Peter Drucker, one of the most widely-known and influential thinkers on management was famous for this quote: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
As IQ continues to research more into operating models for the future, we have continued to see time and again the difference the right culture can make in building a successful organisation.
While the vision and strategic objectives of organisations vary, there are 4 cultural characteristics that resonate in a modern approach to operating models and are foundational in transforming your operating environment.
A culture that puts the customer first
It’s no secret that an organisation that has a customer centric focus embedded throughout their culture reap successes in the form of enhanced loyalty, brand advocacy, and employee engagement.
Understanding what customers actually want, and their trends using feedback and critical insights, can be a catalyst for an agile and competitive operating environment.
A culture that embraces continuous improvement
An organisation that embraces the need to continuously improve empowers a mindset of perpetual learning, fostering an environment where employees are active contributors who are motivated to do their best, sparking innovation and autonomy to achieve a collective vision.
A culture that embraces transformation
We all know that change is the one certainty in this age. Giving your team the autonomy to pivot and champion innovation creates a foundation of agility that is key to inspiring a team that is not afraid to transform.
It is this culture that acknowledges that transformation is not only a necessity but an inherent part of growth, fostering forward thinkers who embrace the next wave of change.
A culture that values collaboration
Collaboration serves as a dynamic catalyst for innovation, recognising the impact of collective intelligence and creative synergy generated when business and technology converge.
It cultivates an environment that is empowered by ideas, marked by a pursuit of feedback, and commitment to diverse perspectives. Collaboration breaks down departmental silos and hierarchies to promote open communication and a more cohesive organisation
These essential cultural principles are why IQ surround the components of any operation with the foundational metrics of Customer Experience Excellence, Cost to Serve, and Ability to Adapt. These metrics serve as a compass, signalling precisely when levers within the operating need to shift, helping organisations to align their operation with their overarching strategy.
If you have any question or would like to chat with one of our friendly team members, feel free to comment or contact us.
The enterprise benefits of CeX are clear, increased customer loyalty, higher retention rates, positive word-of-mouth marketing and improved operational efficiency. It’s no surprise then that CeX is one of the core components propelling enterprises to become market leaders, modernisers and industry pioneers.
However, the challenge lies not in why customer experience excellence is difficult for leaders to master, but how. Research* shows that 80% of CEOs believe they deliver superior customer experiences, with only 8% of their customers agreeing, demonstrating a stark contrast between perception and reality.
IQ Group’s, CEO, Brian Peters illustrates the key to success, in his recent blog highlighting that culture is the key that “supports the adaptive organisational business model and direction…. It can be the difference between standing still and evolving.”
For this reason, it is critically important to live and breathe a customer first culture, one where a customer mindset is embedded in everything you do.
As we venture further into the digital age, we acknowledge leaders will be transforming their businesses for the remainder of their working lives. To support this evolution, IQ is working closely with super funds to help them optimise their customer experience.
IQ’s consultancy operating model toolkit includes a partnership with Enterprise Lens, which enables IQ to deliver a multi-dimensional, dynamic, and impactful view of a client’s operating model on a single, digital page. This digital visualisation tool enables executive leaders to make informed, data-driven, decisions on where capability uplift is required, to best meet strategic drivers and objectives.
If you have any question or would like to chat with one of our friendly team members, feel free to comment or contact us.
Better superannuation data has already delivered better outcomes for super fund members but there’s been a lot to digest and now it’s time for a stocktake. We take a look at what that means for funds.
Lots of funds have always had members interests at heart, and the long-term outperformance of industry funds is testament to that.
But not all funds! The industry as a whole has needed a push-along to focus on getting the best retirement outcomes for their members.
That’s where data reporting to underpin performance assessment comes in.
The information super funds are legally required to send to APRA is the fuel that drives performance assessments and superannuation product Heatmaps, and supports its supervisory activity.
Quality data allows APRA to scrutinise and reliably compare fund and product performance, and gives the Government greater visibility of super funds.
The payoff from better data reporting
Super fund members have benefited greatly from information on investment performance and fees being presented in a transparent and comparable manner.
As a result, members are better able to choose lower-fee or better performing products.
Even more significantly, the promoters of many higher fee and poorly performing products have decided to improve or close in response to having the spotlight shone on them. This has improved outcomes for millions of superannuation members.
