This week, 352’s virtual Off the Record featured Jose Rivera, founder of The Greenhouse Lab at U.S. Bank/Elavon. Jose gave a frank, front-line perspective about how COVID-19 is impacting the technical side of the finance community. Our own SVP of Strategy, Kacie Lett, moderated a deep dive conversation into the challenges that Jose’s team, and the banking community, is facing, including:

Put design thinking into action when considering how your teams will work.

Few of us were 100% prepared to go fully remote prior to COVID-19. Like many of us, Jose’s team has had to rethink how to connect and communicate with their internal stakeholders. The team has been taking their users’ pain points into account and employing empathetic thinking to create new processes. Jose’s team is also growing increasingly intentional about how they engage with stakeholders to make the most out of every interaction and decision point.

Innovation teams are often having to shift into new work. Trust currencies can ease that transition.

The challenges being posed to Jose and his team are more complex than ever due to COVID-19, and the organization is showing that they trust the group to be a larger part of the innovation conversation. There has been a focus-shift for the Greenhouse team, from exploring technical solutions, to tackling broader strategic questions, such as, “What consumer habits will affect markets on a global scale?” Also, thinking through challenges like, “What happens if people don’t want to walk into stores anymore?” is where innovators like Jose’s team can truly shine.

Understand your digital starting point and what that means for looking to the future.

For fintech, or any organization navigating the digital world in new ways, the strategic play is to focus on the long-term, not just six months from now. Technology moves faster than you’ll be able to attain it, and companies who have taken a cautious approach or built up technical debt  have a bigger hurdle to overcome. Ask yourself, “In 12 months, what will digital look like?” That’s what you have to aim for to achieve success. Playing catch up won’t be enough to succeed.

Want to know more? Watch Kacie and Jose’s live conversation, and join us each week as we talk to innovators about how they are navigating the challenges of their industries during COVID-19.


352 is an innovation and growth firm. Leading companies hire us to find billion-dollar opportunities, build killer new products and create hockey-stick growth. We bring grit and new-fashioned thinking to innovation, digital development and growth marketing.