Four frank lessons on Culture, Collaboration & Competition

Ramesha Perera
Tue 18 Jun

The pull of customer-centricity means there’s a whole solar system for customers to choose from, so you had better start innovating. We give you four tips on Culture, Collaboration & Competition to keep pace with customers, break out of silos and remain a relevant part of our connected world!


1 – Start listening – to customers and to other employees
As innovators, we often get lost in a sea of our own shiny ideas. But the real value of change will not come from solely within our tribe, but from across our whole company and outside of it.


2 – Create organizational, mental & physical space to get outside of your comfort zone
It’s in our DNA to move towards known targets. Even as changemakers, we’ve grown accustomed to corporate ground-rules which define our success or failure, such as associating being fired with punishment, and knowing that the natural next step to consistently hitting KPIs should be a reward – like receiving a promotion.

What about exploring the unknown? How can we go against human nature’s desire to flock towards familiarity, and incentivize thinking about something which may, or may not work in five years’ time?



3 – The value of time in seeing measurable change: move fast, but be patient
Keeping one eye on the near-term as well as having the long-game in mind is, of course, a survival imperative. ING’s CEO, Ralph Hamers, knows that banking in 5-10 years’ time will look very different, but acting now and making incremental changes will ensure that they stick around long enough to get there.

One vastly overlooked lesson in innovation is that significant change takes time.


4 – Trust your focus: move towards your target, eliminate distractions, and don’t turn back until you’ve reached it.

Now, this way of working is not only an accelerator approach but is applied organization-wide, the crucial lesson - to create targets, define a pathway which makes sense, and once you commit to it – don’t waver from your course by casting a sideways glance at what your competitors are doing.