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Innovation Essentials: In Conversation with Tim Bosco

Innovation Essentials: In Conversation with Tim Bosco

1 June 2017

Watch this series examining top tips from leading innovators in the financial industry on how to make innovation a success. This week: Interview with Tim Bosco, Brown Brothers Harriman.

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Innovation Essentials: In Conversation with Tim Bosco

The innovation team at Brown Brothers Harriman (BBH) is charged with advancing the firm’s Investor Services strategy through the discovery, incubation and delivery of new and differentiated products. “We believe that for any commercial entity, the number one goal of an innovation strategy should be to create value - whether that’s to generate new revenue opportunities, protect market share, or uncover material cost savings,” says Tim Bosco, Senior Vice President at BBH.

“If there are no returns to your innovation programme, innovation is really just an expense,” Bosco continues. “We really think those principles are what should guide our short-term and long-term decisions as a firm when it comes to innovation.”

The difference between a vision and a hallucination is that other people can see the vision.

Marc Andreessen, Cofounder and Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

Bosco says that the most important reason to have an innovation strategy team is to turn innovation theory into practice. “Innovation 2.0, as we call it here at Brown Brothers, is really about accelerating the innovation process,” Bosco explains. “We’ve learned over the years that we need to adapt and pivot our approach and, in particular, incorporate a few really key components to our framework.”

The key components to BBH’s innovation framework include cultivating a diverse and active portfolio of initiatives, limiting scope in the right way, investing in rapid prototype capabilities, and directly engaging with the FinTech ecosystem. “It’s important to keep a pulse on new technologies but also put yourself in a position to potentially be an early adopter and gain a competitive advantage in the market,” Bosco says.

It’s important to keep a pulse on new technologies but also put yourself in a position to potentially be an early adopter and gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Tim Bosco, Senior Vice President, BBH

Techniques such as rapid prototyping allow BBH’s product teams to quickly and efficiently validate their newest ideas. “The concept is actually pretty simple. All we’re saying is get your ideas out of PowerPoint and put them into your clients’ hands so they can interact directly,” Bosco explains. “It’s no longer about conveying your ideas in static space. It’s more about creating a real life experience so you can hash out some of the details before you get to that expensive development phase.”

Bosco also believes that when organisations create and motivate innovation teams, the result is higher productivity, more targeted analysis and faster concept evolution. Firms also need to create a collaborative culture that also helps their people connect themselves to an overarching vision and strategy. “Teams that are driven by their own competitive nature tend to stand out and contribute to causes that are much greater than themselves. I think that companies that understand this, that create environments where smart collaboration is just a part of the culture, are much better positioned for success.”

Disclaimer: The positions expressed in the interview and video are those of the author. This material should not be construed as legal or tax advice. Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. does not monitor or maintain any of the information made publicly available on nor represent or guarantee that such information is accurate or complete, and it should not be relied upon as such.

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