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Innovative learning. Three lessons from a Cisco and BBVA announcement.

by StayRelevant
19th November 2018

To be relevant we need to innovate. To execute innovation, we need to learn all the time, and we need to partner with others. What we know today is not enough, and we cannot even dream of building the future on our own. It is too broad, too complicated and the change happens too fast.

Cisco announced last week in their blog a great example of both learning and partnership in their collaboration with the Spanish bank BBVA.

The banking and technology industries have both experienced significant change and disruption in the last few years. Their models have changed and will continue to evolve, so it is only logical they are leaning on each other to build their future together.

The first lesson from the announcement is the importance of partnering to drive value. Organisations must collaborate with others and leverage on their expertise.

Many organisations admit they are behind in their transformation needs or report they had a false start when trying to implement change. Whatever the situation, effective partnering is crucial. Trying to build something on your own just because this is how you did things in the past is a serious mistake that can cost you years of effort and will damage your relevance. Who has a single year to waste in a world of lightning change and limited resources?

The second lesson is the importance of trust. When I explain the relevance triangle, I mention trust, together with flexibility and importance as critical aspects for a company to remain relevant to its customers.

Very often, organisations dismiss trust thinking they are not going to be the next Zuckerberg hitting the news or visiting the US Senate. Trust is much more than not deceiving your customers or making unethical moves.

How can we work effectively with another organisation if we cannot establish trust? We live in the times of co-opetition (collaborating and competing with another company at the same time) and intimate collaboration. If a company cannot be trusted, what makes us think this company will attract other companies to work together and enter unknown territory? The blog article points out at trust as the key element for the exchange.

We need to be trusted regarding integrity, openness and ability to innovate. After all, why would I join forces with a company that shows a poor record of and pays little attention to innovation?

The final lesson is on the importance of innovating every aspect of your business. Long gone are the days where we look at innovation as a way to improve our products or services. Innovation spans every aspect of an organisation and its relationship with customers and society.

To improve sport tracking watches, companies created platforms for friends to share experiences, compete and learn from each other. To improve cars, they built models for car sharing or ways to link dealers, manufacturers and service providers. The innovation here comes in how we bring people together, how the work is organised, how we collaborate, or how we exchange information.

The same thing happens here. Lifelong learning is imperative, but it does not have to be limited to official programs, online courses, or bringing an expert to your office for a one week course.

BBVA and Cisco are hosting teams of professionals from the other organisation and treating them as if they were their own. This will help both companies to grow and retain talent and to motivate critical resources for building new ways to add value to their customers. This is innovation applied to learning, and the benefits are obvious. Their customers will feel the difference.

Are you ready to partner and grow?

Stay Relevant helps organisations to engage with customers, partner with other companies and innovate every aspect of their business to be close and relevant to their customers.

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