A bank-insurer, serving mainly retail, SME and midcap customers in its home markets in Belgium and Central and Eastern Europe, caters to approximately 10 million clients worldwide. In the aftermath of the banking crisis, banking employees lost pride in their jobs. On top of this, the wave of digitalization urged banks to come up with new digital offerings, focusing more on customer experience. In order to address these challenges, the national branch launched a cultural change program. In this context, they wanted to find a way to engage employees bottom-up in taking new initiatives, while reducing complex governance structures and adopting a new way of working through collaboration and entrepreneurship.
It was moving to see the engagement and dedication of my employees.</br> I did not know they are so committed to the future of our companyCEO national branch
Venture Spirit initiated a venture game project to motivate employees across different functional areas to take initiative and contribute beyond their daily tasks. Employees were invited to share their ideas on cost reduction, decreased time-to-market, and faster decision making with the community and develop them together. This gamified project called De Pitch was integrated in the running cultural change program.
The business impact was considerable: out of 420 participants, 50 top change agents were identified, fully committed to the future of the company. No less than 75 plans saw the daylight. At the final event, the jury selected 3 winning teams and gave them green light for implementation. Another 25 ideas were integrated in change implementation programs. One of these ideas - a platform that helps entrepreneurs growing their idea into a business - has become a very successful project today. The final event was such a remarkable celebration of the new bottom-up culture that afterwards, the success of De Pitch rippled through the entire organization and everyone talked about it as if they had been a part of it.
The CEO of the national branch summarized the key success factors of the Venture Spirit set-up as follows:
- Engages all employees and encourages them to team up with colleagues and share knowledge and competences, including very intense cross-departmental collaboration
- Provides a risk-free environment that stimulates people to look beyond traditional boundaries and think out of the box
- Builds a portfolio of actionable, real-life plans supported by motivated teams that are ready to go the extra mile for their ideas
The management confirmed that people were lifted up to another level, they scouted many new talents, and some change agents have even been promoted in the mean time Today De Pitch is still quoted as one of the most impactful change projects ever to create a more dynamic culture within the company
The game delivered on its promises. The ideas harvested were good, albeit not revolutionary. But the dynamics created were truly above expectations. This project caused a genuine landslide!Senior General Manager HR national branch