Being gunpowder

We have a term in my team: “you’ll need to gunpowder that”. It’s an oblique reference to the problem of the silver bullet. The bullet may be the answer to everything, but without gunpowder it never leaves the gun. Or worse still, it leaves the gun but only has enough omph to go part the […]

The paper inflection point

I was in this meeting the other day about a new product we are planning. The specifications and features of the product were pretty much defined, and the discussion was about how best to deliver it to customers. Usually, those sorts of discussions are mostly about IT, and this was no exception. Now, our new […]

Ideas are valueless

Neil Robinson of Lanzen Strategy Blog was horrified a few days ago when I said that ideas by themselves are valueless. He then went on to write an interesting post: “Many companies now have blue sky departments tasked with creating the Next Big Thing. But can we factory farm a golden goose?” I suppose he […]

Getting good at breaking things

In a post over at BankWatch, Colin writes that banks should expect a round of disruptive innovation after present market turbulence settles. As he says, “there is always someone able to do it better and cheaper”. Clayton Christensen would now argue, were he here on this blog, that as incumbent companies are unable to disrupt […]

Do we want our outsourcers to innovate?

Last night I was invited to speak at an event Fujitsu were holding for alumni of their graduate programme. Every so often, apparently, they get everyone whose been through their programme together for networking and so forth, whether they are still with the company or not. So anyway, I’m at this event, and I got […]

Thought leadership

It actually bothers me when people claim to be “thought leaders”. As far as I am concerned, the term refers to those who use their brains to create something novel, something new. Thought Leaders are the ones that give us new theory or that can make generalisations about the obvious that helps explain things. They […]

iPhone iHype

It is amazing to me how much hoo-haa the iPhone, especially in its new incarnation, is generating in banking. The thing is a phone after all, and yes, it has a nice new interface and is visually appealing, but does it really do all that much more than any other phone that’s out there? It […]

Strategic vendors don’t do small projects

I’ve been struck by how the most effective vendors at the bank have moved on from selling us gadgets. They’ve worked out that we hate it when they manage to convince us to buy stuff (with superior pricing or any of the other blandishments they have at their disposal) to have it sit on the […]

Bar Camp Bank London

The Saturday just past, I attended the inaugural Barcamp Bank in London, along with, I suppose, about 40 or so others. The event was held in the offices of Sun Microsystems. A great turnout I thought. It was my first BarCamp, and I have to say that I’m now a convert to the unconference format. […]

Big organisation optimisation for small projects

My team and I are busy rolling out a new innovation internally here at the bank, one which I’ll no doubt be in a position to talk about in a few months. Its quite a transformational thing, and one that most people are excited about. Yesterday, though, news of our impending internal start-up began to […]

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