Innovation round up – August 09

So first of all, sorry for the delay with this newsletter. Its been busy for all of you too I’m sure – its that time of (the financial) year.

As we seemingly exit the fog that is the GFC, to paraphrase the experts, its an opportunity too good to waste. Businesses have cut back hard, yet still producing reasonable numbers. In some sectors, businesses are rehiring after some bloody months of redundancies. Emerging markets are back exporting again. Demand in lead economies will vault forward. With this comes a bitter pill – potentially damaging inflation and rise in costs.

Nevertheless, the signs for banks are good. The Aus banks are included in some of the most secure in the world (I read a German bank was number 1, surprising given their exposure to EU meltdowns). The balance sheets are good, and the outlook promising. But at the same time, the Aus market has not grown in size by population, and so again we look for any market share gain we can get. This is where being smarter with cost effective ways of dealing with customers is critical – and following the trends customers set as they adopt one technology over another.

Whilst you may have been discussing it, your competitors are probably doing something about it.

Time to get moving!!

Want to know how?? This months special is on some of the 1,000,000s of books on the new business world – I guarantee these will cover many of your needs.



HOW WELLS FARGO KEEPS THEM SATISFIED – Wells frequently lands high on lists of Web functionality and consumer satisfaction, recently outranking Google, AT&T, Federal Express and Microsoft on a Brookings Institute ranking of 68 corporate Web sites

ING DIRECT AUS CREATES HOME LOAN CENTRE APP FOR IPHONE – Calculators to determine how much you can afford to borrow and what the payments would be; A call-me request form; Average home prices by area

AMBER AWARDS JUDGING AUS ONLINE BANKING – Complete the survey and vote on your online banking

6 INNOVATIVE BANKS THAT CHANGE ONLINE BANKING – USAA, ING, Ally, MoBank, SmartyPig, Wells Fargo ATMs all profiled

JYSKE BANK START A TV STATION ONLINE – Impressive collection of content and advice from this innovative Danish bank

ANZ TARGETS PRE-TEENS WITH MYSPACE PRE-PAID CARD – The re-loadable Visa card costs A$5.95 and is available to teenagers aged 13 and older with MySpace accounts.

BRANCH AUTOMATION IS ALIVE AGAIN – It seems branch automation applications have been around forever, but not defined properly, and little understood.

TAKE CHARGE – Listen to The Voices of Membership from AMEX

IF I COULD START A BANK – The creator of WordPress gives an interesting description of his ideal bank


GE CAPITAL TO LAUNCH SPEECH RECOGNITION – Financial services company GE Capital will launch a pilot of its new open dialogue speech recognition platform next month. Also at that link – 20k complaints a month to telcos!

NOKIA ENTERS FINANCIAL SERVICES – The world’s biggest handset manufacturer Nokia has teamed with Obopay to launch a mobile financial management and payments service targeted at unbanked people in developing countries.

PETER DALTON, ANZ INNOVATION GUY, TALKS TO FST – “Traditionally, banks have not been particularly innovative organisations.  But we believe that banks are very technology driven organisations, and particularly so now that customers are becoming more willing to embrace new ideas.”

LLOYDS WANT YOU TO PAY FOR SECURITY – “You can get all this for 30-days for just £1 – then pay £6.99 a month for continued peace of mind.”

USAA ASKS ‘WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND’ – A(nother) site to connect with others and share ideas. Nice idea, but takeup is always the issue

LIBERTY MUTUALS THE RESPONSIBILITY PROJECT’ – “We thought, if one TV spot can get people thinking and talking about responsibility, imagine what could happen if we went a step further?”

GET THOSE SMILEY FACES OFF YOUR ONLINE BANKING WEBSITE – Your customers are waiting. And if you don’t answer them soon, I’m sure I’ll hear about it at the coffee shop this weekend. And so will you.

8 GREAT IPHONE APPS TO MANAGE YOUR MONEY – Banks barely mentioned – these are independents beating us to it



Here are some books you may know to fill the Christmas stocking this December, and some I hope you don’t know yet but are keen to read – the first 3 are particularly new and/or outstanding.

GLUT – Alex Wright, UX head at NYT, takes a 1000s year trip back in time to track our UX past in mastering information and knowledge – terrific.

INNOVATION AND THE FUTURE PROOF BANK – by thought leader James Gardner on how innovation CAN work in a bank

TRUST AGENTS – Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust, by Chris Brogan

THE NEXT 100 YEARS – Starting with the premises that “conventional political analysis suffers from a profound failure of imagination” and “common sense will be wrong,” Friedman maps what he sees as the likeliest developments of the future

FUTURETAINMENT – Mike Walsh, futurist and social commentator, covers all areas of popular media and entertainment

HERE COMES EVERYBODY – Clay Shirky talks about people power, crowds, etc. Really good.

