Bringing Design Closer with Gerry Scullion

Opher Yom-Tov 'Designing Futures: The Journey of the World's First Chief Design Officer at ANZ Bank'

John Carter
September 18, 2023
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Opher Yom-Tov 'Designing Futures: The Journey of the World's First Chief Design Officer at ANZ Bank'

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Today on the show we have up until recently, the world's first chief design officer within a bank setting. Opher Yom Tov. And as mentioned over recently, exited ANZbank in Australia. Where after seven years, he was a crucial piece of their journey towards becoming more design centric. At the time of editing, there are over 200 designers within the organization. Pretty remarkable for any design led business out there. But even more. So when you think about the heavy regulation that persists within the areas of banking, This episode is quite simply a most listened for anyone within the banking space globally, who was banging their head against a wall dreaming of helping move the dial forward within the organization. Now we hear over's perspective on advice to designers who are in this situation right now. So even if you aren't part of a banking industry, This is a great opportunity to hear from behind the executive curtain, so to speak.

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Episode Transcript

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[00:00:00] Gerry Scullion: [00:01:00] [00:02:00] [00:03:00]

[00:03:10] Gerry Scullion: Opher, I'm delighted to have you on the show today. A very warm welcome to This is HCD. But for our listeners, maybe start off and tell us a little bit about yourself, where you're from, and what you do.

[00:03:25] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah. Thank you, Gerry. Very nice to chat with you. And I have to say, it's been an absolute pleasure to listen to your podcasts. And, uh, I should thank you for what you've been doing, just giving designers an opportunity to hear from. Different people around the world. So just keep doing what you're doing a little bit about me.

[00:03:46] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, I have just left, uh, ANZ Australian New Zealand bank as their first chief design officer. I was there for almost seven years

[00:03:59] Gerry Scullion: Wow.

[00:03:59] Opher Yom-Tov: [00:04:00] and I'm in the process of setting up a consulting company that we might talk about a little bit later on. Um, but prior to that, um, I spent about 10 years with. IDEO in Silicon Valley, uh, Palo Alto, and also in Shanghai.

[00:04:18] Gerry Scullion: Right.

[00:04:19] Opher Yom-Tov: My background is actually in mechanical engineering and in business.

[00:04:25] Gerry Scullion: Wow. What a

[00:04:26] Opher Yom-Tov: And, uh, and so that's, uh, my journey to design is an interesting topic for us to potentially cover, but, um, that's probably a little bit about me. I'm based in Sydney, Australia,

[00:04:39] Gerry Scullion: yeah,

[00:04:40] Opher Yom-Tov: but my accent is a South African accent.

[00:04:44] Gerry Scullion: right. I was gonna

[00:04:45] Opher Yom-Tov: And my name is Israeli.

[00:04:48] Opher Yom-Tov: It's a Hebrew name. So there's a bit of a mixed bag there like a lot of us Aussies here.

[00:04:54] Gerry Scullion: It's, it seems to be a common trend with the guests that I have on the show that they've lived [00:05:00] or they've got lots of different, uh, cultural influences throughout their life. Um, What does that perspective give you as a design leader? The fact that you can draw on the fact that there's South African, there's Israeli, Australian, American.

[00:05:17] Gerry Scullion: What's, what's that giving you as a person and as a practitioner?

[00:05:23] Opher Yom-Tov: I think as designers, um, the more perspectives we can bring to bear on a problem, the more effectively we can solve a solution. Um, it's a little bit like when you learn multiple languages. Uh, the moment you learn your second language, you're able to look more critically at your first language.

[00:05:50] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[00:05:51] Opher Yom-Tov: if you've grown up in a single culture, or you've been immersed in a single company culture, um, that is [00:06:00] the boundary of your experience.

[00:06:02] Opher Yom-Tov: And so you don't, you just assume that everything you've experienced is actually, uh, normal, or the truth, or the right way to do things. Until you have a second experience, and then you can compare and contrast to the first. So I would say that living in multiple environments, or frankly, working for multiple organizations, actually gives you an op not only does it give you multiple perspectives, but it also helps you to look critically At each of your experiences, and so then I think it helps you form your own point of view because you realize that there's more than there's always more than one way to do something or more than one perspective or more than one thing that is considered right.

[00:06:53] Opher Yom-Tov: Which is interesting. And so at that point you realize you need to bring discretion to the table. I [00:07:00] think from a designer's perspective, especially when we're designing for people, I think it helps you become a little bit more attuned to culture and the fact that people are different and there are many, many aspects that influence.

[00:07:17] Opher Yom-Tov: The way that they look at the world, the way that they think about things, the way they perceive things, and it forces you not to be so, I guess, arrogant to assume that the way that the things that you think are right or the things that you think are the most effective way to do things are actually the right way to do

[00:07:38] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Well, now that you've exited ANZ, um, you were there for seven years. You mentioned that you're a big block in the US as well. What do you feel the legacy is when you've left ANZ after seven years? What's the legacy that you believe you've left behind, and what's the hope for the future, [00:08:00] based on the work and the seedlings that you placed within the culture?

[00:08:05] Opher Yom-Tov: Legacy is a very loaded words.

[00:08:08] Gerry Scullion: I know.

[00:08:09] Opher Yom-Tov: to think we all like to think that we leave sort of an indelible mark or, you know, footprints that are going to be, um, Uh, frozen into the landscape and that's the hope, who knows, you know, in the scheme of things, it's very likely, you know, that all of us who think there might be a legacy might be, uh, disappointed, but, um,

[00:08:35] Gerry Scullion: But on that point, can I just jump in at that point, because before you joined ANZ, like I was a, uh, a customer of ANZ from 2003 and there was always a kind of a poor cousin, um, a mindset whenever I'd compare against some of the other banks in Australia. There was CBA, who always seemed to be doing something that was always kind of [00:09:00] pushing the boundaries a little bit, and ANZ.

[00:09:02] Gerry Scullion: It was kind of like the Liverpool of the Premier League, where they're, they're kind of, they'd done some good stuff, but they were yet to kind of find their coach, and find their, their kind of mojo. And when I was leaving Australia, there was kind of whispers that something was going to happen. And I'd done work with all the banks, except ANZ.

[00:09:20] Gerry Scullion: I don't know what the connection is there. But, um, You were hired in 2017 and things started to change where design entered the conversation and from working alongside people in a n z for a couple of years now, I know that the culture changed and we can't pinpoint it. It wouldn't be fair to all the wonderful people in, in the bank to say it was the arrival of, of air that that managed to do that.

[00:09:46] Gerry Scullion: But when I speak about your legacy in terms of the last seven years, Definitely, it seems that the trajectory of the organization has gone somewhat towards design led. So, I'm keen to understand a little bit more around [00:10:00] your influence, I guess. It's probably a nicer way of saying that, around building that capacity, uh, within an organization, which, I don't know how many people, is there 10, 000 people in ANZ?

[00:10:09] Gerry Scullion: 40, 000 people! The town I, the town I grew up in as a boy had 40, 000 people in it. So, let's, let's talk about that. You entered the doors. It was 2017. It was, wasn't it,

[00:10:26] Opher Yom-Tov: 2000 late 2016.

[00:10:29] Gerry Scullion: like 2016. Okay. So you, you entered the door. Paint a picture for us what it was like in terms of what was the legacy before that?

[00:10:37] Opher Yom-Tov: yeah. No, look, I, I think that, uh, uh, you're absolutely right. There was a, well, there has been quite a dramatic Change in culture and focus and mindset at ANZ. And, um, as I'm sure that we'll touch on this theme many times in this conversation, a lot of. That change [00:11:00] is due to leadership, right?

[00:11:03] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, and so, uh, the reason I joined ANZ was because I saw, I'd had an opportunity to do a little bit of consulting, like a try before you buy, um, dip my toe in the water at ANZ, I had an opportunity to observe. Some very refreshing, um, leadership, both in terms of the relatively new CEO at the time, Shane Elliott, and in Miley Carnegie, who hired me, Miley was brought into ANZ to help lead the digital transformation.

