Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Royal Bank of Canada

In a rapidly changing banking environment, Royal Bank of Canada is trying to stay on top of the competition by being more agile.

Janice Fukakusa, the company's chief administrative officer and chief financial officer, is contributing to that cause by leading a companywide transformation and efficiency initiative focused on improving the customer experience and reducing costs through agile management, essentially handling projects in small sections so that adjustments can be made quickly rather than tackling everything at once.

Under Fukakusa's guidance, the company has launched an initiative called rapid digitization that embraces agile principles and encourages leaders to pursue opportunities at an enterprise level rather than in individual businesses. As a result, RBC's retail and capital markets businesses launched or improved 15 products in six months.

For instance, it launched myGPS, an application for wealth advisers across North America that provides a holistic view of a client's goals, needs and progress.

"Our continued strength as a leading global bank requires us to embrace new skills and create simpler, more collaborative, nimbler ways of working so that we continue to be the choice for clients," Fukakusa said.

The quote, "Done is better than perfect," has special meaning to Fukakusa. She said that traditionally RBC has been "uncomfortable with imperfection, and that's despite our extensive track record of success."

But given the challenges the industry is facing — rapidly changing technology, emerging competitors and evolving regulations — they need to be quicker and more nimble.

"When perfection is no longer part of the equation, you encourage people from across different levels, groups and geographies to come together, be bold, make real-time decisions and try things they may not have previously considered," Fukakusa said. "That's often where true innovation occurs — when you actively encourage a diversity of thought."

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