perspective and translate into tangible value on the job. Was actually to map every single marketing role within the organisation. So. what that enabled us to do is to create a footprint for each role so that our marketers could actually understand across those critical capabilities. What was the expectation of their role? And by doing an assessment to be able to understand where deviations either positive or developmental may exist. And that's enabled them through the program to identify one or two capability areas that they might like to focus on in the future. And it gives them a really, really targeted program around different courses, different ways to build skill or different ways to build experience on the job that they can focus on that are going to help them. As I said, we better in the role they have today or achieve the career growth their wanting to in the future. So it's a great program.
Rob: It certainly sounds like a very powerful tool. How do you balance, say, really up-skilling current team to, you know, reap the benefits of that within the business, but also understanding that it may set them up to exit the business and take on another opportunity?
Kate: Well, I think an obligation. Whilst their employees is to help them have a fulfilling career if it means that in time they decide to exit the business and go elsewhere. We would obviously be hoping that they would look back very fondly at the opportunities that ANZ has been able to provide to them through the program to really help them on that pathway.
Rob: And obviously, you yourself have have moved within ANZ as well. Is that something that is really fostered with sort of an internal first approach or is it just a case by case on a needs driven?
Kate: Yes, I think it's a case by case basis, I mean, if we have the right talent within the organisation, of course, that's where we would look first. Certainly, if it doesn't exist and we feel that there's a requirement to acquire a different skill set, we would do that. But there's a pathway in place. So we're always through the program, at the moment, we're looking at the existing capability framework and saying, you know, even though it's only a year old, do we need to actually amend and adjust that. We're recognising that the rate of change that's going on in terms of customer expectations and market dynamics, competitive landscape, etc., is changing so rapidly that this framework is actually not static. This framework will need to continue to evolve and change. And therefore, the programs that we put in place to ensure that we're ready when those when those changes do happen, that we've actually got the right programs to actually help up-skill re-skill our teams to bring us on that journey, but from time to time that there might be a requirement to, you know, to hire externally, certainly.
Rob: So you mentioned that it's a very fluid program, do you. I'm not sure how familiar you are with other corporate programs of this nature. Do you feel that they can, while have the best intentions, be implemented in too much of a static structure and fail as a result?
Kate: Yeah, I think so. You know, deliberately or not. We took this program to market pretty quickly, so we established it and launched it within nine months, which was pretty rapid for this scale of project. And obviously launching it enterprise wide. And I guess that, the journey that we were on, we deliberately launched it as an NVP. So we said, you know what, we are not going to build this thing, a hundred percent correct. And have it be the best it can be. What we are going to launch is this release, which is important to get people through the next three months, which is a development planning cycle. And then we are continually going to build and iterate and release, release new additions or new evolutions of the program to help it become bigger and better. But also to ensure that it remains relevant. So we're very much gone into this with sort of NVP mindset and that this program will be dynamic and it will continue to, to morph and change as required.
Rob: And I certainly think there's, and what we know from a start up mentality, it's a move fast. And, you know, if you're not embarrassed by your first product, then, you know, you waited too long. And was that really what, was some of those what drove that minimum viable execution as opposed to a more rounded launch?
Kate: Yeah, I think it was a number of factors. I mean, that's certainly. But it was also the time that we had to deliver this. You know, we knew that if we didn't launch this program at a certain point of time, we would miss that whole development planning cycle that ANZ goes through. Which means you would almost have to wait another twelve months before we had the opportunity to launch again. So it made sense for us to actually launch a smaller iteration of the program and then basically set at a 2.0 strategy that said this is how we're going to evolve the program in the year that comes so that when we launch or relaunch again for our next development planning cycle. We've actually been able to make adjustments and iterations, but also we've been able to capture the feedback of the teams around what's working and what's not working so that we can obviously make the right decisions around what that evolution needs to look like.
Rob: And does that invested evolution also sort of increase their engagement in providing feedback for the program because it drives that evolution?
Kate: Yeah, I think so. And as I was mentioning earlier on, you know, that collaboration, you know, with all the senior leaders to make sure that what we're delivering has hit the purpose is critical to this program. So that approach absolutely gives us the opportunity to make sure that we're staying true to that. So we're already making adjustments, so some of what we launched we know wasn't quite fit the purpose. We're already starting to make adjustments based on the feedback that we're receiving from the teams.
Rob: And so it's an important iterative process. Was there anything that stands out as unexpected as a consequence of that?
