Arkadi Kuhlmann on Managing Innovation

Posted in Uncategorized by qmarks on January 11, 2011

Today Arkadi Kuhlmann Chairman and CEO of ING Direct – Canada came to our Managing Innovation course. Below is a picture of him. You can not fit him into a CEO or Chairman of a Bank norms right? That’s why he is different. He decided to be rebel and unfollow the traditional route in banking, focused on saving money and time for their customers. They do not have high worth clients, -he does not care, they do not have big corporates as customer. Instead of relationship making in the banking business, he sticks to the simple methodology, daily banking needs of regular people, which makes 80% of the population, and saving their time and money so that they are happy customers. Happy customers in turn will apply worth-to-mouth marketing and this slow but sure growth is positioning his bank in a different perspective in the oligopolistic Canadian banking institution.

Here are some of his words from the class, it may not be word for word, all mistakes are mine.

There are three type of people. Regular Man/Woman, Conservatives(traditionalist), and Rebels. I am the last one.

What is the point of innovation? Make things better and improve the quality of life. Add a dimension that will save time, make it more reliable etc. to your product.

How to make things better ?

Continually re-inventing the product/service
Re-engineer the process or the supply chain
Re-engineer the customer, what do you mean? customer are happy , unhappy, an people in the middle, so you had to focus on one part of it, not at all. This is going to work well for those customers, but not for all, that means you should not try to satisfy and make everyone happy in your life.

Everybody loves the story of an underdog who wins the title.

Even if you gather a best innovators, for the execution part, you should not bring the traditional treasury guy, you will eventually be the traditional company again.

What is profit: profit is saving you made and the power you will have for tomorrow. But where do you invest this profit is a better question.

People want to prove that they are successful, meaningful, can make something happen. so you can bring people on board who is dedicated to success not money. (I am not sure about this section, because another board member was also at the lecture, it might be a message for him/her)


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