An innovation culture?

Chris Simcoe, says, in a comment on my last post (I was remarking on the role of labs in banks): Could one not ask the same question of institutions which have “innovation” groups or departments and why innovation is just not part of doing business. Is it not something that should be part of the […]

When does a “lab” make sense?

I’ve been speaking to a lot of bank innovators lately who have established a “lab” facility as part of their innovation operations. They have various purposes, but most of the time, they’re about testing new technologies in a safe way, with as few of the restrictions of the parent as possible. But here is an […]

The personal brand

With all this blogging and collaborating going on, its interesting to see institutions having to deal with the very new idea of their employees having personal brands and profiles in their own right. Such external visibility used to be the preserve of the CEO and, maybe, his direct reports. But, now, anyone with something to […]

Innovation is a luxury

The other day, I heard on the grapevine that a significant UK bank is cutting back its innovation function. You’ll forgive me, I’m sure, if I don’t name the bank, but reports of the contraction of innovation there were triangulated by several sources. Apparently, given the difficult times at present, innovation was seen to be […]

Spray and pray

I know how customers feel when a bank rings them up out of the blue to sell them a credit card. Most of the time it is annoying. I know this because I am subject to multiple emails and phone calls a day from people who wish to do business with the bank. Because my […]

Back to basics banking

"Back to basics" is a phrase that seems to be coming up in banking quite a bit. It refers to the strategy of eliminating activity that isn’t "core", of concentrating investments on those customer segments which are most profitable, and looking to grow the business organically. I’m always so surprised at the reliance people place […]

Using authority asymmetries

Doing innovation for a living quickly gives you a thick skin, because more often than not, some of your best work never sees the light of day. It is very important to avoid emotional investment in any particular innovation because most of the factors that get an idea out of the door are not under […]

BarCamp Bank London

On 5July this year, there will be a BarCamp Bank in London. For those of you not familiar with the term "BarCamp", it refers to the idea of an "unconference" – a get together where there are no set agendas, no set speakers, and no sales pitches. You show up, ready to present (anyone who […]

Innovation not “cool enough” in banks

In a post entitled "The problem with banking innovation and how to fix it", Guillaume remarks: "smart innovative employees go to companies that have an innovative management environment and culture…" And earlier in the piece he cites a post by Allen Weinberg stating that banks have difficulty hiring innovative employees because of "their lack of […]

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