The five things I learned working for Lloyds Banking Group

Worry about people above all else

It’s easy to be a busy idiot in a sea of meetings that have limited value; meetings equal presence which suggest importance which creates a sense of security, something not to be underestimated as a motivator in an organisation which is continually striving for more efficiency (and less people).

Methods come and go; it’s better to stick with core values and ignore method hype

Big companies are method junkies, obsessed with discovering the new elixir for eternal business vitality. This means there is a conveyor belt of experts and practitioners pushing their wares, drawing familiar diagrams that will take you from problem to solution in 3, 4 or 5 easy steps.

Assuming best intent from others is the only strategy

Big companies appear to be incredibly political at first sight, with conflicting agendas, old and new guards, and a complex Venn diagram of business priorities. It’s easy to imagine others are out to get you, either aggressively or passively. And with this belief, it’s easy to be closed, to squirrel away information and create clandestine relationships with trusted colleagues based on rumour and spin.

Ideas are cheap, delivery is everything

The most exciting thing about UK fintech is also the most challenging; there are very few new ideas under the sun. I imagine there are at least fifty teams in London right now staring at the same set of ideas for banking innovation, with slight variations in layout.

Earn your place rather than expect it

It’s easy to join a company with a big job title and expect to be welcomed with open arms, and i’ve seen many smart people become quickly deflated that the enthusiasm from their line manager isn’t shared by their stakeholders. Whether you’ve joined as a designer or engineer or agile coach, it’s tempting to assume you have all the answers the company has been waiting for, and that you turning up will be heralded.



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Ross Breadmore

Ross Breadmore

Mum asked for a baby, dad asked for a transformer - I was the compromise. Chief product officer at 4G Capital.