Unicorns are our competition
Mike Bainbridge has worked in IT strategy for over 20 years, with a background in e-commerce his focus has always been delivering high-performance customer solutions. At AWS (Amazon Web Services) he runs the Digital Innovation program, to help enterprise organisations understand how to build a culture and process for scaling innovation.
He was presenting our monthly Tech Talk and opened with the attention-grabbing assertion that unicorns are our competition. He explained:Read more
A unicorn is a company worth £1 billion.
These unicorns are building, testing and delivering products at a pace that the market has never seen before.
Consumers have been through a digital transformation where their experiences and expectations have also transformed. This change is where large organisations who have remained the same in their ways of working have struggled to keep up with the demands of the market and their customers. Whereas the unicorns have done the complete opposite and embraced a culture of innovation, enabling their employees to heighten their creativity through accountable freedom. The number one factor for an organisation to succeed is their culture.
At Amazon there are principles to make everyone feel like a leader, their own leader. To let them make decisions, to let them invent, innovate and think big. Amazon has over 700,000 employees, and by allowing this culture of innovation to flow, someone, somewhere within those 700,000 people, will have the “next big thing”. If you compress people into silos, take their ability to create and innovate away, over time your business will fail.
It's not only the culture, but the structure of an organisation that is important. Mike's next point resonated with many at Nationwide as we transform. He recalled asking:
“If 10 people in an organisation, from executives to a branch assistant had come up with a ground-breaking idea, would all of those people follow the same path to get that idea started or recognised by someone who can do something with it?”.
When this question was asked originally, 9/10 people said 'no'.
The people who said 'no' felt that the language in traditional organisations held them back. Words such as ‘experiment’ automatically sounds like failure. This is the mould that has to be broken; when it comes to experimenting, failure is okay. We learn more from failing than we do succeeding. Having that license to fail in a safe environment where innovating and experimenting is encouraged will help businesses become more efficient and self-aware. It is only through innovation do we learn where we need to improve and what our strengths are.
Innovation is imperative at Nationwide. Through it we are maturing, growing and learning, providing legendary service whilst staying relevant to our evolving membership.Read less