Building a Team in a Pandemic
Building a team, learning about each and every person that joins and seeing the impact they have made, has truly been a highlight of my career and a bright light during this pandemic.
It seems like yesterday when I walked off the elevator at my new office on the 29th floor and looked out the window to see all of downtown Manhattan smiling back at me. With sweeping views south from Madison Square Garden to the Freedom Tower and the Statue of Liberty, I felt a sense of relief that I had made the right decision to join a financial institution to build a team of researchers, designers and strategists from the ground up.
Then, I walked into my office to discover a desktop computer, desk phone and massive banker desk.
As Carrie Bradshaw would say, ”I couldn’t help but think, were these sweeping views just a distraction from what I might discover as I literally start to open up drawers and look in the physical and digital corners of this place or should I just embrace my new banker status.”
From that day forward, I’ve been able to put aside my fears [even though there are definitely scary things in the corners] because I’ve witnessed a cultural, organizational and structural transformation right in front of me.
This past year, as the Research and Service Design team moved into our new space, we were able to celebrate having a physical space that represents the creative culture and freedom we not only want, but need to thrive. We were also able to celebrate the growth of the UX Research, UX Design and Experience Strategy disciplines within Valley Bank and the impact we were having throughout the organization.
Growing this team, learning about each and every person that joins and seeing the impact they have made, has truly been a highlight of my career and a bright light during this pandemic.
Some highlights of what the team accomplished:
Developed a design system for internal and external desktop applications so that the team could unite around a single source of truth as it grows, maximize the time the team spends on design and our colleagues spend coding, as well as, transform existing applications to modern, intuitive design.
Researched, designed and developed a digital Customer Playbook that describes our small business customers, introducing small business archetypes to the company, in addition to describing ways teams can use the archetypes to drive decision making, or customer “plays.”
Built the foundation and began rolling out quantitative and qualitative listening programs across all key buyer and customer journeys allowing us to grow the number of people we heard from by 7 times, or 35,359 listening moments.
Redesigned and re-platformed the core account opening experience, setting the stage for a future state where all account opening can be digital with an intuitive user experience and reducing the time it takes to open an account from 30 minutes to less than five.
Established a unique onboarding process for researchers and designers that allows us to welcome new hires with efficiency and excellence so that everyone feels prepared and ready to make an impact on day one.