Process 2006 Day 1 – Peter Blatter, Citibank Germany

Peter Blatter took us through what they’ve been doing with BPM at Citibank. He refers to the process improvement and application of BPM as “industrialization” because they’ve borrowed ideas from (assembly line) manufacturing, which didn’t exactly give me a warm fuzzy feeling but it turned out to be some fairly standard techniques of analysis and design, optimizing performance, eliminating paper, increasing profitability and increasing transparency. A bit heavy, especially the process of making process changes, and not at all aligned with the sort of Web 2.0 BPM techniques that I’ll be talking about tomorrow, but fairly typical for a large financial institution.

Surprisingly, he then went on to talk about the emotional aspect of decision-making as it relates to customer centricity: how some decisions are almost purely emotional (like buying a convertible or having plastic surgery) and the financial practicalities of those decisions become less important. Not the argument that I expected from a reason-driven German banking COO, but he posits that being a customer-centric organization is understanding the balance between reason and emotion. Although emotion forms the bigger portion of most purchase decisions, most companies downplay that side and appeal to reason rather than emotion in their product marketing.

A great speaker with lots of amusing anecdotes and analogies.

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