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RBI Intrapreneurship Program: Next Round!

Do you remember our blog post in August on the RBI Innovation Garden? We were curious how the teams progressed and which projects are now realized. That is why we set down with Julia Bastian, Project Manager from HYVE, and Pia Neubert, Project Manager from RBI’s Intrapreneurship Program. 

In spring 2018, the intrapreneurship program was designed and implemented based on last year’s learnings (FROM WHOME?) Within the framework of an internal idea contest – open to all network banks – more than 765 ideas were submitted and discussed in different challenges ranging from internal process improvements to new market/customer solutions. Out of 3,600 active participants from 13 different countries, almost 270 applied to participate in the Innovation Garden. 100 employees were then invited to the Innovation Jam, a 2-day event where 20 ideas were further developed in a design thinking process. In the end, the eight best ideas and 40 most suitable “intrapreneurs” were selected for two intrapreneurship batches in autumn 2018.

 

Now, 12 intensive weeks of intrapreneurship batches later we can report that they were intensive, instructive, exciting and incredibly enriching. Within this short time, the teams from RBI tested many hypotheses with the customer and were able to validate the problem and possible solutions. They gained an exact picture of what a product solution should look like, that solves their real customer problem.

Clear decisions and a focus on a few projects

The teams pitched these findings to RBI’s Innovation Board at a “Demo Day” a few weeks ago. The Board decided on which projects will receive further funding. “What we have learned during the whole process is, that it is crucial to only focus on a few projects that bring the highest added value for customer. Also, clear decisions where the key to success” explains Pia Neubert. Two projects for further development and implementation were condensed from eight concepts, which are now being implemented by the intrapreneur teams in Minimal Viable Products. Due to this evaluation the concepts were tested regarding their economical feasability. Aleksandra Petkov-Georgieva of RBI, who further accompanies the intrapreneur teams, explains that “by validating the most critical hypotheses, premature and excessive investments in products that do not add value, can be avoided“.

However, what is going to happen to the other six topics? Some were handed over to the business unit where they are now implemented as process optimisations. Others are stopped but the “Lessons learned” are shared with managers to support other projects.

Not only do we put projects on the road that solve a real customer problem, we empower each individual as an innovator to bring this new way of working and attitude back into the respective network bank and thus contribute to the transformation of the organization as a whole.

A good breeding ground

The intrapreneurs experienced the RBI experienced the weXelerate environment as immensely inpsiring; start-ups “on site” enabled quick access to experts from various fields.

For this reason, RBI chose a similar ecosystem, the Talent Garden, to continue the success story.

Julia Bastian from HYVE emphasizes the multidimensional added value of such an intrapreneurship program: “We do not only put projects on the road that solve a real customer problem, we empower each individual to become an innovator in order to bring this new way of working and attitude back into the respective network bank and thus contribute to the transformation of the organization as a whole“.

New in 2019

A major focus of the new program 2019 is the “Train the trainer” component: HYVE acts less as a partner but supports RBI’s Innovation Management in empowering more employees. After all, local challenges will be followed by local programs. HYVE will also be using a beta version of the innovation management software Joolia for the first time in these challenges in order to integrate regional network banks into the process. The innovation software will support the challenges defined by the RBI, which differ from region to region and address different problems.

As a project team, we are very pleased to implement what we have learned this year with HYVE. Our goal is to shape the future of RBI every year as an individual, as a team and as an organization. (Pia Neubert)

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