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Fidelity Labs: Financial Services Tech Incubator
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PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
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10/1/2014 | 10:29:39 AM
innovation is a necessity
wow. I had no idea fidelity was a company that favored innovation.  I really think more companies should imitate such approach.  From my personal experience, I haven't worked on a company that had a research department; I think these days companies can't afford to have one. As the market changes and competition becomes demanding, they must be able to come up with new products to adapt to this ever changing world.
jastroff
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jastroff,
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10/1/2014 | 11:27:18 AM
Re: innovation is a necessity
@susan -- Great effort on the part of Fidelity. I worked at an innovation lab at Citibank some time ago, although not as advanced as Fidelity Labs, but similar.

I'm sure the people at INTEROP who heard this talk came away with "lab envy" and thought "how do I get one of those?" / "how do I make that happen?" It's not easy; it requires a commitment to innovation at the very senior levels with the ability to want to see around corners, the right people to run it and to staff it. A lab never can stop proving its value to the company. It's great fun to work at one of these labs, but it's also great pressure to produce actionable results.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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10/1/2014 | 2:11:19 PM
Re: innovation is a necessity
Thanks for sharing your experience - good, practical tips!
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
10/1/2014 | 4:19:03 PM
Re: innovation is a necessity
@jastroff: Many of the questions raised by attendees at this session did indeed run along the lines of "how do you do this," and "where does the funding come from." In this particular case, it's clear the chairman was behind the endeavor, and it seems that level of support is absolutely necessary in order for an innovation lab of this scope to exist in any organization.

Thanks for your experiences--what was your favorite part about working in the innovaiton lab?
jastroff
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jastroff,
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10/1/2014 | 6:19:56 PM
Re: innovation is a necessity
@susan – The group which I was with had the firm support of then Citibank CEO John Reed and was managed by a very senior bank official.

 

My favorite part about working with the Citibank innovation lab were the people. Recruited from all areas, the group was composed of writers, artists, journalists, developers,   human factors experts, academics, technologists, and others who could bring a new point of view to the table. It was fun working with them – challenging and productive. 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
10/7/2014 | 3:58:49 PM
Re: innovation is a necessity
@Jastroff: Those are the two key components of success for any kind of innovation lab endeavor: support from the highest ranks of the copmany, and a diversity of disciplines working together to share ideas. Sounds like an incredible experience. Though I'd also imagine with such a group of creatives there might have been some bit of herding cats involved. Was it challenging to get everyone focused and working on common goals?
jastroff
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jastroff,
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10/8/2014 | 11:32:12 AM
Re: innovation is a necessity
Well, our brainstorming did go on perhaps longer than most, but we developed methods to arrive where we needed to be in a reasonable amount of time. Still, there were some interesting diversions and long lunches at PJ Clarke's. The head of the group kept close tabs on all the projects, and we were always resonsible to the internal client who was paying the bills and wanted results, and so we had deadlines. It also helps to hire adults with work experience.

 

>> Though I'd also imagine with such a group of creatives there might have been some bit of herding cats involved. Was it challenging to get everyone focused and working on common goals?
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
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10/1/2014 | 2:13:07 PM
Re: innovation is a necessity
@PedroGonzales if you're right, there may need to be a mindshift from "can't afford to" to "can't afford NOT to"
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
10/1/2014 | 4:15:49 PM
Re: innovation is a necessity
@PedroGonzales: What's most remarkable to me is how they're inviting in customer feedback at various stages as they work through some of their ideas. Going forward, eliciting this kind of customer involvement in the development of new products and services is going to play a huge role in the success or failure of companies in just about every industry sector I can think.


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