Industry leaders can change the course of history. Take Henry Ford, Thomas Edison or Alexander Graham Bell. All those are household names, of course. But what was it like to have been a competitor of Ford, Edison or Bell as they permanently altered the competitive landscape?
Or more recently, look at the radical transformation wrought by the business and technical genius of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. Gates has undeniable talent for mass distribution and product-coupling in the field of personal computing and electronic entertainment. Jobs has unrivaled gifts for product creativity and new-application brilliance. But who could have seen these guys coming and predicted the impact of their deeds on the rest of the industry? (I'm sure the guys who used to run whole production lines manufacturing typewriters would have liked to have known.)
There are certain times in every industry's history when an unusual amount of creativity and change are occurring. The discovery and harnessing of new technology certainly plays a role in this. And the mortgage business could be at one of these turning points.
The Mortgage Bankers Association's (MBA's) new chairman, Regina Lowrie, CMB, sensing that the real estate finance industry may be at the threshold of one of those critical chapters, took a bold step. In October at MBA's 92nd Annual Convention, she called for the appointment of a select group of the industry's best and brightest to scour the current industry landscape for signs of transformative change. This group of industry leaders is being called the Council to Shape Change. What's its task? To produce a roadmap of the fundamental factors that can be expected to change the industry over the next five to 10 years, and then give us a glimpse at what that the competitive landscape will look like.
Lowrie, founder and president of Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services LP, Horsham, Pennsylvania, has a personal stake in knowing where her industry is headed. She built a company from the ground up, and knows that the jobs of her 800 employees rest on her ability and that of her top management team to see where the industry is going. But MBA knows she is not alone in her desire to clearly see the road ahead. All MBA member companies have a serious stake in knowing about the future of their industry, and I believe it is a primary mission of MBA to help shed light on factors that will fundamentally change the competitive landscape...