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Mambu

4 min read
Over the past 18 months, we’ve seen a proliferation of digital innovations targeted at niches brought on by new customer demands. Financial services have rapidly modernised by embracing a culture of curiosity, collaboration, inclusion and disruption.

One of the differentiators of great teams is great leaders. People want to be inspired by the people they work with and for. They want to see their leaders and peers as human beings and vice versa.

Traditionally, the employment relationship has followed the mannerisms of an ego-system whereby decision making is centralised. Mambu believes in the power of the team and strives to put as much control into our employees’ hands while reinforcing the role of modern day organisations - that we are all part of a larger ecosystem. As we continuously look to re-write the rules of workplace culture, inclusion is something we are actively embedding in our DNA.

This year we’re focusing on what we’re calling ‘Living Leadership’, the idea that everyone is a leader.

How we influence and work with others in the most inclusive way is a differentiator for a successful organisation to build trust and bring people together. It is a non-negotiable for the best teams in the virtual world we are living in. By investing in leadership development for all Mambuvians, everyone has the chance to step up. From the person serving our customers over the phone to the C-suite leader, we want everyone to be consciously aware of the impact they have through how they lead and influence others.

Mambu’s strategic approach allows inclusion to be built into financial services through innovations like open banking and embedded finance.

This is what it means to be a Mambuvian. To drive change through curiosity, by challenging the status quo and collaborating with others to find unique solutions to everyday problems and to always believe in the impossible.

Deloitte has said that Covid-19 has been a time machine to the future for how we work. My perspective is that the old ways of working are not coming back! Companies that say we’ll get through this and everyone will return to the old way of working are kidding themselves. People have more choices over how they work and who they work for. Equally important for today’s workforce is a company with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility who is actively impacting their communities.

We know to be successful we need a balance. It’s why we have a four-day work week in the summer months. This has been a signature benefit at Mambu for some time now! And we are currently reviewing our working practices by listening deeply to our people on what is important for them as we think about the next steps in our culture. The past years have massively shifted expectations and now it’s about understanding how, why and what can be done differently for our people. I truly believe that Mambu has a huge opportunity to not just disrupt financial services, but disrupt the world of work.

This year we’re letting people know it’s ok not to be ok with all the changes in the workplace and the challenges in the world. We want our leaders to talk more about work-life integration, the events of the world, celebrate the most important ecosystem (our Mambuvian’s families and loved ones) and most importantly learn to achieve the right balance of all the contradictions in society. We’re showing everyone that we are all human and are in this together.

I lead a diverse team of people who all have individual needs and desires. A big part of my role is getting curious about everyone who works for me and asking myself critically the question - why should they follow me? Deeply connecting and understanding the needs of one person, whilst acknowledging that the person sitting next to them needs something completely different, and it is our challenge as leaders in this moment.

The Future of Work

Technology has also been a major disruptor in corporate environments. The lines between home and work were already blurring but the pandemic accelerated that much further. At home we bounce between apps and devices most of the day - whether to organise something personal or enable productivity at work. This creates an opportunity and challenge.

How we communicate with each other is fundamentally changing how we attract talent, how we predict employee behaviour, and how we measure performance. The combination of technology in our future of work presents a huge opportunity in particular for diversity and inclusion, both to remove bias and improve equity. I believe we are just at the start of the possibilities where technology advances great leadership and people practices.

At Mambu we are eager to pioneer the human world of work and to disrupt the traditional corporate mentality, much the same way as we have done in banking. And we are very excited for what’s to come.

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Charlie Johnston
Charlie is a pragmatic, results-oriented HR leader with a track record of achievements for technology giants IBM and Cisco. He believes the key elements to a thriving organisation are diverse talent, courageous leadership and a high trust-based team culture. Throw technology into the mix, and the possibilities are endless.
Charlie Johnston