Experiment, Recycle Failure, Patience and Perseverance

Douglas Blakey, editor of the consumer finance titles at Timetric, spoke to Magnus Lindkvist about different ways of thinking about the future and what we can do to keep digital banking in the forefront of innovation

To hear Magnus Lindkvist, Trendspotter and Futurlogist speak is quite an experience.

The launch of the Digital Banking Club took place at the splendid St Ermin’s Hotel near Westminster and featured a presentation from Lindqvist.

He stole the show.

Lindkvist captivated the audience who were unprepared for the meta-physical and philosophical journey he was to take them on.

Lindkvist opened his talk by explaining that the problem we have in business, when trying to stay ahead of the curve, is that we cannot understand the world by current hype and headlines.

Distance creates clarity, he told us.

The problem is with timespan, he said. We are human centric when it comes to time. Our way of measuring time is out of sync with many things, such as climate change, because things are a slow gradual shift and for us they become very difficult to see, they become invisible.

The challenge, he explained, is that we have to make long term decisions even though we do not know what the world will look like in the long term.

In the past you could make long term decisions and be relatively confident that the world will stay the same. Today things change very quickly and making long term decisions is hard.

The answer to this is to understand where the future comes from, but, no one could have predicted the success of the Rovio mobile game Angry Birds.

Lindkvist warned that we will be taken by surprise by the green pigs of the future.

He summarised with humour what he hears from senior executives and asks them what they think the future holds for their company.

"Something, something…social media, Facebook Twitter, something, something Generation XYZ, something, something, emerging markets, Asia, something, something sustainability and financial services, something, something, Compliance.

Lindkvist closed his keynote by offering three important things a company should do if it wants to at the forefront of the next cycle of innovation:

1.Experiment. True innovation requires risk;
2. Recycle Failure. The first attempts to use new ideas usually fail at first but succeed years later, and
3. Patience and Persistence. No new idea will work straight away. You will have to spend time convincing people of its worth.

I spoke with Lindqvist after his presentation and have marked a link to the quick interview.

If you have not heard Lindkvist speak and have the chance to catch him, grab it.