More to innovation than ‘sexy’ apps: ANZ

True innovation is about having the “right mindset” rather than obsessing about the latest technology, according to ANZ.

Speaking at the 2016 Adviser Innovation Summit in Sydney, ANZ managing director of wealth Alexis George explained that truly innovative advisers were doing more than implementing new technology in their practices.

“Being innovative is about a mindset, it’s about being curious, it’s about being interested in what the new generations are doing and how they’re interacting with people, it’s about knowing your customers and what’s important to them” she said.

Ms George’s comments were based on research ANZ recently conducted in conjunction with Investment Trends that looked at the value an innovative approach has for a planning practice.

“The ones that were innovative were seven to six times more profitable, they had 20 per cent more funds under advice, their retention was better, and they brought on more new customers,” she told the audience.

In making the case for innovative practices, Ms George said innovation comes from a customer-centric focus, that understanding both the needs and desires of the customer and adapting to cater to these will have the most impact.

“That’s the most important thing, being willing to challenge the status quo, being willing to challenge the way you’re doing things today, and being willing to adapt your business to the way your customers are working” she said.

The research showed successful innovators shared several common traits, most importantly among them were human empathy, radical collaboration with the customer, and experimentation.

Ms George went on to explain that in addition to understanding the customer and working with them to design better business practices, it is crucial not to stick to unsuccessful ideas; rather, advisers should “throw them out and try again”.

“Now we have to build for speed, not for life, because who on earth knows where we’ll be in two years,” Ms George said.

She also offered three key tenets for being innovative: “know your client, be curious, and experiment”.

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