Forget about all the bells and whistles that some funds have liked to showcase. To rephrase the old saying “It’s the (net) returns, stupid”.
The renewed focus on returns driven by good investments, good governance, the newish “members best financial interests duty,” and supported by better data reporting, has delivered returns
Over the past decade, the amount of information sent by funds has increased enormously, and all funds and administrators have made enormous investments in their data reporting teams and enhanced data reporting processes.
We’ve been working with many funds and service providers on these projects for many years and realise just how big and daunting these projects are.
Managing a data reporting delay
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing, however.
There’s been a lot of two steps forward, one step back, as implementation timetables for both new reporting requirements and new data collection arrangements have been regularly rejigged, and APRA has sometimes struggled to deal with the data they have been sent – especially when some of it’s of poor quality.
One year into its five year data strategy, APRA is pushing the pause button on much of their data reporting and collection program while they undertake an external review. This is with a view to adjusting sequencing, timing and scope of collections to ensure successful implementation by both APRA and industry.
APRA intends to commence formal consultation in November on reporting for investments, registrable superannuation entity (RSE) and RSE licensee profile, and RSE licensee financials, but is postponing consultation on RSE licensee operations, and other reporting standards relating to financial data and cross industry proposals for non-financial risk data collection, which were originally intended to commence in November.
The APRA Roadmap that previously included timelines for consultation, the APRA response, indicative industry build, and the dates for earliest commencement of reporting on topics previously listed for November have been removed.
Putting your best foot forward
The lack of certainty about the next steps for data reporting challenges super funds to understand, assess and respond to a changing situation, in what our CEO Brian Peters call the “sandy regulatory landscape”.
Super funds don’t want to waste resources meeting reporting requirements that might change, but at the same time, everyone’s a winner when data quality is improved, and reporting is accurate, timely and complete.
Funds focused on filling in their data gaps now are going to be the best place to be able to show off – to members, APRA and the community – their suite of high performing products, and demonstrate their operational efficiency and good governance.
In Super we have grown up with closed loop service environments that have provided us with: Resilience, Scale, and Distributed investment in technology.
And as recently as 18 months ago IQ ran a masterclass in Super fund operating models, which for its time was quite relevant …
However, time, the world, and technology has moved on.
Wave 2 mergers, competition, advice reform, consolidation of service providers, and demand for data have all set the idea of a steady target state under pressure.
It also raises legacy product and insurance complexities that somehow seem to defy our best efforts for standardisation.
Our thinking now is that we need to look at operating models not as destinations, but as change engines that enable us to regularly re-evaluate and evolve our approach.
Stanley McChrystal called it, building for Complexity not for Complication.
The new operating model paradigm challenges us to identify the key factors which help us to understand, assess and respond to our changing environment. All within the context of dynamic strategy, competition and a sandy regulatory landscape.
So, what makes a successful and continuously evolving operating model, admin strategy and technology service platform?…
Not engagement, benefits, or retention, but the unwritten instructions that drive most of our activity. Research demonstrates that when we map a process, it covers less than 50% of the actual activity within a team. Culture guides the rest, and can be the difference between standing still, and evolving.
Culture (supported by key operating intelligence) supports the adaptive organisational business model and direction.
So will AI bridge any culture gaps? Not likely. Centaurs (AI enhanced human teams) still require us to set in place a model for decision and action that is focussed on our goals and reflects our ethical and commercial compass.
Automation for its own sake just takes you to the wrong place, faster.
The Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, has delivered the 2023-2024 Federal Budget, with the key theme of fairness, as it largely focuses on the provision of assistance to Australians to help them manage the cost of living, and doing so in a sustainable way.
There are several welcome changes to the announcements aimed at assisting the vulnerable – aged care workers, single parents and parents who require access to childcare services to name a few. Indirectly, these measures could be seen as a benefit to women who predominantly fill these categories, though the payment of SG on paid parental leave remains a missed opportunity.
