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How does the decision to build, buy or partner fit into a winning innovation strategy?
With an increasingly fragmented market for financial services and customers’ expectations influenced by their experience in other industries as well, innovation is also crucial in the financial sector. Polishing user interfaces and making existing services available in digital channels will not suffice. This paper focuses on different aspects and perspectives for a winning innovation strategy and cultural and contextual preconditions that will affect your decision to build, buy or partner as part of that strategy. Based on ISO Standards for Innovation Management and a chosen theoretical framework, you will learn how the culture, values and context of a 150-year-old bank affect our innovation process, what is on our Trend Radar for emerging technologies, and how we use this as a tool to choose what to do — and what not to do. Our Digitalisation & Innovation team are ‘pioneers and settlers’, and our success depends on how well we collaborate with our brilliant ‘town planners’. An example of radical innovation activities is an ongoing initiative regarding central bank digital currencies. This is a good example of a joint venture between different parts of the organisation as well as with external partners. There tends to be a perception, sometimes, that partnering for innovation is equivalent to partnering with or investing in FinTechs, including start-ups. It needs to be viewed much more broadly than this. The factors that will ultimately decide whether you have a winning strategy or not depend on the context in which, and reasons why, these decisions are made. And in the end, it will be customers who decide whether your innovation strategy is a winner or not.
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Malin Lignell has more than 20 years of experience working with advisory services for both individual customers and corporates within Handelsbanken. She was in leadership roles at several Handelsbanken branches for more than ten of these years. In September 2019 Malin joined the team for Digitalisation & Innovation, where she now works at strategic and operational levels with communications both within the organisation and externally. The team identifies and evaluates important trends within emerging technologies and explores these in practice. Insights built through dialogue internally and externally, as well as from field experience, are used to drive, inspire and challenge the organisation to become more innovative and focus on the opportunities that come with the bank’s digitalisation journey. Focus areas are understanding changes in customer behaviour and business models following trends in emerging technologies.