Technology and Regulation: A Modern Day Tortoise and Hare Tale…with a Twist!

Raise your hand if you have a mobile device.

Ok, good; you’re in the majority of business professionals today who are putting technology to good use. [It’s very easy to figure out who the hare is in this tale is going to be; think of the “Energizer Bunny”.]

Now, raise your hand if you think compliance and regulation are able to keep up with technology today.

What? I don’t see one hand raised out there in social media land. What’s up with that?

What you’re experiencing is the modern-day story of the tortoise and the hare race, except the difference in today’s story is that the hare is winning…by a lot!

I’m not a compliance poo-pooer, not at all. I believe in keeping consumers and advisors both safe. Compliance has a definite place. What I am is intolerant of is embracing practices that purposely hold an entire legion of financial services professionals back who are working to improve the financial landscape of those they serve. It’s like the tortoise became cavalier with his win and when the hare actually dug into the race and sped out ahead, the tortoise had to pull out all the stops to “win” the race back. Not entirely fair.

And this problem is not only specific to financial services though. I recently watched an episode of #JayToday with Jay Baer of Convince & Convert. [He’s one of my favorite social media strategist.] In this YouTube, he talks about being on a flight and using software that allows you to text via WiFi and then being called out by a flight attendant. The flight attendant was so fixated on the regulation, she then become short-sighted and didn’t know the appropriate work around on this. It makes those spewing regulation look old and crotchety. You should watch the episode above.

After a recent SIFMA conference, published an article telling the financial services community they were behind in social media use (duh, right?) and later confirmed by a PeopleLinx report discussing social selling trends that 73% of respondents saw value in social selling, yet only 26% overall felt they knew how to use social for selling. When PeopleLinx dug into the report findings more, they uncovered when encouragement, training and measurement were provided, social increased dramatically .

So why does regulation continue to be so far behind technology? It’s a loaded question and not one we are going to answer in this blog, but one we need to continue to question every time an advisor is told “No” by someone in an officer role. It’s ok to ask, “Why?” and really dig into the reason behind it. It’s the only way we are going to push compliance to acknowledge the slow response to change and adjust accordingly. Our ability to be nimble is imperative if we are to keep up with other industries of professionals who are gaining face time with our clients.

I really want the underdog to win, but not by undermining the race. Play hard, yet play fair.

Be bigger, better and more BIONIC today!