Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: go hug your innovation team

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she turns her attention to innovation in big banks and why partners, vendors and many more should take caution when talking to innovation.

Innovation teams in banks can and will open doors and even though that’s useful they don’t control decisions or budgets. They can be friends, but never champions.

Even though every innovation function faces the world the reality is that the job was internal. Innovation teams are paid to learn but the real job was to explain. For each panel showing off the bank’s latest digital riches, there were a thousand internal meetings. Every one a battle to try and bring progress, change, tech and hope to the bank.

And those meetings weren’t all friendly. Innovation teams were paid to find a path in a contentious and costly future. But they needed to find the path of least cost and hurt. Even then they were held responsible for the cost and hurt of each option.

But people still do the job, because they want to get things done and make things better. They’re not always sitting in the innovation team but they still do the work and they all have four traits in common.

Guts. It takes virtue and daring to be free. They come in day after day and do the thing you mock as a waste of time, just marketing.

Imagination. Imagine the future now, the details of how it’ll work, move away from the constraints of what’s know, received and familiar. It takes real intellectual might to imagine something that doesn’t exist. But still, you mock.

Fire power. To stand a chance of landing a message every now and again. Of getting you to understand the why as well as the what. Of getting you to commit time, attention, effort, they need some serious firepower. Beyond that of their sponsor and patron. They need to have big guns of their own.

Fierce grace. The ability to fight uphill battles and not give up. To still get things done isn’t something that will keep innovation teams there forever. The fact that they can work like this doesn’t mean they should.

If you have a team like the one I described, go over right now and hug them. And hear how you can make their life better so that they can save yours.

Read the full story over at Fintech Futures.