Finovate Spring 2016 – Day 1 Highlights

Finovate Spring 2016 – Day 1 Highlights

I’ve just returned from Finovate’s May 2016 Conference in San Jose, where a clear theme emerged:  a combination of digital self service + human interaction + artificial intelligence.

From an enormous range of 71 presenters (I think one dropped out) here are a few personal highlights from  Day 1.

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Self-driving cars will change the world – and banking

Self-driving cars will change the world – and banking
These days it seems the news is full of stories about autonomous driving.

The other day I came across the video below.  It shows what can happen when an unprepared person is placed behind the wheel of a self-driving car.  In this case, the car was a Tesla in autopilot mode and the driver was the owner’s mother.

Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVU6ANI059M

The video highlights what can happen when standard expectations confront new modes of behaviour associated with technological innovation.  In this case the disjuncture is hugely discomforting for the lady sitting in a Tesla Model S.

But Tesla is not alone in developing self-driving cars.

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Agile development and fast failure is part of a bigger picture

Agile development and fast failure is part of a bigger picture

A recent article in Bank Innovation called Agile Development Has Banks Failing Fast (in a Good Way) by Philip Ryan presents a range of cogent points around the benefits and importance of agile development methodologies.  These include:

  • the observation that the threat to traditional banking practice from Silicon Valley comes as much from the adoption of new software development practices as from new technologies and disruptors;
  • the benefits of agile in terms of delivering rapid product innovation;
  • the importance of being prepared to ‘fail’, ie pivot and re-position; and
  • the observation that ‘fast fail’ does not necessarily signify ‘failure’ as much as ‘hypothesis testing’ – in other words allowing product design/development decisions to be based on observations and facts rather than assumptions and preferences.

All of this is true and salient.

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Building an innovation culture in banking

Building an innovation culture in banking

Came across this very nice post today by Jim Marous summarising results from an Accenture study on corporate innovation.

Some of the key outcomes of the study discuss many of the things we all know to be true:

  • management support for innovative ideas is critical;
  • the need to focus on day-to-day functions often gets in the way of devoting time to innovation; and
  • rewarding a person’s contribution to innovation is complex:  if any reward or acknowledgement is linked to the innovation’s ultimate success then this can have the perverse outcome of discouraging some people, due the the fear of failure.

But there are two other lessons in the article I particularly liked.

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