[00:11:41] Opher Yom-Tov: Previously, she had run Google in Australia. And before that she ran Asia Pacific for Procter and Gamble.

[00:11:49] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:11:51] Opher Yom-Tov: And so, um, with the change in, in company leadership came a very different outlook and a very different culture. And that's [00:12:00] the, that's the aspirational culture that I was joining. So immediately I'd say, um, from the very top, there was an opportunity to create a different culture and a culture that was much more supportive of design.

[00:12:15] Opher Yom-Tov: But when I joined, when I joined ANZ, there was a, a small. And I would say relatively strong and passionate design community,

[00:12:26] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:12:26] Opher Yom-Tov: uh, at the company, but, um, I'd say in most cases relegated to, um, uh, late stage design execution. So I would say not very much part of the conversation of deciding. What should be done?

[00:12:44] Opher Yom-Tov: Where should we take the products, the experiences, the direction of the company? It was, uh, leadership having an idea, whether it was right or wrong, the idea was developed by leadership and [00:13:00] then at some point designers were brought in to execute, not to define the direction. Um, and so fast forward seven years.

[00:13:10] Opher Yom-Tov: And again, uh, this is a, when we talk legacy, I think it's especially in a big company and especially when we talk design, which is such a team sport. Um, and I'm not trying to project, you know, incredible humility. I'm actually just more trying to kind of describe the reality is that, um, we're talking about the legacy of a whole community of people who were all focused on dramatically changing the company in order to remain competitive.

[00:13:40] Opher Yom-Tov: Right. Where we, where, where I, when I left, we had, um, substantially more designers who were all attracted to the same vision who were now, um, brought in much earlier in the conversation. And in many cases brought in by [00:14:00] leaders at the point where leaders were genuinely asking, where should we go next? What should we do?

[00:14:07] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, what are our customers telling us? What are they? Um, how do we compete? Uh, how do we give customers? How do we change customers lives for the better? Those kind of open ended questions, or even further upstream, where should we focus, what should we do, which options should we select, etc. And so, for me, that's exciting.

[00:14:31] Opher Yom-Tov: I think that's a big part of the, if you call it a legacy of design, the fact that more and more people at ANZ, across the bank, Began to see design as an additional approach, uh, uh, to kind of dealing into the future,

[00:14:51] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:14:52] Opher Yom-Tov: in addition to executing very elegantly. So for me, that's great. Um, and the fact that we've got many, many more people that [00:15:00] I, and said, talking about.

[00:15:02] Opher Yom-Tov: Uh, design having, uh, the language of design baked into the vernacular of the company. Things like let's prototype, let's experiment, what are the insights, um, uh, and having more obsession about customer experience. So there's definitely, I mean, there's, there's definitely that. Uh, and you can feel it across the company that certainly wasn't there as strongly seven years ago.

[00:15:30] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, and I think that they're just getting started to be honest.

[00:15:34] Gerry Scullion: yeah. It's at the team at the moment, as I understand, it's about two hundred and fifty, two hundred

[00:15:39] Opher Yom-Tov: There's two, 200 designers across the business.

[00:15:42] Gerry Scullion: 200 designers across the business. Just going back to that, that question about what it looked like in the early days. You're right. There were some really standout user experience designers that I know of that were in

[00:15:52] Opher Yom-Tov: hundred percent.

[00:15:54] Gerry Scullion: before Miley and before yourself.

[00:15:56] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[00:15:56] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah. And some of them are still there.

[00:15:58] Gerry Scullion: yeah, yeah, absolutely. And [00:16:00] there's some people who've gone on to do amazing things internationally as well. Um, but

[00:16:05] Gerry Scullion: I want to talk to you just on Being treated like a decoration and like an afterthought,

[00:16:12] Gerry Scullion: they might be stuck within the middle management sphere. What advice do you give to them? We're trying to push the design agenda.

[00:16:20] Opher Yom-Tov: Number one is, um, leave that organization? If you do not have support from leaders and leaders don't get it, uh, I would say, unless there is a massive price.

[00:16:36] Opher Yom-Tov: At the end, meaning if you, that it's an organization with a very strong mission in society

[00:16:43] Opher Yom-Tov: Otherwise I'd say it is unbelievably difficult.

[00:16:47] Opher Yom-Tov: And trust me. I've tried over many years in many organizations, including at IDO. We had, we worked with many clients where our clients brought us in to help try to influence their [00:17:00] leaders. It is unbelievably difficult. To change, uh, an executive's world view or a view of how they should think about solving business problems, because by the time an executive has reached a senior level, they are pretty confident in their skills and by and large, you know, for the right reason, right?

[00:17:26] Opher Yom-Tov: It's worked for them. And so when you come in and say, Hey, there is a different way or. You know, if you can be so bold as to say a better way, most people, right. You and I also will kind of look at that a bit suspiciously, right? We know what we know. And we start to get a little bit closed mindset at some point.

[00:17:45] Opher Yom-Tov: So I would say my first response to that is it is incredibly hard to change anybody's opinion

[00:17:52] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, yeah,

[00:17:52] Opher Yom-Tov: by an approach, especially with something where we as designers really struggle to articulate what, you know, what is [00:18:00] this fuzzy design I'd say in most cases. Go and find yourself a place where, you know, there is already a leader who is either, you know, design savvy or design curious, right now.

[00:18:15] Opher Yom-Tov: So that's one option is run away. And for me, the reason I joined ANZ was because there was a Miley and there was a Shane and there was already a culture that was supportive, right? So in some respects, I. Yeah, I took the easy path. If you like, right, I did my due diligence and I found an organization that was ripe for embedding so that I could get on with the embedding and not not have to spend all my time trying to change the mindset of the leader at the top.

[00:18:44] Opher Yom-Tov: So that's option number one. If you've decided you are going to stick around and make that change and you are struggling, right, then you need a multi pronged approach. I've seen a lot of designers and [00:19:00] Including me at points go, you know what, if I can just do some big showcase projects, right? If I can just show people the value, then they will come. And, uh, that is fraught. Firstly, because, uh, you, uh, there's a little bit of a chicken or the egg. You need enough support and enough attention and resource in order to do the right showcase project in order to prove and you're not going to get that support unless there's already the value there so that, but if for whatever reason you're able to somehow rally the troops, you know, work under the radar and make some magic, um, I have been more disappointed than I have been elated by the fact that most people still don't get it.

[00:19:51] Opher Yom-Tov: Right. They still don't get it. And the reason for that is design still, unfortunately, or fortunately, is such a team sport [00:20:00] that you can't necessarily claim that it was design that delivered the results, right? Because there were, it was a team, a community of people who had to come together across all disciplines and functions to actually deliver

[00:20:15] Gerry Scullion: well, it wasn't, it wasn't designed the brook, you know, oh, for you, I'm tough and it was the business. Um, so when you look at it from that perspective as well, it's, it's definitely, you know, it's a team sport, as you like to say on that point, though, you, you started, as you said, late 2016, uh, you had maybe the seedlings of.

[00:20:36] Gerry Scullion: You know, kernels we say of, of design sitting there within the organization. But I want to talk to you about your key hires. So on reflection, um, you know, who was it you hired in terms of the skill sets? Um, and also with the benefit of reflection now, what would you have done differently?

[00:20:56] Opher Yom-Tov: So I had the good fortune to hire a few [00:21:00] people internally from

[00:21:03] Gerry Scullion: Okay. Right.

[00:21:04] Opher Yom-Tov: uh, who were and continue to be fabulous. One of those people you interviewed on the show, I don't know, it was last year or earlier this year, uh, Michelle, Michie Walters, Michie Walter. Um, Michele Walter, uh, helped us establish an incredibly strong and very inspirational Design operations function. And, uh, uh, your prior interview with her was fantastic. And I would highly recommend, I know you will, but I'd highly recommend that people go and listen to that podcast because

[00:21:48] Gerry Scullion: Put a link to that one

[00:21:49] Opher Yom-Tov: get it

[00:21:49] Gerry Scullion: show notes.

