20 April 2017

Innovation Essentials: In Conversation with Claire Calmejane

Watch this series examining top tips from leading innovators in the financial industry on how to make innovation a success. This week: Interview with Claire Calmejane, Lloyds Banking Group.

claire_calmejaneInnovation Essentials - Interview with Claire Calmejane, Lloyds Banking Group

“Digital is an opportunity not to be missed,” claims Claire Calmejane, Director of Innovation & Digital Centre of Excellence at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG). “It is an opportunity to remake the customer experience easier, simpler and more inclusive.”

Calmejane believes there are a lot of myths when it comes to corporate innovation, from the belief that only millennials understand digital, or that innovation is only about disruption or technology. The strategy at LBG Innovation Labs is simple: unleash innovation in financial services for the benefits of LBG customers.

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.

Albert Einstein

LBG Innovation Labs work on three distinct levels when it comes to innovation. The first is to collaborate with FinTech scale-ups to engage with new business models that can potentially augment or de-risk some part of the LBG strategy. The second is to provide tools for the 75,000 colleagues across Lloyds Banking Group to feel empowered to solve customer problems with innovative solutions, promote a culture of intrapreneurship, and create an environment in which it is safe to fail. The third level, innovation, is all about execution; we built an in-house corporate accelerator where we are able to solve problems in an 8 to 12 week cycle with business owners, engineers and creatives.

Calmejane’s advice on establishing innovation within an organisation is to apply a framework and stick to it at all costs. “Your innovation strategy is only as good as your business strategy. Don't innovate for the sake of innovation - it needs to solve a real customer problem. An execution mechanism is needed for the organisation to truly learn or implement an idea that would otherwise be something nice left on a shelf. Speed and customer validation are critical to this process, to prove the exercise is not a waste of assets or time.”

Your innovation strategy is only as good as your business strategy. Don't innovate for the sake of innovation - it needs to solve a real customer problem.

Claire Calmejane, Director of Innovation & Digital Centre of Excellence, Lloyds Banking Group

The LBG innovation process is designed to deal with a high-level of creativity and ambiguity, with each experiment systematically tested alongside customers. LBG Innovation Labs have proven the robustness of its approach by creating more than 80 experiments over the past 24 months, with one third of them actually working for customers and colleagues today.  

“We have definitely seen a shift in customer expectation and the FinTech space has started to address some of the challenges of our most digitally active customers,” concludes Calmejane. “The UK FinTech sector is vibrant; not only is the UK regulator and government active, but so are the banks through their participation in sponsoring accelerators. I am really excited to see what happens as a result of our 100 Lloyds FinTech mentors, in developing these new companies and this new level of innovation.”

Read related interviews:

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Innotribe - Dynamism in diversity - Report

The essentials for successful innovation teams in the financial industry - Report

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