Shaping Innovation Strategy – Session Report

February 02, 2020


In February 2020, members of the Digital Leadership Forum met at Lloyds Banking Group in London to discuss Innovation: Identify, Shape, and Execute Your Strategy

Representatives from leading organisations including Dell Technologies, Lloyds Banking Group, BT, Clifford Chance, Barclays, LV=, Schroders, Coutts, AstraZeneca, Octopus Investments, Refinitiv, BDO, Hootsuite and many more discussed shaping innovation strategy within large organisation.

Strategy to Execution: The Missing Link with Henley Business School

Attendees first heard from Sharm Manwani, Executive Professor of IT Leadership at Henley Business School.

Sharm spoke about the common innovation barriers within large organisations:

  • Stakeholder Misalignment
  • Business Silos
  • Legacy Complexity

He then outlined the ways in which to overcome these road blocks in order to implement a successful innovation strategy within your organisation.

Innovation in one of the UK’s Oldest Banks with Barclays

We then heard from Gerwyn Jenkins, Director, Group Innovation Office at Barclays on innovation in one of the UK’s oldest banks. Jenkins spoke about Barclays’ Group Innovation Office and how bringing together all business units within Barclays can instil a mindset of continuous innovation throughout the organisation.

He also touched on how identifying new revenue and investment streams helps build next-generation products, services and platforms that shape the future of financial services for their customers and clients.

Innovation Challenges and Success Stories

Following on from this, attendees broke into smaller groups to discuss their challenges, success stories and learnings within the innovation field. Discussion topics included:

  • The processes and best practices supporting your innovation strategy
  • How to make experimental innovation more economical
  • Beneficial skill sets to lead in innovation
  • The challenges hindering innovation within organisations and how to overcome these
  • Using the threat of new disruptors to encourage innovation

The Importance of Continuous Learning with Lloyds Banking Group and AstraZeneca

Attendees then heard from Monica Carlesso, Head of New Business Exploration, Lloyds Banking Group, and Dr Bonnie Cheuk, Global Capability Leader – Learning Agility, AstraZeneca on ‘The importance of continuous learning for innovation’.

Bonnie Cheuk explained that in order to drive innovation within teams and organisations, you need to continue to both learn and unlearn. How can we do that? She touched on the importance of treating people as human beings. Listening to them, allowing an open dialogue, and ultimately understanding the flaws that come with being human is crucial to creating an innovative culture.

Monica Carlesso suggested that having an open mind is a key skill to possess. As a leader, you must enable innovation in a non-directive way and have trust in your team. Understanding that your role as a leader, is to enable innovation within your team, is a key skill as a leader in the field of innovation.

Nurturing an Innovative Culture at a Bank with Starling Bank

Finally we heard from digital challenger bank Starling Bank’s Chief Technology Advocate, Jason Maude on nurturing an innovative culture in banking.

Jason began by stating that innovation occurs when you create conditions that allow it to flourish, it is not just simply extractable. He then went on to explore the common obstacles when attempting to implement a culture of innovation:

  • Even the simplest change takes months to implement
  • It’s too risky or regulators won’t like it
  • We have a legacy code/technical debt

Watch Jason Maude’s presentation below for his solutions to these common innovation roadblocks.

Watch the presentations below: