Kevin Moffat on Innovation

Kevin Moffatt, VP, Shared Services, TD Bank Group, speaks on innovation in the financial sector at a recent #EDGEtalks event. 

About Kevin Moffat

Mr. Moffatt’s career with TD has spanned 18 years. He has progressed through increasing senior roles across the bank, in both Canada and the U.S. In 2014, Mr. Moffatt took on his current role as VP, Shared Services for TD’s North American Phone Channel. He leads a team of 800+ across North America that manage all aspects of Shared Services supporting the performance of TD’s 8,000 contact center employees across four business segments (TD Canada Trust, TD Wealth, TD Insurance & TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank), with functional responsibility for Canada and the U.S.  These areas include: Enterprise Process Excellence (Six Sigma and Policy & Procedures), Governance & Operations Solutions (Risk, Compliance), Business Solutions (IVR, Project Management and Innovation, as well as Business Owner of Phone Channel Technologies), Enterprise Workforce Management, Data Analytics & Reporting, Transformation & Professional Services, Special Projects and Sales and Customer Experience Strategy.

“So what I want to talk about this morning is to hit on a few points about how we at TD are approaching innovation. By the way, I’m going to talk about innovation in our space. There is innovation happening, obviously all over the organization. There’s technology innovation, there’s run-the-business type of innovation, but you’ll hear it from a contact centre type of environment.

We are the model of excellence, whatever terminology you want to use, for the contact centres. Our approach to innovation has been, what I would say, is partner-wise and in two brackets. There’s big-eye innovation, but you’ll hear me spend most of my time talking about small-eye innovation.

The big-eye innovation is the large transformational projects. In many cases they are technology-led. They could be $50 million bucks, they could be $300 million bucks. That’s not the piece I’ll spend my time on because I don’t get to write those cheques anyways! What I’m going to spend my time on, which I feel is more exciting, is what I call the small-eye innovation.

That’s where I think we are making great progress. When we say small-eye in terms of budget, it can be, let’s say, less than $2 million. I saw a really, really interesting project this summer that one of our summer intern students did and it had a big customer impact. It cost us $10,000. This whole idea of talking to your people and getting ideas, everybody can be innovative. I declare that I’m not. I’m not wired that way. If you want me to change the bank from an innovation point of view, I’m probably not the best bet to make. But are you surrounding yourself with people that will bring those ideas forward and are you, or me in my roll, can we facilitate and create the organizational awareness?

One of the best stories when talking about innovation and being a disruptor and turning our organization upside down would be that Uber. That’s not what we are talking about necessarily, right? Especially, no different from CIBC Mellon, our customers wouldn’t want us to do this. We’ve got five or six, however you want to measure it, major banks in Canada. Nobody is expecting us to do this (makes a motion of flipping something upside down). Right? It would send a shock through the system.

But when a student who is employed with you for the summer can actually say, “hey, I have an idea,” and you go, “interesting…”; it’s $10,000 bucks and it impacts customer facing situations, you just love those stories. For us, small-eye innovation comes from ideas.

Just a couple other things. We talk about ideas and where they come from. Probably one of the most exciting spots within my role, having come into this role now a couple years ago, is we actually have bi-weekly in novation meetings. For the most part it does happen every two weeks, and that’s when the ideas get tabled. The ideas at the table and the ideas at the end of the day, as you would all expect, are never really the same, but it actually forces us to come to the table, and in some cases we want to try and solve for a complex problem, and in other cases, we’re just there to learn and understand, and then people will poke around and ask questions.

But without that forum, I think we would get so stuck in our environment, that we wouldn’t be able to create that 16 minutes every two weeks to say what is going on out there? People say, we’re not Uber. Yeah, we’re not, but is there anything they are doing that actually makes sense from a bank or a contact centre perspective? If you actually think about some of these that are happening, you learn those capabilities and bring them into the banking space.”