Lloyds TSB creates innovation stockmarket

Lloyds TSB creates innovation stockmarket

Lloyds TSB has introduced an internal artificial currency and stockmarket in ideas in a bid to foster an innovation culture at the UK bank.

Participants in the innovation market publish ideas and identify the best through trading.

Under the programme, bank staff are paid in artifical Bank Beanz for their involvement in an online community that collects, rates, and categorises new ideas. Staff can vote for the ideas they like, or comment on them in forums.

The most successful ideas are picked up and promoted onto an internal stock market where staff can use their Beanz to buy into ideas they like.

The price of the idea approximates the chance it has of going into production, says James Gardner, head of innovation at Lloyds TSB.

"Believers in the idea can get in low, and sell high. They can make windfall gains in Bank Beanz, and use them for rewards in our Innovation Store," he says. "Yes, we back the Bank Bean with cold, hard, cash. It is an exceptional motivator."

Gardner says the bank has had to put in controls to counter hyper inflation of the Bank bean, but conversely is encouraging insider trading since it makes people want to be on the inside so they can speculate successfully. As Gardner observes, to get on the inside you have to work on the team making the idea happen.

"The idea, we hope, is that with this coupling of ideation and innovation we'll make it possible to accelerate our pipeline of interesting things," he says. "Instead of being scale-limited with headcount constraints in the central innovation team, anyone can be an innovator."

Introducing innovation market - Bankervision.

Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 15 December, 2008, 09:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'd be very interested to hear from anyone involved how this works out. I've been (tangentially) involved in innovation initiatives and it's very difficult to maintain any momentum after the initial push. It's also difficult to stop these forums turning into simple ideas boxes. I suspect the cash reward is unlikely to make much difference. Changing the culture of an organisation is an incredibly difficult thing to do.

Google do innovation well (as I understand it all employees can spend 20% of their time on 'pet' projects). Has anyone else come across this done well - specifically within the IT department at a large bank?

Nick Collin
Nick Collin - Collin Consulting Ltd - London 15 December, 2008, 12:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'd be interested too.  On the face of it this sounds really ...  innovative!  In case anyone missed it, the link at the end of the article takes you to James Gardner's blog which is also well worth visiting.