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The iCOOC Innovation Working Group proved the most challenging.

 Not the subject matter, as it provided almost unlimited angles and perspectives to debate and investigate.

It was challenging because, unlike other working groups managed throughout 2023, almost without exception there is no appointed head of innovation at iCOOC member organisations. We can identify and invite with ease the head of 1st line business controls, the global of regional COO of Markets, Asset Management and so on, but not the head of innovation.

Why set a working group on innovation?

This was prompted by a comment by a global COO Markets of one of the principal U.S. banks, when stating “We struggle within innovation; where to position it, who to lead it, who financially supports it and how to you define a return on investment?”. 

This encouraged me to ask, “Surely demanding an ROI on innovation stifles it?” nodding he added “Exactly. We struggle to budget for it, as banks allocate budget for run the bank and change the bank and not for innovation, or certainly this is what we do. As soon as you allocate a need for a return on this investment you take away the very essence of innovation. For an industry founded on risk management, we do not allow risk and the acceptance of failure to exist in relation to innovation.”

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