[00:21:51] Opher Yom-Tov: what's that?

[00:21:52] Gerry Scullion: I'll put a link to that one in the show notes.

[00:21:53] Opher Yom-Tov: Yes. Yes. Well, she, um, uh, she also gives a deep insight into the [00:22:00] organization. And, um, uh, and so, uh, she brought an incredible amount of.

[00:22:08] Opher Yom-Tov: Passion for culture and for, uh, learning and development and for, um, recruiting the right designers and for, um, equipping them with the right tools and support and environment and experiences and inspiration. So I have to say in terms of, uh, an incredibly. Important and impactful hire. I'd say bringing in somebody who can help you operationalize at scale. And doing that from day one is a big deal. And, um, I was not very, to be honest, I wasn't very familiar with design operations. It's a relatively new

[00:22:49] Gerry Scullion: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:22:51] Opher Yom-Tov: and one that, you know, you only really need to start in most cases, you think you only need to start talking about when you are at scale. Uh, but I [00:23:00] would say, uh, regardless of the size of design team that you're building, I would.

[00:23:05] Opher Yom-Tov: Invest in design operations, even if at a small scale, you can't justify hiring another individual to focus on a full time. I would certainly make it a hat,

[00:23:15] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:23:16] Opher Yom-Tov: a part time role of one of your designers or frankly, somebody who is supportive of design to help you create a wonderful environment for your designers.

[00:23:26] Opher Yom-Tov: So that was one.

[00:23:31] Gerry Scullion: you hired internally for that role, um, there's usually a historical hierarchical process to, um, progress in the organization. Now. Within the design world, those titles don't always align with that hierarchy. So you could be a senior designer, a mid designer, a lead designer, a head of design.

[00:23:56] Gerry Scullion: Did you face that problem in terms of designers hitting a [00:24:00] glass ceiling? And if so, how did you combat it? Because it's an interesting, I know it's a challenge for several banks that I'm coaching with at the moment.

[00:24:08] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, yeah, well, there are a number. It's a mess. Let me say, it is a mess, right? Designers,

[00:24:16] Gerry Scullion: A cluster is what we like to say.

[00:24:17] Opher Yom-Tov: designers, we don't, we don't help ourselves. Right. You know, we don't know, we don't have a consistent way of talking about design

[00:24:25] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:24:26] Opher Yom-Tov: and we certainly do not have industry recognized standards, uh, role titles. You know, um, I've met people who've got senior designer, right on their, uh, resume and they, they've been out of school for two years.

[00:24:46] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:24:46] Opher Yom-Tov: Right. Uh, and in the organization that they came from, that was the, the, the label they gave people. And in some cases it's because the people who are running design or the people who ran the [00:25:00] organization didn't actually understand the duration or the levels of maturity or mastery required to actually be an experienced designer.

[00:25:12] Opher Yom-Tov: So we certainly, and we had that mess inside, I think, because we had designers spread all across the organization, uh, led by people who didn't understand design. They were quite, um, lax about the titles that they gave designers. So we, we had a number one, number two, we had junior designers who were promoted.

[00:25:36] Opher Yom-Tov: I think. In some cases prematurely. And so, you know, like a lot of large organizations or governments, we have, you know, very specific job, branding, uh, grading or banding. And so, uh, coming into an organization with an existing set of designers with, you know, this kaleidoscope of job titles and grades, [00:26:00] uh, it made it incredibly difficult to determine.

[00:26:03] Opher Yom-Tov: Who was actually good at their job and who was, who was genuinely at a certain level of seniority and mastery. And I have to say it took us a long time to get that all sorted out.

[00:26:17] Gerry Scullion: on that point though, Ofer, like Australia, as you know, as regards attraction of talent is incredibly competitive, okay? So people move around regularly, like they follow the money in many instances, but what happens in terms of when you look at that ladder structure that's within a lot of the banking institutions where you're asked.

[00:26:40] Gerry Scullion: You know, level three and that equates to 65, 000 a year, whereas in the industry, you can go out and work for a startup for 85, 000. Did you face that kind of problem to attract talent where you could say, listen, you might've been a senior designer in that previous job. We're going to give you a mid level and you're going to get paid less.[00:27:00]

[00:27:00] Gerry Scullion: Did you have those kinds of scenarios arrive? And if so, how did you get around them and attract the talent?

[00:27:05] Opher Yom-Tov: Mm. Look, um, when in most cases, you would assume that when you're faced with an opportunity to work for a startup. Or a Google, right. Versus working for a almost 200 year old legacy bank that if you're a cool hip designer, you're probably going to go down the startup, you know, tech routes. Um, we had a number of things going for us.

[00:27:33] Opher Yom-Tov: This is where firstly, having a chief design officer in an organization back in 2017 really helped, yeah, because it sent a signal. To the design community that said, Hey, we at ANZ really care about design and we value it strategically.

[00:27:59] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:27:59] Opher Yom-Tov: [00:28:00] so that, that helped tremendously because a lot of designers have gone through the frustration of working in organizations that Don't get them and don't get design or have a very specific, as you called it, a glass ceiling. And so here's an organization, very non traditional organization for designers where clearly that ceiling was shattered. So that helped tremendously. The other thing that, you know, it doesn't hurt is the fact that banking tends to pay. Better than a lot of other industries. That's good and bad, right? On the one hand, it's great for designers to be remunerated very well.

[00:28:40] Opher Yom-Tov: I think that's fabulous. And so they should be the flip side though, is, uh, it puts even more, uh, importance on making sure you recruit the right people, because otherwise you get a situation where you've got people who are potentially paid more than they would in other above average than in other industries.[00:29:00]

[00:29:00] Opher Yom-Tov: And so they don't move around as seamlessly as they should, right? You really want people to be in a, in a work environment because they choose to be there, not because there are some structural elements like higher pay that are keeping their than their. So, but bottom line is there were a number of things that helped us, but I have to say, this is where your interview with Michelle Walter really tells a wonderful story because we realized very early on. The main thing that we need to do to attract designers other than, Hey, there's this chief design officer. So we love design and we pay pretty well is actually, we want to be an environment where you get to work with other great designers, we will. Double down on your growth and development, and we will take it super seriously, and I'm very proud of what we did in that space.

[00:29:52] Opher Yom-Tov: I still think it's quite world class and continues to be, um, and, um, [00:30:00] we, uh, we will work very hard to make sure that you are working on fabulous kind of challenges, and that I think is the right that that's where you should start when it comes to attracting designers.

[00:30:14] Gerry Scullion: Now tell me if I'm wrong. Okay. Now you could say, no, that's not true, Jerry. Um, when I look at the trajectory of things that, uh, ANZ have done, there seems to be a lot of hiring in around the user experience space. Um, was there a conscious decision not to hire service designers in that role? Because I've struggled to find.

[00:30:36] Gerry Scullion: Any kind of service design legacy, again, within the, the organization over the last maybe five or six years. Are you okay to talk about that? What

[00:30:46] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I would, I would maybe frame the question a little differently. Um, uh, and say, has there been an investment in service design at ANZ? Right. [00:31:00] And the answer to that is absolutely without a shadow of a doubt, right? In fact, now that probably is the other, if you want to call it legacy, I think, um, there is in the last seven years, we've embedded a very strong, uh, combination of service and strategic design into the organization.

[00:31:20] Opher Yom-Tov: There is a function, uh, that is now, uh, one of our kind of fastest growing functions in service and strategic design. That, uh, is brought in incredibly early at the call it the fuzzy front end of strategy and projects, uh, where service designers and strategic designers play a very key role, but that's certainly that language wasn't really there seven years ago.