From a superannuation perspective, compared to previous budgets, only a few announcements were made (noting that these measures have not been legislated). These are:
Better targeted tax concessions – higher tax on superannuation balances of $3 million or more. Individuals with superannuation balances exceeding this amount will have to pay an additional 15% on the earnings of their super account that exceed $100,000. (Start date of 1 July 2025) These changes will impact:
members – those with balances exceeding $3m (estimated to impact 0.5% of accountholders – approx. 80,000 people when implemented) as they will now incur additional tax; and
superannuation funds – required to update systems to administer the additional 15% attributed to the earnings corresponding to the proportion of balances exceeding $3m (i.e. a total of 30% tax on earnings related to assets above $3m whilst assets below $3m continue to be taxed at 15%.
Increased frequency of SG payments – aligning payment of SG contributions with payroll frequency. This aims to deliver benefits to employees, not only by making it easier to track their contributions, but also to boost retirement savings due to funds being invested sooner. (Start date of 1 July 2026) This will impact:
employers and payroll providers – who will need to manage cashflows to account for the payment of superannuation being aligned to the payment of wages;
members – whose contributions will be paid more frequently allowing them to benefit from compounding of interest over their working life;
superannuation fund administrators – who will need to review and manage changing workloads and cashflows due to the increased frequency of contributions received;
the ATO – who will be required to oversee and enforce the changes to superannuation contribution payments.
Changes to Non-Arm’s Length Income (NALI) and Non-Arm’s Length Expenditure (NALE) provisions – solely applicable to income and expenditure by super funds. Changes to NALI and NALE will impact:
SMSFs and APRA regulated funds – by limiting the income that is taxable as NALI to twice the level of a general expense;
large APRA regulated funds – as they will be exempt from the NALI provisions for general and specific expenses incurred by the fund and the exclusion of contributions from being taxable as NALI; and
all funds – as expenditure that occurred prior to the 2018/19 income year will be exempt.
At face value, the superannuation changes announced appear straightforward, whilst also providing a reasonable transition period for implementation. History tells us though that ‘the devil is always in the detail’ so, although the timeframes appear far in the distance, discussions with relevant vendors is always better commenced sooner rather than later.
The new year brings new Graduate Consultants to IQ, carefully chosen from an impressive talent pool to be just the right fit for our team and our clients. We take great pride in kick-starting people’s careers in finance and building talent for the industry. As you will read below, our two recruits well and truly have the foundations for being accomplished IQ consultants and we welcome them to the IQ Group team.
After completing a Bachelor of Business last year, majoring in Economics and Finance, I joined IQ Group as a Graduate Consultant looking to kickstart my career in the superannuation space. Throughout university, I worked part time as a cinema manager for 5 years, using my strong communication and leadership skills to help guide staff into making a memorable experience for guests.
I sought out IQ Group’s Graduate Program after a recommendation from a prior grad, citing the program as a fantastic way to gain entrance into full-time work by diving into the intensive program, playing on the strengths I had developed throughout my youth.
IQ Group was incredibly patient with us new grads, helping us assimilate into the company by going above and beyond what was necessary to ease us in and make us feel comfortable. The staff at every level were immensely receptive and give the impression that they truly want what is best for us – which is to be able to grow as people. I’m excited to be able to start with IQ Group, and very much look forward to working with the team!
I recently joined IQ Group as a Graduate Consultant after completing my Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Management. During my studies I spent my time working as an Administration Officer for a local Victorian TAFE, where I had developed fundamental customer engagement and service skills. After completing my degree, I spent a year working for Adobe which was where I was fully able to utilise core analytical skills as well as find a passion in learning and development processes.
I was drawn towards IQ Group for a number of reasons, primarily for the intensive Graduate Program they provide which would expose me to critical skills and a wide client base, but also their core value in working as a team to deliver quality results.
Within the first day at IQ, my fellow graduate and I were welcomed openly by the team as well as the executives, who openly answered our questions and explained the key aspects of the role, and the warm culture of the company. I am eager to begin my journey at IQ Group and am looking forward to this chapter of my career.
IQ Group provides graduates with their career ‘head start’ through training and career development. We provide the right tools and training to ensure our graduates can achieve career success through mentoring, support and e-learning. Our graduates receive:
a structured program with an initial intensive skills development training boot camp, providing Business Analysis, Project Management, Data and Change skills, as well as RG146 qualification;
12 months of formal mentoring by a Principal Consultant;
great exposure to a variety of work environments and a network of professionals within the industry; and
valuable experience on a wide range of engagements working with a great IQ Group team and clients.