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How Design Thinking and Strategy can help to enhance client relationships

Private Talk: a creative combination of these concepts can be a path to success in a new, challenging year

Foto do Autor

Daniela Fortuna, Head of Commercial Strategy no Itaú Private Bank International

• 4 minutos de leitura

Crédito: Getty Images

We reach 2023 after facing very turbulent times. First, we went through a two-year pandemic routine, and then Brazil faced the tumultuous period of the electoral campaign, which revealed the most divided country in history. But what about our dreams? How to keep them alive in this turmoil?

Today, I want to talk a little bit about strategy and design thinking, two concepts that I believe can help us to navigate in the best direction for the times ahead.

Firstly, we must understand the difference between planning and strategy. If, on the one hand, planning — in the manner of those little lists with the New Year's resolutions — drives us, it is not this attitude alone that will take us where we want to go. The strategy does. So, for a plan to become reality, the path, that is the strategy, needs to be very well outlined.

And, for a strategy to be successful, I always bring to life some practical concepts from design thinking. I don't know if you are familiar with the methodology, but in a very high level, design thinking is a problem-solving technique that was created focusing on the user's needs. Among its main points, we can say that it is the practice of empathy, the agility to test the solutions found to verify their effectiveness, and the readiness to adjust the route whenever necessary. I like that approach a lot, and whenever I can, I apply it to my life even to solve problems that are not that complex.

You may be wondering what strategy and design thinking might have to do with diversity and leadership. Well, I can assure you that it is much more than you imagine. As individual beings, our dreams are as diverse as ourselves. If for some people the priority is to increase their assets, for another group, the greatest need may be the return of investments, while others may be aiming to prepare their successors. We are not all the same. My clients — and yours — are not the same either.

For each one of them to feel they are well represented, as it should be, our clients need to realize not only that you understand their needs but also that you have a plan to achieve their goals. This is strategy. And it is important that clients understand your thought process. It’s fundamental they understand the solution you are envisioning for them to achieve their goals within the desired time frame.

Will anything unexpected happen? Of course. But as finance professionals, we learn very early in our career to take the unpredictable into account. Due to the volatility of the market, we are always considering different outcomes, and one of them is what we call "worst case scenario". Even if you work in a different area, I'm confident that you also have ways to handle unforeseen circumstances.

So, it's time to take advantage of the new year and explore these concepts to reach our professional and personal goals in the best way we can.

I totally agree with the Spanish playwright Don Antonio Machado’s quote, "Walker, there is no path, the path is built by walking". It is fundamental for us to walk the talk and move forward towards the best way to achieve our client’s goals.

My best wishes for a very happy 2023!

Click here to read the portuguese version of this article.

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