In this episode, Aaron Eden (MTN Co-Founder and COO) and I interview Neal Cross, the Chief Innovation Officer of DBS. DBS is a bank headquartered in Singapore that generated $11 billion in revenue and $4.5 billion in profit last year. They know the finance landscape is changing rapidly, and as a result are on an inspiring journey towards not only creating an innovation group within the bank, but turning the entire bank itself into an innovation group.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How this year they’re on route to putting about 5,000 people through the lean startup and design thinking training.

  • How valuable it’s been to have a CEO who doesn’t just talk about innovation, but backs it up with a deep understanding, money and KPIs that revolve around human-centered design and experimentation.

  • How Neal focuses on increasing the ambition of employees along with providing protection, education, and freedom.

  • How he was able to get the bank to run 1,000 lean startup experiments in 2015 by matching up an internal PR strategy with the tactical guidance practitioners needed to actually deliver.

  • How Neal manages a healthy balance between PR and execution.

  • Some of the challenges Neal still faces despite having support from key executives and the CEO.

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