[00:31:50] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, and I'd say, yes, UX is still, uh, the primary UX and, uh, visual design and UI are still. [00:32:00] The biggest disciplines and for good reason, right? Banks are technology and digital companies.

[00:32:08] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:32:09] Opher Yom-Tov: And, uh, increasingly, the way that you interact with the bank as a service is through screens. And to some extent through human beings.

[00:32:22] Opher Yom-Tov: And so there is so much work that needs to be done at the coalface of designing the interaction between customers and technology and screens. But also, the other thing that I'm really, really excited about, the other kind of change is that there is an increasing focus on applying design for employee experiences.

[00:32:47] Opher Yom-Tov: Right. So if you think about managing 40, 000 people and the fact that all of those people are spending their days in front of digital screens, either collaborating with each other or working with knowledge management [00:33:00] systems or HR systems or procurement systems, all of those things really should be designed as well.

[00:33:06] Opher Yom-Tov: And they're usually forgotten because we spend all of our time thinking about the shiny, you know, mobile banking app rather than the HR. You know, uh, internal web based experience. Um, we've got UX designers and to some extent service designers working on employee experiences, but that's a really long winded way of saying, yes, yes.

[00:33:29] Opher Yom-Tov: Double down on service and strategic design.

[00:33:32] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:33:33] Opher Yom-Tov: Uh, but also I think on both employee and as well as customer experiences.

[00:33:39] Gerry Scullion: So in that, in that seven years, in the absence of e i, I'm not naive enough to think that if you didn't have a service designer there, service design wasn't happening. Okay. So just to caveat that, who was kind of fulfilling that role within the organization? Was that a product management function or how, how [00:34:00] was design informing the strategy?

[00:34:03] Gerry Scullion: Like the coordination and the orchestration of all of these elements together?

[00:34:08] Opher Yom-Tov: well, uh, uh, it's the same as any design discipline, right? Uh, design things happen, right? People build buildings, even if they don't have an architect, right? People. Build banking or government or hospitality or travel services, even if there's no service designer there, um, you have to break down what, what a service designer does, but if you, if you take a very mechanical functional view and say that they basically help to choreograph an end to end experience and journeys.

[00:34:44] Opher Yom-Tov: Right. And I know that's a very simplistic view, but just

[00:34:46] Gerry Scullion: You are a mechanical engineer.

[00:34:48] Opher Yom-Tov: Yep. Um, then, uh, the people who are fulfilling that function would have been and continue to be business analysts, uh, process [00:35:00] engineers, um, system architects. And the, and the business leaders who sat across those groups as well, who were basically going, look, we have a bit of value we need to deliver.

[00:35:13] Opher Yom-Tov: We know we need a call center. We know we need a branch. We know we need a mortgage processing capability. Uh, and so those things would. Emerge, but as you, as we've seen in any service, any frustrating service experience that we've, that we've all had, right, if you do not consciously design an end to end experience, then you get a very haphazard experience where people really great, conscious, smart people have focused on their bits of the journey or the process.

[00:35:51] Opher Yom-Tov: And in most cases done it very well, but because there hasn't been an architect or a curator to [00:36:00] connect all the bits and pieces together, you get this really painful transition from one step to the next. And so that's generally what's happened. And in most cases, it's because ironically, service organizations didn't look at themselves as designing an experience.

[00:36:19] Opher Yom-Tov: Right. And so design was never part of the conversation,

[00:36:23] Gerry Scullion: Hey, sorry for interrupting the episode, but I wanted to tell you about today's sponsor, Miro. Many people connect it to just being another business collaboration tool, but for me it's so much more. I use it to manage my own Ikigai, to help me keep track of my own life and career. This one here that you can see won't get shared to anyone else, so it's a private board.

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[00:37:17] Opher Yom-Tov: even though it's now, what, 80, 90% of the global economy. It's, uh, it's only now emerging, which is very surprising. Services.

[00:37:26] Gerry Scullion: Well, services are underpinning so much, but let's talk about your remit. Is that kind of orchestration role, was that in your remit and actually, um, providing the stimulus for the conversations? Um, and, you know, looking at the overarching research and the legacy of research and the future research and really helping guide the ship with the likes of Marnie, um, Miley and, and Shane.

[00:37:51] Opher Yom-Tov: The remit, interestingly, so I was, I was the first, uh, chief design officer of any bank globally.

[00:37:59] Gerry Scullion: Globally. That's [00:38:00] right.

[00:38:00] Opher Yom-Tov: Um,

[00:38:01] Gerry Scullion: Just letting you know that, that is right.

[00:38:04] Opher Yom-Tov: what's that?

[00:38:05] Gerry Scullion: So just to let you know that is right, I checked.

[00:38:07] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, that's, oh, well thank you for the, uh, thank you for the, uh, the fact checking. Um,

[00:38:13] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:38:14] Opher Yom-Tov: so it didn't really come with a handbook, right? Or a playbook. And so really the remit, um, also evolved, I have to say, really.

[00:38:25] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, got a hand it to. Creating the role and having the vision. She was very, and continues to be very keen to build a number of capabilities across the bank, including marketing and data and, you know, hardcore, um, uh, progressive, uh, engineering and design.

[00:38:49] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:38:50] Opher Yom-Tov: so at the time, the area that seemed like the biggest opportunity for design was really embedding human centered design.

[00:38:59] Gerry Scullion: [00:39:00] Yeah.

[00:39:00] Opher Yom-Tov: As a capability across the whole organization. So the, at the beginning, it was very much embed human centered design across the whole organization and help us grow a world class community of designers, right? There was less. What's

[00:39:18] Gerry Scullion: Can I, can I pause you on that point, just like about embedding human centered design across the organization. Put, let's put an underline on that one. If you want, you can continue, but I'd love to know what you mean. And how did you go about doing that? Cause it's such a hard thing to really embed in terms of

[00:39:39] Opher Yom-Tov: Look, that's a massive deep dive and let's, let's focus on that, but just to finish on the remits conversation, um, the remit evolved to become, uh, sorry, even in Miley's original definition of the role, the, [00:40:00] the objective was to improve the customer experiences. Right. And so even though there wasn't sort of deep clarity about, you know, help us curate and choreograph end to end experiences.

[00:40:17] Opher Yom-Tov: But if you work backwards from the objective, which is help us build what we need to do to improve and to create world class customer experiences, then there are a range of other parts of the remit that sort of matured and evolved over time that were necessary in order to get to better customer experiences.

[00:40:37] Opher Yom-Tov: And one of those is, you know, just help us connect the dots between. All the different experiences. So that's, that's that, but human centered design, that's a massive topic and certainly happy to dive into how to build capability.

[00:40:51] Gerry Scullion: well, it's, it's really refreshing that you can see that it's a multifaceted approach, how it wasn't seen as a lads, everyone, let's just [00:41:00] connect these dots. That's all you need to do. It's not hard. A lot of organizations sent, they come back to me with this, this feedback from leadership that they don't really understand that it's a multifaceted approach, especially when it comes to human centered design.

[00:41:15] Gerry Scullion: But what were the kind of things that you were doing to really. I guess, popularize and help include human centered design into the organizational lexicon. Like, how, how were you doing that? What were the activities that you did? I'd love to know a little bit more around the strategy around that. Yeah.

[00:41:34] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, well, so I mentioned before showcase projects

[00:41:40] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[00:41:40] Opher Yom-Tov: as a way to convince and interestingly, when I spoke about showcase projects before, I was sort of talking about them in the negative. I was saying, you know, if you need to rely on a showcase project, To change the mindset of your leaders, then that's a tough call.

[00:41:58] Opher Yom-Tov: However, if your [00:42:00] leader or your specific sponsor is, has the influence and has a really great understanding of design and they are willing to fund and sponsor great showcase projects with some really, you know, massive horsepower behind them, then showcase projects are a wonderful thing. And so, um, Miley actually commissioned two projects at the very beginning of my, in fact, even before I was, I was still in a consulting role to showcase projects.