OUTLIERS – The ubiquitous Malcolm Gladwell book has to be here. He analyses what makes success.

DON’T MAKE ME THINK – A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability – bit of a classic I hear

GROWN UP DIGITAL – The bottom line is this: If you understand the Net Generation, you will understand the future.

GROUNDSWELL – Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies, by ex Forrester experts Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff

CHANGE BY DESIGN – By IDEO guru Tim Brown, on the power of Design Thinking (opinions mixed on this idea)

THE BACK OF THE NAPKIN – Solving problems and selling ideas with pictures
MADE TO STICK – Drawing extensively on psychosocial studies on memory, emotion and motivation, their study is couched in terms of “stickiness”—that is, the art of making ideas unforgettable

These are my favourites – What are your favourite books?



MONOPOLY CITY STREETS – Monopoly team with Google to create a real life Monopoly game

GOOGLE LAUNCHES INTERNET STATS – Across all spheres of the net including sales

WHAT’S THE REAL COST? – Fascinating site educating people on the real cost of healthcare


50 THINGS THAT ARE BEING KILLED BY THE INTERNET – Banks aren’t there but Insurance companies are, along with dozens of really interesting things

SWISSCOM REBRAND VIDEO – Great animation on the rebrand of this Swiss telco. This one from a FIAT installation concept is also cool.

THE POWER OF LISTENING TO CUSTOMERS IN THE HOTEL BUSINESS – Great story of turning a business towards customer needs

IF ARCHITECTS HAD TO WORK LIKE WEB DESIGNERS – Pretty funny – “My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted.”

TELSTRA CLOSES ‘NOW WE ARE TALKING’ SITE – “After a review of where we were headed with our online communications and how best to engage with important stakeholders like you, we have decided to close our nowwearetalking website and develop a new, more engaging, interactive site under the main umbrella”

CHIEF MEANING OFFICER – How the new social power of marketing can transform business.

THE POWER OF SAMPLES – To take part, women register by mobile phone, supplying basic details about themselves such as their age, marital status and where they live. With every order of food or drinks, they receive an L Coin, which can be redeemed for free samples at the cafe’s sample bar.

CONVERT YOUR FAVOURITE ONLINE ARTICLES INTO A MAGAZINE – Zinepal allows you to create printable PDFs from any link

HUMAN CENTRED DESIGN TOOLKIT – A free innovation guide for NGOs and Social Enterprises

HISTORY OF THE AUSTRALIAN WEB – From AIMIA, follows the trends up and down through time

PLANET FEEDBACK – Use templates to send letters to companies and organisations directly!

COLOURS IN CORPORATE BRANDING – Some banks mentioned here in this nice article on design, brand, and colour

BEIJING LOVES IKEA – but not for shopping …

THE HISTORY OF FLIGHT – Nike and Michael Jordan .. so its good. Lovely flash site.

THE HEIRACHY OF DIGITAL DISTRACTIONS – So true … I am attached to my iPhone 24/7

CUSTOMER SERVICE ATTRACTS LOYAL CUSTOMERS – Bruce gives a good argument on the power of customer service

THE FUTURE OF NEWS PRINT MEDIA – Is the Newspaper Industry Ready for a “Reset”? “Sharing” Is the New Advertising and “Content” Is the New Currency. Who Is the First to Press the “Reset” Button?

WHEN SECURITY GETS IN THE WAY – What’s the tradeoff between usability and security?

VIDEO TO APPEAR IN PRINTED NEWSPAPER – A bit Harry Potter, but this is a reality! Videos on news-sheet!

IDEO LABS – Keep track of great ideas and innovations from this amazing company

ART & COPY – A new film about advertising and inspiration (and probably alcohol, given the other two rarely work without it)

JAMES DYSON AWARD – For product and idea innovation, this years winner solves a deadly problem

CHINA MOBILE LAUNCHES NEW OPERATING SYSTEM – Pretty powerful when a telco makes their own O/S

SELF ERASABLE PAPER – Xerox has invented paper that has a 24 hour ‘ink’ life span

MAKING INNOVATION WORK IN A DOWNTURN – In this latest podcast, we’re talking with Carlos Dominguez, Senior Vice President in Cisco’s Office of the Chairman of the Board and CEO.

IDEA EXCHANGE – Basically a virtual suggestion box where users can publish their own suggestions, large or small, and browse ideas submitted by their colleagues

30 SECOND MBA – Fast Company taps into some great thinkers

TO MAKE A TREE – Great collaboration between FIAT and the City of Milan
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