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Nancy Selph, COO of Innovation & Data Governance, Deutsche Bank

Nancy Selph, COO of Innovation & Data Governance

Nancy Selph is the COO for Innovation and Data Governance at Deutsche Bank in New York. She manages the central team that supports the innovation function globally through labs in locations around the world. The labs collaborate with a global focus and share three principal goals: to help the bank evaluate and adopt emerging technologies, to develop a culture of innovation, and to contribute to the bank's digital...
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How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?

The idea of the lab presence itself is about giving people a space to come and think differently and engage with us. We run demand sessions with our business teams to get to the root cause of their challenges and then find solutions to meet those needs. It is the applied adoption of new technologies with a return on investment by decreasing risk, simplifying the environment or increasing revenue. By the time we have introduced the technology into the bank, we are confident it will make a difference.


What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?

All large banks have challenges. The size, credentials and history of the bank reflects the complexity of the underlying systems and processes that need to be transformed. The labs have been created specifically to tackle these challenges on all fronts. Some are easier than others to solve, but the needs of our business and technology partners within the bank are always our focus. Something that helps overcome impediments is how well the labs have been embraced by the bank. There is huge support and engagement at the executive level to make Deutsche Bank great from a technology perspective. 


How has innovation become engrained in your organization's culture, and how is it being optimized?

Innovation is one of the pillars of Deutsche Bank and at the cornerstone of everything the bank is doing. Our CEO, John Cryan, talks about the innovation labs often in his public speeches as a means to enable us to service our clients in a better fashion. It is a top-down imperative with a bottom-up implementation, making the lab accessible to everybody. The labs are for all Deutsche Bank employees. People come in and see the bank has invested in working differently. Everybody who has walked through our doors or spoken to one of us feels the excitement and takes it back to their desks.    

What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?

Over the next few years, technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, machine learning, and analytics will transform the banking industry. What these new technologies can do with analyzing and transforming vast amount of data is amazing.


Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?

I love how Panera Bread leveraged technology to change the ordering experience. The wait was long and the orders were not always right. They transformed their ordering process through in-store kiosks and a mobile app, so now it takes a minute instead of eight to order your food there. I’m always looking for ways to save time in my life, so this resonates with me.

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