[00:42:33] Opher Yom-Tov: Number one was, um, help us envision the, um. An aspirational business owner experience

[00:42:44] Gerry Scullion: Mm

[00:42:45] Opher Yom-Tov: to create a kind of a future direction for our business banking. And the second was, uh, how might we create a magnificent home owner experience? Not a mortgage, you [00:43:00] know, borrowing experience, but a home owner experience.

[00:43:04] Opher Yom-Tov: And so two very open ended and aspirational briefs,

[00:43:09] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:43:09] Opher Yom-Tov: and we basically used it and they were very well funded with commitment to execute whatever came out of them and a good check that, uh, Miley cuts at the backend. Uh, and so, uh, that gave us an opportunity. To really showcase what great looks like, and I mean, really great.

[00:43:35] Opher Yom-Tov: We had an opportunity to scope those pieces of work very well. We engaged a very, very broad set of stakeholders, including senior leaders. We put many of them on our steering teams for those projects so that they could observe the entire process all the way through. We made sure that we didn't kick those projects off until they were all [00:44:00] involved and committed and excited about the brief and then had an opportunity to weigh in on the direction that these projects were going to take.

[00:44:09] Opher Yom-Tov: Then we took the time to build. Phenomenal teams. So we recruited people from across different divisions and we actually went to those parts of the business and said, give us your best people, the people you can't afford to give us. Those are the people we want, the people that you will, you will feel the pain of losing for about 12 or 16 weeks and give them to us full time, take their entire remit off them.

[00:44:38] Opher Yom-Tov: Think of them as going on parental leave during that time. Um, and then we went out at the time we didn't have the kind of breadth of HCD experience internally. So we went out and brought in two wonderful external consulting agencies. One was a team from the US. [00:45:00] Ex IDEO colleagues of mine, uh, a group called Daylight Design,

[00:45:04] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[00:45:05] Opher Yom-Tov: and the other one was actually a group of, uh, ex folks, ex colleagues of mine from my days at Westpac Bank in Australia, um, a group called, uh, Craig Walker Design.

[00:45:17] Gerry Scullion: Okay. Hmm.

[00:45:20] Opher Yom-Tov: really kind of, uh, phenomenal, uh, experts in a range of design disciplines, but particularly at the kind of strategic human centered and sort of service design in, and we brought them into partner members of the team that we'd recruited from inside. And so we used both of those as very visible spotlights, showcases for.

[00:45:45] Opher Yom-Tov: The work that they delivered was, I would genuinely say, and I've seen a lot of bits of work over my time, world class pieces of, um, human centered design and those insights and the recommendations, [00:46:00] um, Uh, were used to influence many, many subsequent pieces of work over the years, but I think it definitely put human centered design on the map with literally hundreds of people who got to see the work and participate at various stages in the project.

[00:46:16] Opher Yom-Tov: So for me, that was a really great, I mean, many other aspects of embedding HCD, but we got off to a really wonderful start.

[00:46:24] Gerry Scullion: yeah, I guess you probably use that as the north star and you reverse engineered what you needed to deliver that from those pieces of work. But, but on those two pieces of work over, um, it's really interesting to see because in the role as a chief design officer in other places, I've seen maybe marketeers assume the role as the CDO, um, and they're not able to effectively critique.

[00:46:51] Gerry Scullion: What good looks like when they're procuring design or they're evaluating what good looks like for the organization. Do you, do you really feel like the [00:47:00] fact that you've had the 10 years in Silicon Valley and you've got a great mix there between the mechanical and the business, uh, you know, your, your academia background, do you feel the role, um, and the experience that you, you, you gained with IDEO gave you enough of a design kind of lens to review what good looks like for the bank?

[00:47:22] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, Look, firstly, let me say, um, I've met a lot of marketers who are phenomenal

[00:47:28] Gerry Scullion: I know that, I just picked that out of the, I picked that out of the

[00:47:31] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, no, no, no,

[00:47:32] Gerry Scullion: could have been Mechanic.

[00:47:33] Opher Yom-Tov: it's, that's true, but it's important to say, I actually think that, you know, the ability to sniff what good looks like is definitely not. Just the domain of design, right?

[00:47:43] Opher Yom-Tov: I think it's, it's just a, and frankly, I've seen many people from a range of disciplines who have that muscle, right? And so it's a function of just having kind of, uh, uh, maybe being around, seeing a lot of success and a lot of failure. In [00:48:00] organizations and having again, multiple perspectives, wearing multiple hats, right?

[00:48:06] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, and actually just on the point of marketers, you asked me before, who were the people who were in the absence of service design kind of creating? Experiences. I'd say marketers have had a really big role to play. Some have done an amazing job and others not so much, but it's the same as every discipline.

[00:48:25] Opher Yom-Tov: But I think marketing and design are incredibly strong kind of partners

[00:48:31] Gerry Scullion: Especially for

[00:48:32] Opher Yom-Tov: the lines for proposition and the lines sometimes blur, um, which is great, but also dangerous. Sometimes it does lead to a lot of conflict that we can also talk about as well. But, um, in terms of, um, Yeah, but in terms of your question about, uh, look, I think, um, did IDEO give me, IDEO gave me so many, [00:49:00] um, uh, gifts in terms of skills and mindset and approach. But the one that I think I grew more from working in corporate environments, subsequent to IDEO was actually figuring out what works for an organization. I think at IDEO, we were asked to define the North Star. We were asked to define The, the, the iPod of whatever category we were working in, right? I mean, even some cases, literally one of the projects I worked on an idea was help us design the iPod of toilet brushes, right?

[00:49:44] Opher Yom-Tov: Amongst

[00:49:45] Gerry Scullion: view, Ophir.

[00:49:46] Opher Yom-Tov: more.

[00:49:46] Gerry Scullion: You probably knocked that one out of the park.

[00:49:48] Opher Yom-Tov: I tell you what I've, I, I've worked with a lot of people, clean toilets, right? I know that sounds creepy, but, um, uh, we weren't necessarily asked to [00:50:00] kind Design or create for clients the thing that was necessarily the best for their business

[00:50:08] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[00:50:09] Opher Yom-Tov: And it took me a while when I was in kind of the real world, if you like, or I'd like to say when I left the monastery of IDEO, uh, to determine that sometimes the ideal is not necessarily the right thing to do. And so I actually think that it wasn't IDEO that helped me with, you know, that aspect of, you know, we always talk about. Uh, desirability. The three overlap, the Venn diagram of desirability, viability, feasibility. Uh, and I think at I D R we were obsessed with desirability. Yeah. We, you know, we, we brought in, uh, a really talented group of MBAs and we had some great people who came from a kind of a, a manufacturing or an execution background for the feasibility. By and large, we were there to sort of say, to show what great could [00:51:00] look like from a desirability perspective.

[00:51:02] Gerry Scullion: yeah,

[00:51:03] Opher Yom-Tov: And I think in organizations, uh, the thing that initially I've kind of was frustrated and resented was the fact that I had to push so hard to convince people about the business case. For design, right?

[00:51:16] Opher Yom-Tov: Or the fact that people were talking so much about, well, we can't do this because of this platform constraint, et cetera. But over time I came to sort of appreciate those things and actually value them because it's those constraints. That gives you a good sense of what is possible, right? You try to push it as much as you can, but I think what, what great looks like inside organizations is not the magic necessarily.

[00:51:42] Opher Yom-Tov: It's what's the best that you can deliver based on the available capabilities, constraints that you can actually get to market that will make sense for the people that you're working with. In the environment, in the regulations, et cetera. Um, that for me is what great looks like. And that [00:52:00] comes with experience working in a particular industry in a particular environment.

