Is your Credit Department leading the lending department to the future or are you following them there? This take on Jeff Bezos’s quote could be your mantra for the rest of your career. If all decisions are made through a client-focused lens, you maximize value for your financial institution. But how do you create the most value for your client while keeping risk management best practices? Tough question.

Peter Sheahan, Group CEO and Founder of global consultancy Karrikins Group has the answer. At a recent presentation, Mr. Sheahan explained that you need to escape the gravity of your own success. The tendency to go with what you know is detrimental long-term.  A promotional mode rather than a narrow protectionist mode requires you to let go of your years of experience.

The answer is productivity. It’s especially important to facilitate appraisal workflow and vendor management to shorten and improve the process. Having a dashboard to monitor all work in process is critical to the success of your appraisal department. Depending on your financial institution’s structure, a system like YouConnect facilitates loan processing, appraisal review and automates the entire valuation process.

Mr. Sheahan’s challenge: “What are the higher order problems your clients face that you are uniquely positioned to solve?” Technology allows your Credit Department to solve problems as risk management professionals, while supporting and facilitating lending. For example, YouConnect allows you to see what’s going on – weekly production reports, vendor activity, status updates and pipeline reports customized for your bank.

While the culture of lending and credit is somewhat Yin and Yang: seemingly opposite or contrary forces; they may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent. Mr. Sheahan concludes with, “always move your customer cause forward.” How do you create value?