To many business leaders in the financial services industry, innovation is not a ready-made concept that drives what we do. That is, if you think about innovation in the sense of companies such as Apple, for example, and how they create demand for products such as the iPhone and the iPad where none existed before. Banking to most consumers is pretty mundane – is my money safe and why are rates so low on my savings account? Much of what we do every day in our branches or back office is basic blocking and tackling but we have to be really good at it and I believe that we are.
Thinking about how to innovate should be about doing things differently while still getting things right. Innovation at First County Bank has a lot to do with our culture where our people are encouraged to take measured risks in their particular business units. We encourage an environment of open and honest communication and an exchange of ideas amongst our colleagues. My preference is to offer a suggestion or an opinion on a topic and be delighted with how agile our thinking is when our team works together.
The world is full of notable failures and subsequent success. The Steve Jobs biography does great work chronicling his life and times, both good and bad times. Around here, I’m fond of saying: “we’ll try anything once.” That could be in response to a concept for an innovative mailer, such as our award winning business banking “cake” direct marketing campaign or moving forward with more smart phone technology. I’m certainly not betting the ranch here but we like to be out front with new ideas and managing innovative thinking keeps us fresh and relevant.