Ten bits of wisdom in banking innovation

Wisdom in banking
innovation is knowing that in times of trouble you don't want to be
seen as the cause of trouble yourself. Instead, focus on value
enhancement through small, but significant steps forward that don't
cost too much.

Wisdom in banking
innovation is making sure that everyone possible is included as part
of the process. Ivory tower innovators are not only disconnected from
the real business, they have no leg to stand on when troubled times
make their programmes subject to cost cutting.

Wisdom in banking
innovation is knowing that if you have to break a rule, and it is in
the best interests of the bank, it is better to ask for forgiveness
than permission. Banking innovators should be the light that
illuminates rules that need to be revised and updated.

Wisdom in banking
innovation is knowing that breaking one rule means you have to obey
100 before you can break another. Avoiding the cowboy effect should
be a mantra that bank innovators live by.

Wisdom in banking
innovation is accepting that programmes you've shed blood for are
going to be cancelled for no other reason than it is expeditious in
the present climate. And knowing that the average length of a
recession in the post-war years is only 10 months.

Wisdom in banking
innovation is understanding that when people cost cut, they will look
first at innovation programmes. Deal with the fact that doing change
gets harder the less money there is, and move on to providing thought
leadership and insight that is the unique product of a team that only
concentrates on looking forward.

Wisdom is understanding
that going back to “traditional banking” doesn't mean doing new
things is off the agenda. On the contrary: with everyone being
traditional, the need for doing things in new ways has never been

Wisdom in banking
innovation is believing  you are a part of the business process
that will be the primary driver of value creation in the next few
decades. And making sure  you create the right systems and
cultures now to ensure the coming innovation renaissance doesn't pass
your institution by.

Wisdom in banking
innovation is knowing that to a significant degree the innovators are
the canaries in the coal mine. Because they look forward all the
time, rather than focussing on day to day operations and the
objectives of the present reporting period, they are the ones most
likely to spot future disruptive things and bring them to the
attention of the rest of the business. And wisdom is accepting that
even when operational pressures make it hard to get the attention of
senior people, there is a duty
to do so.

in banking innovation is knowing that you can substitute influence
for money in order to get things done. Influence and money share the
same relationship as energy and matter in physics: they are the same
things in different forms. And wisdom is knowing that the process to
convert one to the other isn't rocket science, but
about people.

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