Financial institutions are facing intense competition and regulation after the economic meltdown the US experienced. Innovation has become a key component of business strategy and a competitive advantage for those companies that are successful innovators. Innovation in the current financial climate is one of the most important drivers of success. It also is seen as a requirement to remain competitive in the next decade. The Inside Wells Fargo's Digital Innovation Lab article by Mary Wisniewski is both a review of the innovation process Well Fargo utilizes as well as the various ways Wells Fargo is approaching innovation to improve banking. The Digital Innovation Lab Wells Fargo has put together in San Francisco is their attempt at jumpstarting innovation at Wells Fargo. This lab is brand new; having just opened in September and is focused on exploring some of the areas of banking that are ready for much needed innovation.
The article points out that there are some areas of banking that have not had much innovation in the past few decades. The Digital Innovation lab is being used to explore potential innovations to the way Wels Fargo does business as well as to better understand how technological advances can improve the banking experience. One of which is dive thru banking. To conduct a transaction via the drive thru terminals, customers must use pneumatic tubes which send their IDs to tellers who visually confirm their identity.
The reason for the Innovation Lab centers around the need to better address opportunities and challenges banking has experienced over the past few years. For the most part, both have to do with the banking industry better understanding the intent of their customers in order to service them faster and more effectively.
This article has direct correlations to our readings this week; the biggest to me being the types of innovation ongoing in the newly formed Digital Innovation Lab at Wells Fargo and the fact that they are utilizing Basic and Applied research to innovate.
Mary Wisniewski describes an incredible amount of innovation that Wells Fargo is exploring and how it could impact the organization. With the creation of the Digital Innovation Lab, Wells Fargo is heavily investing in all types of innovation and trying to build a focal point where innovative ideas can be explored strategically without the pressure of day to day operational responsibilities interfering. Some of the innovations are Basic and have a direct business application such as the innovations to drive thru banking, while some are Applied and have yet to have their applications defined such as integrating emotional reactions into banking transactions. Overall, Wells Fargo is investing in innovation that provides incremental improvements in the way they do business and also working on more radical innovations that change the way banking is done.
The article makes is clear that the Innovation Lab was created to innovate both incrementally and radically (Incremental innovations are those that improve or moderately refine while radical innovations change the way business is done). Project Manager Sivesh Thangarajah points out, "The tests range from the more practical (think video banking) to what seems more futuristic (putting virtual reality headsets on bankers)." (Wisniewski, 2014). While the overall thrust was to point out the Digital Innovation Lab’s attempt to incrementally and radically innovate, the more subtle point in the article that caught my attention was the fact that Wells Fargo has projects ongoing that include product, process, competence-enhancing, competence-destroying, architectural and component innovations under the broad umbrella of either incremental or radical innovation and all of the innovations are leveraging technology to innovate.
Week 1 Written Assignment: Article 2
Brian Klapper focuses his article, Free Yourself from Conventional Thinking on describing ways a