Redefining Innovation: The Ongoing Creation of New Ideas That Generate Value for Clients

Jan 06, 2020

| Client-Centric | Technology and Innovation

In our latest installment of #TALKtoUltimus, we interview Bill Hortz, Founder and Dean of the Institute for Innovation Development, and explore best practices for companies wanting to create a culture of innovation.

Many investment firms and managers use the words innovation and tech-driven as a brand promise. While there are many ways to define it, tech-driven means using proprietary technology to deliver something that is better, faster, and cheaper than if you do it yourself. According to Hortz, tech-driven means just using technology to do work more efficiently. But in his view, it’s not necessarily something that changes a culture. His hypothesis is that investment firms really want to have a reputation for being innovative (2.0), not tech-driven (1.0).

Innovation Description
According to Hortz, innovation is an ongoing creation of new ideas and creative thoughts that generate value, not just efficiency. He makes this distinction because it isn’t just a hobby or a one-off project in the financial services industry or other organizations – it’s an ongoing, dynamic, and perpetual set of behaviors that can change a culture. These patterns and behaviors emerge for professionals who are:

  • Curious with clients and have a constant feedback loop.
  • Constantly challenging their way of doing business and thought process – no matter what level of the organization.
  • Evolving and adapting to change, while also planning for those changes/new trends and being able to pivot.
  • Listening to employee ideas and suggestions, while also creating platforms to share those new ideas with others.
  • Experimenting with new methods and applications, while also learning fast from the results – whether they are positive or negative.

When financial services companies and other organizations really achieve momentum, professionals are taking innovative results and turning them into competitive advantages via fund offerings or changing the way they deliver services or solutions to clients. Executives and team leaders are also communicating new insights and results to the entire organization, so everyone can connect the dots between the feedback loop and the overall strategy.

You can learn more about this topic by listening to the full podcast HERE.

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