Our ideal client a story 25 yrs in the making

Recently we had a fantastic meeting with Ideas42 

They provide deep science-based thought leadership on behavioral design.

Here is a quote from their website:

“We envision a world where financial products, services, and programs are behaviorally-informed, and designed to meet the needs of people of all socio-economic statuses, ages, races, and genders so that they can have a financially secure present and a self-determined future.

We do this work by partnering with a wide variety of organizations, including credit unions, banks, public agencies, governments, fintech startups, and nonprofits. Instead of assuming that increased knowledge or motivation is the sole key to better outcomes, we seek to understand the context where decisions are made and remove barriers within the channels and systems through which people navigate their financial lives. Our ultimate goal – a financial system that works for everyone.”

Why am I talking about this on our Coherence Collaborative blog?

One of our current significant projects is with Kor Financial. Kor is founded by a person of color as a Fintech start-up providing best-in-class technology normally only found at the largest banks to credit unions, CDFI’s, and small banks. The opportunity is huge and important. The founder Art Muthiora  has been incubating it for several years in his visionary role as a technology solutions architect.

This blog is in part about our bringing together Ideas42 and Kor to eventually seamlessly meld together behavioral design and best in class technology to be more effective at providing important services and education in part to the under-banked and the unbanked. This is in many ways Coherence Collaboratives ideal work. The potential for positive deep and wide societal change and a robust bottom line. This is one of the key ways that credit unions, CDFI’s, and small banks can expand their customer base and is something they are very interested in from our discussions so far.  

In our current planning Kor will be a multistakeholder cooperative. Meaning we anticipate three types of owners, our customers, our employees, and investors. Again, wanting to show a deep commitment to healthy relationships we are huge advocates of shared ownership.

Behavioral design is not new to me. When I was working in the HIV community in the late ’90s and early 2000’s it was the driving force behind our industry-changing work. First, as President of Community Prescription Service, we started a patient education division and then later I co-founded Visionary Health Concepts a health and medical education company.

When I began working in HIV the patient education materials available were a grey 5×9” booklet without any graphics and written by a physician in doctor-speak essentially unintelligible to most college-educated folks which many of the patients were not.


Owls 6 from FB AG1 6 10 21
Different flavors of wisdom. Do you have a favorite?

With my initial strategy of getting pharmaceutical clients to pay for educational materials, they knew the patients, secondary providers (nurses, case managers, etc.), and doctors needed during a time of very rapid treatment evolution. My former employee and eventual business partner Lillian Thiemann was the brilliant behavioral design lead on our products. They were bright, colorful, and given the depth of science, they were communicating easy to read. Intuitive not as deliberate as Ideas42 work (there is room for both) it was highly effective. The demand was huge, the community couldn’t get enough. More importantly, the impact it had on people’s lifesaving treatment decisions was very real and important.

I will be intensely gratified if we are able to have the same impact on people’s financial lives and we did with their health back then.

What does all this have to do with being a perfect client for the Coherence Collaborative?

Too often I find executives live in silos with monovision around their specific expertise. Everyone wants to hire folks with existing industry experts who use the same old well-worn industry strategies. While I value industry expertise as much as the next executive, I also understand pattern recognition. It takes a special mind, a polymath with brain coherence-based wisdom to be able to connect taking your pills for HIV with what your ATM experience might be like. This is the kind of thinking that brings a healthy change to industries. This is the kind of thinking that changes people’s lives. This is the kind of thinking that solves humanity’s problems. This is the kind of thinking that solves tomorrow’s problems today. If you have read anything we have written, we believe brain coherence=wisdom. This is the wisdom we are discussing. And it is available to all who want to practice being on the path, this is a portion of our work.

So, I ask you what kind of impact do you want to have? One reason I think working with entrepreneurs is their willingness to take appropriate risks. In my experience executives in big companies to afraid to make a mistake. Better to play it safe than take a risk and fail. Humanity is literally dying from leaders afraid to take appropriate risks. I keep using the word appropriately. As a former world-class rock climber, I have taken risks few on this planet can even ponder never mind imagine. I am still here to tell you the stories and tall tales. Is that pure luck? Probably not given the volume of risks I have taken. In my opinion, I developed a fine-tuned brand of wisdom, inner knowledge that now supports my work and throughout all areas of my life. Let’s be clear just like everyone, my humanity shines when I do dumb things, make poor choices, and generally stumble along through life like all of us do on our less than best days. Yet when I am in the flow which happens more and more wisdom gets applied when I focus it. It gets applied to co-creating the solutions to your biggest organizational challenges.

So hopefully this brief opening of the kimono lets you in on who we are and what we do. A huge thank you to Ideas42 for stimulating these thoughts and memories. I am very much looking forward to working with you.

A huge thank you to Art and Kor for being perfect a perfect client. I am certain we going to make big progress on improving the world together and cashing a few checks along the way. A huge thank you, dear reader. If you or someone you know might have an interest in Kor, a customer, an investor, an employee please reach out.

Would your organization benefit from this brand of wisdom?

Share this page with your colleagues:

Read More…