Fightback: An Innovation Podcast

Fightback is a business innovation podcast that celebrates the stories of the people doing the hardest job in innovation today: transforming UK heritage brands from the inside.Each episode is a conversation with a leader sharing their Fightback experience; their views on what disruption they’re facing in their industry, what they’re doing about it and what they’ve learned. They share insights, experiences and practical advice for listeners to take to their own Fightback.

In series 1, we speak with innovation leaders from Boots, NatWest, Sainsburys, GSK, Avios and Homeserve.

Your host: Robin Charney, Director of Digital and Innovation, AAR


Episode 1

Tuesday 22 October

From shopkeeper to customer keeper: willful disruption at Boots

In this episode, Robin interviews Rich Corbridge, Director of Innovation and Dave Robinson Head of Data and Personalisation at Boots.

In this lively chat, they talk about the future of the high street chemist and their recent launch of in store video GP consultation; their “willful disruption” innovation approach; the cultural changes they are spearheading including the permission to fail; their work with the NHS; their approach to data and loyalty, and how they work with partners from Microsoft to startups to win their fightback.

They finish up with a few predictions and a wish list of innovations they wished they’d been part of.

Episode 2

Tuesday 29 October

NatWest Ventures and the importance of the growth mindset

In this episode, Robin speaks with Jeremy Smith from NatWest. It’s an amazing glimpse into NatWest’s unique venture model, as well as an important lesson in having the right executive buy-in and sponsorship and a great discussion about why London is the world leader in fintech startups.

We also touch on how Open Banking is driving innovation, how to grow new brands both from the inside and through partners and why co-location away from the mothership is super important.


Episode 3

Tuesday 5 November

How to disrupt yourself from the shed in the car park – the story of Homeserve’s LeakBot

In this week’s episode, Robin speaks with Craig Foster of Homeserve where we find out what happens when you have an ambitious CEO, a curious new MD and a marketing guy that moves to the shed in the car park. We talk about the importance of being clear on what business you are truly in, and the failure that can come with ignoring the changing market around you as well as ways to overcome the sucking sound of the core.



Episode 4

Tuesday 12 November

Beyond pills, potions and lotions – the story of what GSK does next

In this week’s episode we meet Nick Tate, Head of Next at GSK. We talk about finding meaning in your job, how large corporates such as GSK have a responsibility to impact the world around them in a positive way, and how being nosey is a foundational skill for success in innovation.

Episode 5

Tuesday 19 November

Innovating the model of innovation at Avios

In this week’s episode of Fightback, Robin speaks with Stephen Scott (Scottie), Chief Digital Officer at Avios. They cover off a whirlwind of topics including how the loyalty sector is evolving, why Avios is moving to a product led organisation, where Agile and Design thinking fit into their evolving target operation model and why it’s better to go through people than around them to drive change. Oh and how Scottie is not quite ready to trust in electric aircraft for a safe landing!

Episode 6

Tuesday 26 November

Creating Future Brands at Sainsbury’s

In this week’s episode, we have the pleasure of talking to Rachel Eyre of Sainsbury’s. As Head of Future Brands, Rachel and her team are bringing the best of startup food and drinks products to their 27 million weekly customers. We talk crickets to kombucha, and how Sainsbury’s scale and depth of marketing experience is one of their greatest assets. We also hear who’s keeping her up at night and why being able to lead change might well be the most important skill for any innovator.