[00:52:05] Opher Yom-Tov: So, uh, it's not, it's not one size fits all. I think you've got, you've seen many fabulous designers or frankly, great CEOs who shine in one environment. And then you pick them up and you plop them into a different industry and you expect them to do the same magic and they don't. And to some extent it's because they don't necessarily understand the nuances and the constraints of that new environment, because what good looks like there might be different to what good looks like where they came from.

[00:52:34] Gerry Scullion: So, what I'm hearing is with those two projects that were procured by Miley, the definition of great was a co designed effort that had multiple stakeholders defining great. Who were those stakeholders? You mentioned marketing were at the table, presumably business and Miley and design yourself.

[00:52:54] Gerry Scullion: Anyone else that was, was part of that conversation?

[00:52:57] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, well, if you, if you got one of the things

[00:52:59] Gerry Scullion: I [00:53:00] don't imagine, just on that one, I don't imagine it was a conversation sitting around saying, okay, the agenda today is, uh, talking about what great is, we're going to, anyone else we need in the conversation? I know it wasn't like that.

[00:53:09] Opher Yom-Tov: yeah. Well, look, we, we, um. Uh, Miley was very new in her tenure and so I think there was also, you know, she was writing this sort of. Wave of enthusiasm in the organization for. Challenging convention and transforming. Um, and so everybody was excited, even though I think a lot of executives who'd been there a long time were, you know, Quite rightly a bit sort of, um, uh, maybe no, no, I think just jaded about what could be done based on, you know, attempts in the past to change things that maybe hadn't gone so well.

[00:53:47] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, but in terms of the stakeholders that we engaged, we used the Venn diagram to help inform. Which stakeholders we needed to engage. So if you think about, you know, what [00:54:00] functions in the organization are going to help you with desirability, uh, you'll go and talk to marketing. You'll also go and talk to distribution, the people who run your call centers and your branches, uh, because that's an important part of the experience, right?

[00:54:17] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, you'll also go and talk to the people who control your digital front end. So we had people leaders from those functions involved. In the, in the discussion, then from a feasibility perspective, you know, we needed people who genuinely, genuinely understood what it took to deliver and manage great.

[00:54:40] Opher Yom-Tov: Commercial banking products and services, you know, banking loans, bank, bank accounts, et cetera. Uh, the same with timelines. Those are very complex technical areas. And I don't mean just digital technology. I also mean just the nuances of, you know, how you. [00:55:00] Originate alone and the legal environment that you're in the regulatory environment, et cetera.

[00:55:05] Opher Yom-Tov: It's highly, highly complex. So we needed people from that part of the background of that part of the business. Then you have to, these things rely on massive processes, uh, many steps, a lot of eyes, a lot of reviews. And so we have massive operational teams. And so the people who led those parts of the business have to be involved.

[00:55:27] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, thanks. Risk management machines. And so risk is all the risk function is always heavily involved. And then from a business perspective, we had our finance team involved as well to make sure that whatever initiatives we were developing or ideas we were developing actually had a great business case. And so, really, that Venn diagram is a wonderful way, not only to look at the solution you're going to create, but also to help you figure out who needs to be on your core [00:56:00] team and which leaders need to be involved in the conversation.

[00:56:05] Gerry Scullion: Everything that we've kind of spoken about today has been on the positive side of things. Okay, so, um, you know, everything, you know, went in, you know, we got this work off and, you know, we've redesigned pieces. Conflict is one of the most important things in our toolkit and not many people like talking about it or addressing it.

[00:56:26] Gerry Scullion: Surely. Surely at the start of when you went in there, there must have been quite a lot of conflict because with change comes conflict. What was your experience with that and how did you move through it? Um, because obviously you moved through it, you lasted seven years when you were working in there, there was lots of positive change at the end of it.

[00:56:49] Gerry Scullion: But in order to evoke that positive change, you need to kind of, as I like to say, swim the pipe. In terms of short, short redemption. So what was that like at the start, and how is conflict managed? [00:57:00] How do you manage it as well? I'd love to know your thoughts on it. Yeah.

[00:57:04] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, I definitely swam the part of definitely swam the part. Yeah, that's such an it's such a visceral, uh, image that you get from swimming the path. Um,

[00:57:16] Gerry Scullion: it's great. If you've seen the movie Shorthand Redemption Folks, you know what I'm talking about?

[00:57:20] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah. So, um, there were a few reasons why I joined ANZ.

[00:57:26] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:57:26] Opher Yom-Tov: One of the biggest was the fact that, um, there were already leaders. Senior leaders who got design that helped tremendously.

[00:57:35] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[00:57:35] Opher Yom-Tov: The second was the fact, you know, having done a little bit of consulting work there before I was hired in permanently, um, I had an opportunity to experience the culture and, uh, the ANZ culture is actually a really, really lovely culture there. It's founded on deep respect, uh, for the individual.

[00:57:59] Gerry Scullion: Five,

[00:57:59] Opher Yom-Tov: [00:58:00] by and large work together very well.

[00:58:02] Opher Yom-Tov: And so there's a strong collegiate environment and are just a lovely, lovely people on nice to each other. Genuinely nice, not creepy Stepford wives nice, but really genuinely nice. And so that was important to me. I wanted to work in an environment where, you know, it was just founded on respect. And so let me say that at the outset, um, There will always be conflict, but if you've got a culture of people genuinely respecting each other, then the conflict tends to be managed very well, right?

[00:58:39] Opher Yom-Tov: You always get some outliers and some individuals who are, uh, I'm gonna call them fun sponges, right? But on the whole,

[00:58:48] Gerry Scullion: Funs.

[00:58:48] Opher Yom-Tov: people are, um, you know, people can be adult about the way that they manage. Conflict because I think as long as they come back to sharing the same [00:59:00] goals, uh, uh, and aspirations, and if that goal is very much centered around what's the right thing for the customer,

[00:59:08] Gerry Scullion: Mm.

[00:59:09] Opher Yom-Tov: than what's the right thing for our department or what's the right thing for my own personal career, as long as it's founded in something that is a shared objective.

[00:59:21] Opher Yom-Tov: Kind of, or a shared audience, then, um, you have a much more respectful way of managing conflict, but yes, there was a lot of, we, we try to be very, um, positive and supportive and generous in how we built design capability, but there were times where there was conflict and interestingly, that's because.

[00:59:42] Opher Yom-Tov: Design hadn't been well defined or, or, um, embedded in the organization. And so there were a lot of people who already thought that they knew design. And so for us to come in and say, Hey, uh, you don't have the full picture of design. A lot of people took that very [01:00:00] personally.

[01:00:00] Gerry Scullion: I would say so. Yeah.

[01:00:01] Opher Yom-Tov: And so it took us a while to sort of almost recognize that, you know, in the beginning we took people on face value that, you know, senior executives who nodded and said, yes, I get human centered design, I know design, I've been practicing it for a while.

[01:00:16] Opher Yom-Tov: And so one of the, I guess, maybe mistakes I made was to be a little bit too trusting. It took me a long time to see that actually they weren't applying design in a very effective or holistic way.

[01:00:28] Gerry Scullion: Mm.

[01:00:29] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, and so, um, there was some conflict there into trying to kind of get people to open their minds a little bit and see and adopt a broader view of design, especially in, you know, certain functions, like, for example, proposition development, where, um, we had to work with a lot of marketers to help them kind of, um, bring in.

[01:00:53] Opher Yom-Tov: Aspects of design to expand their view of proposition development, right?

[01:00:59] Gerry Scullion: [01:01:00] Yeah.

[01:01:00] Opher Yom-Tov: I would say the same work the other way, but that's one aspect of conflict. The other one that I think was massive massive and continues to be most massive And I think comes with the territory of massive organizational transformation At scale, like billion dollar, multi billion dollar transformations.

[01:01:22] Opher Yom-Tov: And that is, how do you take an organization that's been sailing along for hundreds of years and, and quite quickly transform everything about them, the products, the services, the technology, the culture, in some cases, the people, the organizational structures, the brand, everything. You know, it, it, it is. Um, you can get whiplash from the speed that changes are happening when that happens, right?

