A few shows back, I ranted on why I disagree with an article from an executive at Accenture who said that innovation inside large organizations was impossible. In this show, rather than you listening to more of my experiences, I decided to bring on a listener of the show who has direct experience of being a successful innovator inside a large organization. In this case, U.S. Bank.
Bradley Matthews has been a long time listener who recently wrote an article on LinkedIn titled “Getting an Elephant to Run: 7 keys to getting your legacy company acting like a startup“. In this article, he shares a list of “what worked” for him and the team who recently went from ideation to launch of a significant innovation — in six months.
After reading the article, I knew I had to have Bradly come on the show and share his hard earned lessons on what it takes to be successful innovator inside a large organization.
How To Be A Successful Innovator Inside a Large Organization
In the show, we cover a wide range of topics, challenges and what it takes to be successful at innovation inside of a large organization — including:
- Bradley's background and how ended up in the role he is in.
- The project that triggered the article he posted on LinkedIn.
- The 7 lessons learned from a successful project:
- Speed is your friend – Speed is contagious and can help pull people along and make them champions for you
- It’s Ok to Challenge ‘No’ – Embrace the people most inclined to say no and challenge them to be creative.
- Risk and Compliance are your friend – Don't wait until you “have” to go through risk and compliance; engage them early to make them your champion.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Work around your likely biggest chokepoint, IT, by minimizing the need to use them.
- Become the poster child – Get your leadership excited about your speed to become their role model of what they want the business to act like.
- Recognition is not bribery, but can be as effective – A little recognition goes a long way, and a lot of recognition makes people hungry to work with you again.
- Have fun! – Be like Willy Wonka’s factory, a little wacky and a little fun, and you will have people clamoring to join in.
- Bradley shares his experience inside U.S. Bank and how he learned to be a successful innovator.
- Two pieces of advice for innovators inside of large organization
- Never stop learning: Use whatever works from you but never stop learning
- Have a partner in crime: Find someone who is like minded who is also willing to be candid and challenge your thinking to improve the likelihood of success.
About Bradley Matthews:
Bradley Matthews leads the strategic development and marketing of commercial purchasing and travel card programs for U.S. Bank’s middle market business-to-business customers in North America, a position he assumed in February 2015. Before that he led the bank’s strategic travel payment product team. Matthews has been in the financial services and payments business since 1998. His experience includes 13 years leading strategy, development and operations for financial services technologies at American Express. Bradley has a bachelor's degree from the University of Cincinnati.
- Bradley Matthews on LinkedIn
- Article describing the project that Matthew and his team worked on
- Stories of U.S. Banks efforts in innovation
- Flipboard – Phil's board on Killer Ideas