Expert Interview: Dr. Osemeke Mosindi, Senior Digital Innovation Manager, HSBC

We speak to Dr. Osemeke Mosindi, Senior Digital Innovation Manager, HSBC


Ahead of his presentation at the Open Innovation Summit in London on April 25 & 26, we spoke to Dr. Osemeke Mosindi, Senior Digital Innovation Manager, HSBC.

Dr. Osemeke Mosindi is a Digital Innovation Lead at HSBC with extensive experience in developing beta testing co-creation platforms in banking. He led the product team that created the award-winning Barclays Launchpad, and is now developing co-creation initiatives at HSBC. He is responsible for new digital product ideation and development, including co-creation platforms, payments and open banking. HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations, serving around 38 million customers through four global businesses. Dr. Mosindi has a diverse background, ranging from organisational research, technology architecture, to digital product development, working in digital transformation in both the UK and Africa.

How can innovators prepare their business for a transformed future? (digital, blockchain etc.)

The best way to prepare the business for the future is to put the fundamentals of testing and learning in place, and to create a platform that will help the business test new ideas and business models, as new technologies emerge and consumer behaviour changes.

What technology do you foresee to be the next big industry disrupter and why?

I am a technologist at heart, I was (still am in my spare time) a developer, but I also know that technology does not create change by itself. There has to be a coming together of the right set of conditions (consumer needs, regulation etc.), for change to happen. There are a number of new technologies on the horizon, like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality etc. I think AI will have the most impact, because of its ability to reduce the effort required in a lot of existing activities, while increasing precision.

Can you outline a few best practices for approaching open innovation collaboration across industries?

I strongly believe that as innovators we can learn a lot from other industries. Our job is to join the ‘dots’ when we see a pattern emerging, and the more diverse the experiences we expose ourselves to, the better the chances of joining more ‘dots’. With open innovation generally, it is easy to get carried away with trying to partner with everyone and get involved in everything, so I have found that it helps to think critically about what you want to achieve in advance, and how you will go about achieving it.

Have you used hackathons and internal competitions to boost innovation strategy, why are these a good growth format?

I am particularly interested in generating ideas that are ‘outside the box’, and doing this at scale. Our individual limited experiences mean that there are some ‘dots’ we simply cannot see, regardless of how many times we look. Hackathons help to provide the right tools and the right environment for people with diverse experiences to come together and think about a collective problem, or several problems. The practical nature of hackathons, also means it is easier for stakeholders to buy into the ideas generated as the participants would usually have built a prototype, and this can generate a huge feeling of excitement within an organisation.

How do you see your industry being affected by behavioural science and design thinking?

My doctoral research was in information behaviour, which is essentially how people behave when they encounter new information. So I am very passionate about understanding consumers’ behaviours and needs, and creating digital products that puts those needs front and centre. In financial services specifically, there are very practical ways in which studying consumer behaviour can help improve services provided to customers. Especially with the recent launch of open banking, and the expected launch of tools that will help consumers manage all aspects of their financial lives, for example, by analysing their account data and providing relevant products and services. Nudging customers to save at the right time, nudging them to pay off debts etc. I think these will bring profound changes to how consumers manage their money, and therefore how they interact with their banks.

In a big multi-national, how are you fostering a start-up ecosystem for fearless innovation and rapid growth?

There are a number of elements that go into creating the right environment and platform for fostering a start-up ecosystem. We are positioning the brand with that community, creating the right processes within the organisation, and simplifying the speed of integration to work with start-ups. All these elements ensure that we are more proactive in engaging with start-ups, and when we engage in specific projects, the experience is great for both the start-up and HSBC UK.

How important is consumer feedback in driving your innovation strategy?

Consumer feedback is very important in testing the output of our innovation strategy, and also refining the strategy. I have been involved in co-creation initiatives, and I strongly believe consumer feedback helps build better and more innovative products. The innovation strategy should always involve co-creation and engagement with the consumer, to ensure that the outcome meets the right needs.

You can hear Osemeke's presentation at the Open Innovation Summit in London on April 25 & 26.

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