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Tech executives share their tips for evaluating technology products and partners, as well as for motivating engineers.  

Leaders need a framework for choosing technology experiments and partners on their quest to “disrupt” themselves – and a gameplan for helping workers find meaning and value in their work. 

We received a wealth of advice from the tech execs who have shaped financial firms’ strategies.  

Former Credit Suisse CIO Radhika Venkatraman built a “well-oiled machine” for scaling innovation across the investment bank by evaluating experiments based on whether they were risky, creative, and scalable. “If your experiment is outlandishly successful, but your output is tantamount to giving birth to a mouse, that’s not an experiment you want to spend your precious money on,” Venkatraman told Insights Distilled

Meanwhile, executives from TD Bank and Wells Fargo shared advice for working with fintech partners: They recommend creating quick, snappy proof-of-concepts to vet partnerships from both a technology and a relationship perspective. If you do decide to work together with a startup, you should understand their business continuity plan from the outset. Running through worst-case scenarios is crucial, says Wells Fargo head of digital Michelle Moore: “My legal, risk, and compliance partners are my best friends.”   

Execs from Visa, Capital One, and Goldman Sachs outlined how to build an innovative, motivated workforce by recruiting underrepresented tech talent (and keeping your firm accountable for its progress) while reducing the amount of manual, repetitive work for engineers through automation. You should help workers understand how their efforts impact the firm’s bigger-picture goals: “They need to feel like they’re on the front line of the business,” according to Goldman Sachs’ chief information officer, Marco Argenti.