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Mr. Maslow pt 2

When the weather started getting cold in December, I lamented it becoming harder to write and do higher-order things on Maslow's Hierarchy ("When Maslow Attacks") due to my drafty apartment. When the basic needs I had weren't as easily fulfilled, see "warmth", it became harder to focus on other things.

Yesterday I was meeting with my mentor and catching up on a variety of topics. As he covered his views on the future of banking related to overall trends in business he stated, "as technology fulfills our needs on the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy, the roles performed by front-line employees will move further up the pyramid."

I will attempt to summarize his point through the chart. In the earlier days of banking and financial services, the act of handling a person's money fell into the "basic needs" category under security and safety. But as technology automates these processes and we deal increasingly in electronic currency, we need front-office employees to move more into the "psychological and self-fulfillment needs" categories. By allowing technology and back-office staff to oversee the bottom 40% of the pyramid, front-line staff can better be trained for and deliver on the top 60% when it comes to building trust through relationships and helping customers accomplish their goals. We will move away from transactions and move towards listening and advising.

As I continue to look around inside my company to play a valuable role, I will work to ask, "which tier of Maslow's hierarchy is this fulfilling and might technology improve upon this?"


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