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Innovation and the Future Proof Bank: A Practical Guide to Doing Different Business-as-Usual


Innovation is the process of converting new things into business-as-usual. There are few banks today that fail to recognise the capability to do this is a key way of sustaining competitive advantage. Many, however, have little idea of how to go about building such capabilities. By so doing, they expose themselves to uncertain futures, as other players enter and out-innovate them in core markets.

There are some banks, however, who always seem to be ahead of the curve. They have created capabilities that enable them to out-innovate the innovators. To do so, they have established a set of practices that allow them to future-poof themselves.

This is a book about hose practices in banks. It explains, using examples from institutions around the world, what it takes to create the business process that introduces new things and makes them business-as-usual. It shows how to do this with reliability and certainty of return. And, in the process, it illustrates what your institution can do to be as future-proof as the most innovative banks in the world.

James A. Gardner, (London, UK), is a career innovator that has worked in multiple industries including financial services, technology and the public sector. He is well known in the banking community through his writing ( and has spent two decades working in and around banking. Originally from Australia, he now resides in London, but spends a good part of eveey year travelling to banks everywhere else.
List of Tables.

List of Figures.


1 Introduction.

What you will find in this chapter.

1.1 What is innovation anyway?

1.2 What happens when you don’t futureproof.

1.3 Five things that innovation is not.

1.4 150 years of innovation in banks.

1.5 The innovation downside.

1.6 An overview of the futureproofing process.

1.7 Where to go now.

2 Innovation Theories and Models.

What you will find in this chapter.

2.1 The innovation adoption decision process.

2.2 Personal innovativeness.

2.3 Innovation from the perspective of the market.

2.4 Characteristics of innovations.

2.5 Innovation from the perspective of the firm.

2.6 Case Study: The internal adoption of social media.

2.7 Theory of disruption.

2.8 Case Study: PayPal’s continuing disruption of the payments market.

2.9 Thoughts before going further.

3 Innovating in Banks.

What you will find in this chapter.

3.1 The innovation pentagram in banks.

3.2 The Five Capability Model of a successful innovation function.

3.3 Case Study: Innovation at Bank of America.

3.4 Building out the futureproofing process.

3.5 Technology, business, and innovation.

3.6 Autonomic innovation.

3.7 Case Study: ChangeEverything, a project by Vancity in Canada.

3.8 The banking innovation challenge.

4 Futurecasting.

What you will find in this chapter.

4.1 The purpose of futurecasting.

4.2 An overview of futurecasting.

4.3 What futurecasts should innovators be doing?

4.4 An example.

4.5 Constructing the futurecast with scenario planning methods.

4.6 Prediction methods.

4.7 Case Study: AMP’s Innovation Festival.

4.8 Some final words about futurecasting.

5 Managing Ideation.

What you will find in this chapter.

5.1 An overview of the ideation phase.

5.2 Campaign and create.

5.3 Collect, catalogue, and compare.

5.4 Scoring.

5.5 Customer insight.

5.6 Customer co-creation.

5.7 Case Study: Royal Bank of Canada’s Next Great Innovator Challenge.

5.8 Concluding remarks.

6 The Innovation Phase.

What you will find in this chapter.

6.1 Should we? Can we? When?

6.2 The innovation portfolio.

6.3 What happens next?

6.4 Tools for ‘Should we?’

6.5 Tools for ‘Can we?’

6.6 Tools for ‘When?’

6.7 Selling innovations.

6.8 Case Study: Bank of America and the Centre for Future Banking.

6.9 Wrapping up the innovation phase.

7 Execution.

What you will find in this chapter.

7.1 Ways to manage execution.

7.2 Building the new thing.

7.3 The launch.

7.4 Operations post-launch.

7.5 Signals for futurecasting.

7.6 Case Study: Innovation Market.

7.7 The end of futureproofing.

8 Leading Innovation Teams.

What you will find in this chapter.

8.1 Leadership styles.

8.2 Things the leaders should do.

8.3 Signs of a bad innovation leader.

8.4 What next?

9 The Innovation Team.

What you will find in this chapter.

9.1 The changing shape of the innovation workforce.

9.2 Creators, embellishers, perfectors, and implementers.

9.3 Team working.

9.4 When innovators go bad.

9.5 A last word about innovation teams.

10 Processes and Controls.

What you will find in this chapter.

10.1 Oversight.

10.2 Metrics.

10.3 Rewards and recognition.

10.4 Innovation and the organisation.

10.5 Funding innovation.

10.6 The visible face of innovation.

10.7 And finally . . .

11 Making Futureproofing Work in Your Institution.

What you will find in this chapter.

11.1 Case Study: Civic banking at Caja Navarra.

11.2 Starting your innovation programme.

11.3 Making ideation work.

11.4 The innovation stage.

11.5 Execution.

11.6 Doing futurecasting.

11.7 Innovation leaders and teams.

Some Final Words.