The Quest for Innovation
At ADAPT’s recent CIO Edge Conference in Melbourne, Director of Strategic Research Matt Boon interviewed speakers Gerard Florian, Steve Hodgkinson and Steve Day. The theme was innovation in user organisations: how to do it, what the roadblocks are, what it really means.
What do you feel is the biggest roadblock when it comes to innovation?
When we’re thinking about innovation, clearly we all start with very big goals. The challenge we face at ANZ Bank, which many large organisations share is making sure that you maintain that ambition and try and resist, is the gravitational pull of business as usual in a large organisation.
It is all about coming back and saying, you can’t do it for these reasons, we’ve tried this before, that won’t work. It’s normal, it’s very common in organisations, it’s part of human nature to resist change and break free from that gravitational pull is a big part of the innovation challenge.
There is no shortage of ideas, but how do you take those ideas and then get them into something at scale?
So how do we create a culture that allows failure and breeds creativity?
Failure is a word that comes up a lot when people are talking about Agile. Fail and fail fast is often used. I personally like to make sure we’re differentiating between failing and failure.
For me, failing is part of a learning process. Failure means quitting and giving up. We don’t want to give up, but we do want to make mistakes. We do want to learn from those mistakes. We want to share those learnings.
This is not necessarily something that people are comfortable with. It’s the job of the leader to start by showing that level of vulnerability, putting your hand up and saying, hey, I got this thing wrong and here’s how I’ve got better.
Over time, people start to watch that role model and build from it. A big part of the new way of working for ANZ is people feeling safe to admit they’ve made a mistake, how did I learn from it, and let’s try and make new mistakes and learn from them next time.
From a technology point of view, when you think about some things are coming to the fore, like Blockchain, IoTs and other things, what do you think is the game changing technology of the next 12 to 18 months?
I don’t think there’s a silver bullet in anything. A lot of people look at Blockchain. Blockchain is a technique that could be used in some really cool applications, but it’s not going to change the world in its own right. It’s more a thought process than an individual technology that’s going to change things.
As we get into the enabling technologies that lets you to do things faster and create more simple and user friendly products, that is the game changer.
It’s not that IoT is going to make banking so much better. There’s some use cases, as well as use cases for data analytics, for machine learning and for all kinds of different technologies. It’s about bringing those technologies together in innovative ways to create really cool experiences and products for our customers, that is the game changer.
We’ve also heard a lot about the importance of the experiences we’re providing, I’m talking about customer experience. When I think about customer experience, and for you in your role, as well, your customers are your employees and your executives.
You have your patients and customers and so on. How important is developing an experience for your customers which they feel comfortable with and happy with? Does that come in play into your planning as well, in terms of the goals?
If I’d separate out external clients and patients from internal staff, customer experience is fundamental in both. Some of the systems that we’ve delivered for our external clients, for example, are digital channels to access social housing through the myGov portal of the Commonwealth.
A simple thing like the fact that we’ve made those systems available on myGov is a huge improvement in the customer experience, as opposed to saying, we expect you to authenticate separately and differently to state government versus Commonwealth.
These people mostly already have Commonwealth credentials because they have to use myGov for tax, for Centrelink, for Medicare. Why would we ask them to create a new credential just so they can access a state government social service? So that simple thing is a radical transformation. We’re still the only state government with services available on the myGov portal.
Interesting. It does seem like your customers are really benefiting from this.
Yes, it’s a huge improvement in the customer experience. We’ve been able to do that because we can execute projects in this way.
From banks to government, empowering our users (employees and customers) to leverage the tools they currently have more effectively via our services, apps and offerings is key in the quest to retain and attract employees and customers.