Kate: And I should note, this is a marketer. But not everybody reads communications. So if you send emails and not everybody will read them. You know, I think what we forgot is that actually what we delivered whilst we tried to make it quite simple is actually quite complex. So that the journey that we went on probably gave us a false sense of the simplicity of the program. I think what was unexpected is that it was quite complex, and some of the steps around what people needed to do was a little bit confusing. So we need to do a better job at that. Basically moving forward, and work at some different, different approaches to either simplify the program and make it a little bit more easier and ensure comprehension is better. But also to potentially change and our common strategy around how we drive that engagement.
Rob: That's yeah, it's interesting and I think the unique perspective here is that your engaging employees as customers of your product and it's sort of, but it's all a layer up. So we're actually coming up on time. But I do have a few simple questions that I'd love to ask if I can? If there was a real key lesson that you could take away from your efforts in change management and trying to foster change in a large organisation, what would that be?
Kate: I think it would be not to try to be the smartest person in the room. I think that when you're trying to catalyse and drive large scale change and transformation. The beauty of it is actually in surrounding yourself with people that are smarter than you, have different perspectives, can challenge because that's really what is going to drive the innovation.
Rob: And how important is it to really, truly listen to that feedback process and not just fall into a confirmation bias?
Kate: Oh, I think it's extremely important. You know, I'm a talker, obviously. You know, listening to that, making sure that you're actually open to it and being conscious of it is something that I think we have to continually remind ourselves of, because you're right, it's very, very easy to fall into a different state of mind. And I think that if you are trying to drive large scale change and transformation, you have to constantly be sense, checking yourself with others and your peers and ensuring that there is, honesty around that to make sure that all perspectives and feedback is heard.
Rob: And talking about honesty and accountability. How important is that sort of transparent and accountability, sorry, transparency and accountability. When you are inviting feedback to know that any feedback is good feedback?
Kate: Look, extremely important. It's really interesting, the work that I've been doing on capability. We've originally built out our framework that's focused on kind of technical capabilities. The more I do this role, the more I realise, the real beauty comes in some of those shared soft or leadership skills, so making sure that if you are in a role like this, it is driving large scale change and transformation, that you're really making sure that you're building your own capability around things like leadership or transparency, accountability, problem solving, that you're able to think critically. I think it's really important.
Rob: And so if you had to pinpoint a best and worst moment when you're trying to foster change management, what would that be?
Kate: A best moment is obviously when all your stakeholders, are as passionate as you are about what you're doing. Engaged, supportive, they're the best moments. The worst moments are when you fall back into the trap that we've just been talking about, where you've got a perceived outcome in mind and you're doing everything you can to move people to that position. It drives the wrong outcome.
Rob: It's yeah, certainly a bit of a challenge there, but I mean, as a marketer and someone who's aware of trying to foster change. Is there a way that you can adapt to that scenario to maybe flip it into a positive?
Kate: Yes and no, I think you need to have a point of view and a perspective. But if you are trying to embed change and you are welcoming or asking for perspectives, you need to be ready to listen to them. So I think, you know, as a thought leader. You need to have a point of view, you need to have a perspective and you need to back that up, but not at all costs. If there is a different perspective that perhaps you hadn't thought of, that could actually make the desired outcome better. You need to be able to do that as well. So it's a mix.
Rob: So there's a balance there between having a strong opinion and maybe knowing when you're wrong.
Kate: Don't tell my husband that, yes.
Rob: Secret's safe. This isn't going anywhere. So, Kate Young, we're almost out of time. Is there anything that you'd loved for our listeners to understand about the work that you're doing or anything with that regard?
Kate: Look, I think the biggest thing that I'd like to leave with is just how critical it is at this point in time for people to be continuing to invest in their own personal growth and development. I think we can all get really, really busy with the stuff that we're doing, the work that we're doing. But I think when we are facing into such large scale change from an external perspective, now is the time to really be investing in yourself, leveraging the resources that your organisation has to really make sure that you're at the forefront of what the new marketing might look like in the future.
Rob: It's certainly a bit of an up ended thing that we've all found ourselves in since mid-March. And while we're seeing some return to normality, it's certainly going to take a little bit of time. Kate Young, I've really enjoyed this discussion. And thank you so much for your time. For anyone that wants to connect with you, is there somewhere that they can find a little bit more about you?
Kate: Yeah, absolutely. If you just search for me Kate Young at ANZ Bank on LinkedIn, you'll find me and my contact details.
Rob: Amazing. Thank you so much for the discussion. And I look forward talking again soon.
Kate: Thanks for having me, Rob.
Rob: Thank you Kate. There you have it. I hope you really enjoyed this episode. And if you did please like it, share it or leave us a review on your favourite platform. It helps us show more of this content to people just like you.