[01:01:52] Opher Yom-Tov: Uh, you get a lot of conflict because, um, people are also under pressure to manage the status quo, right? [01:02:00] For example, in our bank, we wanted to transform, but we still have to keep delivering. dividends to shareholders and we still have to keep paying people salaries and we still have to keep, you know, uh, providing mortgages.

[01:02:12] Opher Yom-Tov: So we have to keep the status quo and the existing bank running while we were building all this new capability. And so there was an incredible amount of conflict between those who were creating the transformation and those who were running the existing bank, even though both of them were required for the success of the organization.

[01:02:34] Opher Yom-Tov: We started to get a bit of kind of cultural differences between the two. Uh, and that's a real challenge that, um, happens in every design project. So I'm sure every designer has had that experience to some extent of, you know, when you're not building a startup, if you're, you're trying to improve an existing organization, there's a point with the improving part of the business [01:03:00] and the.

[01:03:00] Opher Yom-Tov: Status quo, the legacy part of the business are coexisting. And how do you, how do you actually get them to support each other and not have conflict? That's incredibly difficult.

[01:03:11] Gerry Scullion: Yeah, and I was going to ask you the follow on question around your own KPIs as a CDO. So are you okay to talk about what that looked like? And in turn, uh, what you're responsible for and how you measured the

[01:03:25] Opher Yom-Tov: Yes.

[01:03:26] Gerry Scullion: of any of those changes. Um, because obviously, if you mentioned risk there, and I've, I've experienced with working in financial institutions, they're really risk adverse.

[01:03:35] Gerry Scullion: So, when it comes to evoking this kind of change, there's usually a period there where. The adoption will go down and over time it'll increase. It'll ramp back up over six months or something like that. How did you have those conversations, um, with people when they were like, Oh, it's, you're actually going to break it, you're making it worse.

[01:03:53] Gerry Scullion: And then the metrics reflect that. Because then often, it's not always a, you know, we just change the button from [01:04:00] blue to green, and it's done, and we've seen an increase in click throughs. These things are structural, these things are organizational, and they're cultural. The change is, as you can see, it's taken seven years to, to get to where it is now.

[01:04:14] Gerry Scullion: Um, so that's a bit of a loaded question, but I guess we'll probably go back to your own KPIs and what the CDO was responsible for.

[01:04:22] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, so, there's two actually two aspects I want to touch on in your question. Uh, so it's with respect to KPRS. Uh, just like I said before, the, the role of chief design officer didn't come with a handbook. It therefore didn't come with a set of recommended KPIs.

[01:04:44] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:04:44] Opher Yom-Tov: And so they had to evolve over time. And so I can talk through, and I think it's, it's a really healthy consideration for every person.

[01:04:55] Opher Yom-Tov: In an organization, and particularly, I'd say for designers to [01:05:00] constantly thinking about whether they've got the right KPIs,

[01:05:03] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:05:03] Opher Yom-Tov: so we'll get into that right after I just kind of touch on the other thing that you spoke about is that things will get worse before they get better, right? Whenever you make a change, it's not like the moment you embed the change, there is a rapid and dramatic change.

[01:05:19] Opher Yom-Tov: Thank you. uptick or improvement, right? Usually there's a gestation period or an acclimatization period or a lot of kind of iteration and refinement before whatever change you wanted to make actually kind of delivers. Even if it does, in many cases, it doesn't, right? Sometimes you do take the organization backward.

[01:05:42] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, that comes back to again. That's why having leaders who kind of buy into design are so important in the first place, right? Because buying into design doesn't just mean I get design. Buying into design means I get how difficult it is to make change. [01:06:00] And I am willing to back it and support it in the long run, even if there are periods of difficulty because I have, I'm taking a leap of faith and I'm willing to see it through. Um, that is, I guess, what a good sponsor of design looks like because the going will get tough and there will be points where they're going to have to make tough calls about resource allocation and budget allocation. They're going to have to. Uh, there will be times where there will be a lot of criticism and challenge from other stakeholders saying, look, that design thing didn't work out, look, it's worse than it was before.

[01:06:40] Opher Yom-Tov: And those leaders have to invest a lot of their own brand credit to continue to support and protect and, uh, defend that kind of fledgling design function long enough for it to actually take root. So again, I come back to strong sponsors of [01:07:00] design need to be in place because things will get worse before they get better.

[01:07:04] Opher Yom-Tov: And the only way you can kind of cross that valley is if people are there at a senior level going, no, we're going to, we're going to stay out, stay the course. we go through this period, because we will get to a better place, or I'm willing to invest some of my career cred, uh, even if it doesn't get to a better place, but we're going to see it through because these things don't happen in an instant.

[01:07:30] Opher Yom-Tov: So that's on the worst before it gets better, but on the KPI side, um, in the beginning, it's really hard. The thing that I was very keen to do. And only after seven years do I think that it might be start to be real, start to be realistic is I really wanted to connect. My KPIs to business impact business results.

[01:07:56] Opher Yom-Tov: Bottom line. All right. I thought to myself, look, the whole [01:08:00] point of joining a bank, although you want to create great customer experiences, you want to do the right thing for customers. The reason the bank thrives is because they actually make a profit. It's a profit. Isn't a dirty word. It's just actually the fuel that keeps the business going.

[01:08:16] Opher Yom-Tov: That's the reason the business has been running for 200 years and the reason that they can continue to give people home loans or business loans and, you know, enable them to thrive is because they can actually run a profitable business. So the ideal for design is to be able to connect their results to the bottom line of the organization.

[01:08:38] Opher Yom-Tov: Now, that's really difficult to do. Because. As we said, design is a team sport, so you can't, there's no one to one connection between what designers do and profit, number one. But number two, design takes a long time, right? Uh, from the point where your service and strategic designers get involved [01:09:00] to the point where you can actually point to dollars being generated in the market might take you five, six, seven, maybe even 10 years in some cases, right?

[01:09:11] Opher Yom-Tov: Sometimes it happens really quickly. Right. You know, sometimes I've seen these things take place in six months, but when you're talking about at scale, these things take time.

[01:09:20] Gerry Scullion: It's 12 to

[01:09:21] Opher Yom-Tov: in the beginning. Yeah, that's it. So in the beginning, my KPIs were much more based on activities. Right. Rather than outcomes.

[01:09:33] Opher Yom-Tov: For example, number of strategic projects applying HCD. Right. Number of designers retained or recruited. Number of women. In design leadership positions, number of HCD training courses delivered, right? Things like that. Uh, or project, um, [01:10:00] delivery, um, delivering a skills handbook to the business, right?

[01:10:07] Gerry Scullion: and diversity in the teams? Was that one of

[01:10:09] Opher Yom-Tov: So we had metrics around, uh, you know, I spoke about women in leadership.

[01:10:13] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, uh, increasingly we focused on. Um, ensuring that we had a very objective recruiting process.

[01:10:23] Gerry Scullion: Hmm.

[01:10:24] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, and so those inclusivity and diversity metrics were actually, um, that's the other reason that I was a fabulous place to work. A lot of those metrics were kind of universal metrics. We didn't need to run them specifically for design, diversity, inclusion, accessibility.

[01:10:43] Opher Yom-Tov: Um, uh, uh, gender, et cetera. All of those general diversity and inclusion kind of focus areas were managed at an organizational level. But yeah, in the beginning, KPIs were very much sort of activity.

[01:10:59] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:10:59] Opher Yom-Tov: [01:11:00] And then over time, once we embedded, then we wanted to start hope to hold ourselves to account to the outcomes of an initiative or the fact that, you know, so it moved from just doing a project to how many of those projects.

[01:11:12] Opher Yom-Tov: actually secured the funding to move forward to eventually how many of those projects actually delivered results. The other problem with KPIs is even, you know, specifically in the bank, we're usually quarter or kind of annual cycle driven is that if the results happen. A few years after you did the work, everybody's forgotten that you did the work.

