- It is key to identify the four main environments where innovation will thrive in your firm.
- Collaborating is a useful method to come up with innovation.
- Combining these innovation streams with collaborative workshops can put your wealth management enterprise ahead of your competition.
There is no question that the most successful businesses are the ones that innovate.
Data has shown that the most innovative companies in the world in 2017 included industry giants IBM, Samsung, Canon, Intel and LG Electronics, highlighting how innovation translates to real world success.
It is not just the major IT players that require innovation to celebrate success - every enterprise, small, medium or large needs a sense of evolution to get ahead of their competition, including wealth management firms.
"A smart business is always looking to the future to identify how the changing marketplace and customers could reframe their offer and business," encourages Matt Heine, Joint Managing Director of Netwealth.
So what are the strategies you can put in place to innovate in your business?
Identify the areas of your business that need innovation
To innovate efficiently, it is important to firstly identify which of the four main innovation streams you wish to adopt to drive your wealth management business forward. They are:
1. Enhancing your customer journey
This involves mapping out every point where you interact with your clients and ensuring these interactions are the best they can possibly be.
Through this process we can understand the problems and barriers clients are experiencing and innovate accordingly. Apple founder Steve Jobs said that once this journey is mapped out perfectly, it is even possible to innovate before your clients tell you their problems.
"Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realise it themselves," he said.
2. Building for tomorrow through speculative innovation
This is your chance to break out the crystal ball and look into the future. In the last decade we have seen the world change dramatically, and more change is sure to be just around the corner.
By watching the world around us we can see how customer expectations have changed and begin to speculate how they might shift in the future. This allows us to innovate needs that don't even exist yet, to be the first to offer the service when the time comes.
Fiel Valdez is the Creative Director at LA marketing and advertising firm Imprint Projects. He said the secret was to understand the rules that govern your business—and then break them.
"Mastery occurs with realisation of of these rules. Innovation occurs at the point of intelligent and creative rebellion against them," he said.
3. Internal gains through driving business efficiencies
For any innovation to occur in business, office efficiency needs to be optimised. This can be physical elements like the systems, technology, products and data we use.
If these systems are not working well together, the system becomes cumbersome. When all of these systems are best in class and working in synch with one another, your business is nimble and able to innovate quickly.
4. People and culture
For your systems to work efficiently, the people in your business need to work efficiently together as well. This includes how they work together and independently, the time they have to complete projects and the legislative challenges that may stand before them.
Microsoft founder Bill Gates said the best technologies in the world can't save an inefficient operation.
"The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency," he said.
"The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency."
Many hands make for light work
We all have different ideas, strengths and experiences in our teams. So use that wealth of knowledge through collaboration to come up with the best innovative solutions for the streams we have identified.
Each team member can write on idea cards potential innovation solutions, with the concepts pooled together at the end for discussion. This way everyone gets input, allowing you to tap into the different strengths of your team. You never know where the next big idea will come from!
Build on the ideas that have been presented
Now comes the fun part, it’s time to share the ideas in the group so everyone can help develop the ideas into concrete solutions.
When all team members have presented their idea cards, they can be shown to the group for refinement and further innovation to these ideas to build them into stronger, more practical solutions.
Different team members have different levels and fields of experience and may be able to build a simple idea into the nucleus of full-scale innovation.
Put the ideas to the vote
Once you have the ideas documented and expanded on, it is time to take a poll. Each team member should be given two gold stars, placing one next to each of the two ideas they like most.
The ideas with the most gold stars become the ones you will work on applying to your business.
Time to develop your solutions
You have found your big idea and innovation solution. Now it is time to put your best people on the job.
Team members should nominate themselves to work on the idea they have the most experience and connection with, to maximise their input. If they don’t nominate themselves, make suggestions for who you think could offer the best input.
A detailed template should be created with each team member's advice included, with the best advice prioritised. If multiple points are prioritised, bring team members in from other groups to further refine the priority points.
This process will enable you to pool the experience, ideas and skills from everyone in the team to identify problems and create innovative solutions.
To run a structured innovation workshop in your business, download the Netwealth Innovation Toolkit.
Additional resources and tools
Download a deck of 35 bite-sized innovation challenges for you and your team to use to unleash its inner creative genius.
Use this workshop to identify the pain points in your customer’s experience with you and develop innovation solutions to address them.
Get your team together for 60 minutes to have some fun and identify some quick wins to remove customer friction in your business.
When you have lots of ideas how do you prioritise them? Using this simple tool you can, by plotting them on our 2x2 prioritisation matrix.