Magazine article American Banker

'Megatrends' Author Calls for Banks to Go on the Offensive and Redesign: John Naisbitt Says Service Economy Requires 'Reconceptualization.'

Magazine article American Banker

'Megatrends' Author Calls for Banks to Go on the Offensive and Redesign: John Naisbitt Says Service Economy Requires 'Reconceptualization.'

Article excerpt

"Megatrends' Author Calls for Banks To Go on the Offensive and Redesign

John Naisbitt Says Service Economy Requires "Reconceptualization'

John Naisbitt, author of the best-seller "Megatrends,' has some thoughts for bankers.

"They have got to decide that they are willing to reconceptualize themselves,' Mr. Naisbitt says. "They are just like the unions. If unions don't reconceptualize themselves, and they show no inclination to do so, they'll continue to recede and go out of business.'

The chairman of the Naisbitt Group, a research and consulting firm based here, was speaking in an interview in his Washington office. He is the publisher of a newsletter on socioeconomic trends and has counseled and advised such companies as AT&T, United Technologies, International Business Machines Corp., and General Electric Corp.

Everyone needs to "reconceptualize' themselves, he says. The country is moving from an industrial to a service economy that is highly dependent upon technology and computers. Industries such as banking can no longer rely on 50-year-old regulations, and they must change.

And, Mr. Naisbitt adds, banks seem less willing to change executives than other industries.

"Banks keep talking about what people are doing to them. They really whine a lot,' Mr. Naisbitt says. "They say, "Look what the government is doing to us; look what Sears is doing to us; look what Merrill Lynch is doing to us.''

"It seems to me banks ought to start doing some things on their own,' Mr. Naisbitt adds. "They ought to start showing some assertiveness, innovation, and leadership.'

Banks are reluctant to change, Mr. Naisbitt says, because for many years they were protected from outside competition. Banks had geographic and product monopolies that were protected by government regulations.

"They had a protected turf for so long, they sort of think of [deregulation] as being done to them,' Mr. …

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