[01:11:36] Gerry Scullion: Yeah.

[01:11:37] Opher Yom-Tov: aren't actually on your scorecard. You might get some bragging rights to say, Hey, I was involved in that thing that delivered another a hundred million dollars to the business. But it's not in your KPIs for this year KPIs for this year on the things you're going to do next. So unfortunately the other area that we really didn't have was kind of.

[01:11:58] Opher Yom-Tov: Longer term [01:12:00] metrics that were managed over cycles. Yeah, there aren't, you know, if you're the CEO, a lot of your remuneration is, but you know, you get stock options, you know, and so, you know, more and more executives are getting some stock as part of their remuneration so that there's some connection to the longer term.

[01:12:18] Opher Yom-Tov: But unfortunately the scorecards and the KPIs of most organizations don't really take into account that the length of time required to actually get to an outcome and to measure on those ones. So a lot of those were out what we held ourselves to as a design community is, you know, your project is not done when you've delivered the project, make sure that you stay connected to it.

[01:12:42] Opher Yom-Tov: It's like your child, right? Make sure that you're out there looking after it's, um, Uh, it's welfare and that there are other people who are trying to keep it alive and make sure that it's, uh, it's brought out into the world don't just start to think about the [01:13:00] next project.

[01:13:01] Gerry Scullion: integrating with all the other children within the organization as well.

[01:13:05] Opher Yom-Tov: Exactly. Exactly.

[01:13:07] Gerry Scullion: We're coming towards the end of the episode, O'Farrill. I'm keen to know what you're working on and, you know, what's next for you, because you've been out of the bank for a couple of months now, I think, at this stage. You look pretty tanned.

[01:13:18] Gerry Scullion: You're looking pretty toned. You've been hitting the beach, I can see. Hitting the gym. Hitting the bar. What does it look like?

[01:13:29] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, look, I am relaxed. I have to say I've been just doing things around the house, catching up on chores, spending more time with my kids and my wife and the, and the dogs. So I've

[01:13:39] Gerry Scullion: having you at home.

[01:13:40] Opher Yom-Tov: having What's that? Uh, well, I

[01:13:45] Gerry Scullion: you were flying up and down from Melbourne, like

[01:13:47] Opher Yom-Tov: Yeah, that's changing now, and I think she's keen to get me out of the house. What's next? Um, so I left ANZ because I genuinely felt like the design function was [01:14:00] ready to stand on its own two feet. And my commitment there, the thing that I wanted to do is to embed design in a sustainable way. And so I'm very pleased with, um, where it's at. You know, if we talk about our children, I felt very much like design at ANZ was my child.

[01:14:20] Opher Yom-Tov: And so I definitely didn't want to abandon it until it was ready to go out into the world. And so that's the reason that I decided it was time for me to move on. I like to build and run businesses. And I'm incredibly passionate about where I see design and strategy going. And so I am establishing a consultancy with a good friend of mine and an ex colleague by the name of Toby Roberts. And Toby and I are about to launch a consulting business called Epilogue Group. Um, we [01:15:00] have and it's, it's. A bit design, and it's a bit strategy, and it's a bit process engineering, but it's got a very, very specific focus, and that is to substantially de risk large change and investment programs. One of the things that we have observed time and time again, across many industries.

[01:15:24] Opher Yom-Tov: Uh, is, is that most programs don't meet the intended objectives, uh, or they fail dismally, or they become, you know, zombies,

[01:15:38] Gerry Scullion: Mm-hmm.

[01:15:39] Opher Yom-Tov: And, uh, all of us who've been involved in projects, so basically every designer, will know that there are many factors that contribute to the success of projects. One of those factors that we believe is incredibly important that we want to focus on is shared clarity, [01:16:00] uh, ensuring that everyone on the project is very clear about the end state, the target state.

[01:16:11] Opher Yom-Tov: What are we trying to build? What are we trying to achieve? If you're building a house, you won't begin until you've got a scale model or a blueprint. And you can actually see and touch, maybe physically touch a model of what your house or your building is going to look like if you're going to build a physical product, a car.

[01:16:34] Opher Yom-Tov: There is a concept car or a scale model, a model, a mock up, a clay model that is created many, many years before the, the product goes to market, everybody involved can see it, know what they're going to build. But by and large, when we're talking about digital transformations or service projects, there is no concept car.

[01:16:58] Opher Yom-Tov: There is no end state that's well [01:17:00] defined. And most executives will argue that, well, that's what the project is there to do, is to build it. We will see it at the end. The problem with seeing it at the end is that when you build your army of people to execute, they all have a different picture in their minds.

[01:17:15] Opher Yom-Tov: And so they often, you know, even though they all embark with good intentions, they end up building things that really don't fit together. Or the stakeholders get to the end of spending billions of dollars. And they're really disappointed in what they've created or the customer doesn't care and has moved on.

[01:17:33] Opher Yom-Tov: And so what we want to do is essentially bring design and strategy and process engineering to bear very quickly to help teams get clear on where they're going. By doing refine, helping them with their strategy narrative, but also helping them build a really quick, rough. prototype of where they're trying to get to just to ensure that everybody's on the same conversation and then they can plan backwards to make [01:18:00] sure that they can move in a much more focused way to get to the end game.

[01:18:04] Opher Yom-Tov: So that's what we're calling epilogue group. We help you write the end of your story first. So that you can, uh, move forward with a clear end in mind.

[01:18:15] Gerry Scullion: Very nice. Very nice. So, Hopefully, um, everything goes to plan with that. Is there a website that we can include in the show notes for the new business?

[01:18:26] Opher Yom-Tov: Ironically, we're still working on that.

[01:18:29] Gerry Scullion: Okay.

[01:18:29] Opher Yom-Tov: our current project, and hopefully that project will be successful.

[01:18:33] Gerry Scullion: I'm sure, you know, a couple of designers who can help you

[01:18:35] Opher Yom-Tov: yeah, I could probably hack something together, but, uh, we wanted to... That we wanted to make sure that we could tell that story very clearly and very succinctly. So watch this space.

[01:18:45] Opher Yom-Tov: Hopefully, you know, as your podcast starts to roll out, people can check out epilogue group. com. Um, but, uh, coming very soon, a

[01:18:55] Gerry Scullion: If people want to connect with you, um, are you open to LinkedIn connections[01:19:00]

[01:19:00] Opher Yom-Tov: percent just through LinkedIn. If people want to direct message me at off area on LinkedIn.

[01:19:05] Gerry Scullion: yeah, I'll put a link to your LinkedIn page in the show notes, but look, Ofer, I know it's been really early for you to get up out of your bed, but like I know from living in Australia, the sun rises really early over there, so hopefully you didn't feel like you were getting up too early. Thanks for telling us your story.

[01:19:22] Gerry Scullion: Um, you know, it's been really good learning and getting a peek behind the curtain, so to speak. I'm also learning a little bit more around how you, how you work and how you operate as, you know, the world's first chief design officer at a bank. Um, so thank you for giving me your time and your openness and putting yourself, I guess, on the stand to be, to be asked a lot of questions that might.

[01:19:43] Gerry Scullion: Be quite personal for you, so I really appreciate you giving me that time and energy.

[01:19:48] Opher Yom-Tov: Thank you very thank you very much. I know that it's very late for you in Dublin, but again, thank you for just creating this platform for various designers to share their stories. I've [01:20:00] thoroughly enjoyed listening to others,

[01:20:03] Gerry Scullion: Yeah,

[01:20:04] Opher Yom-Tov: and just keep doing what you're doing.

[01:20:06] Gerry Scullion: thanks so much Ofer. It means a lot coming for you, honestly. Thank you so much. Stay safe.

[01:20:12] Opher Yom-Tov: Take care.

John Carter
Tech Vlogger & YouTuber

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