The detail

Standard Bank was facing significant competition from traditional and non-traditional players. They were under pressure to keep pace with evolving customer needs and fast-moving innovation. And previous transformation initiatives within Personal and Business banking had not delivered the expected degree of change. The executive committee united around a common cause – they needed to discover the art of the possible, envisage what the future of banking and customer experience could look like, and then define a way to make it happen.

Under threat from traditional & non-traditional players, this African bank wanted to envisage the bank of the future. So, we introduced them to our innovation network in Silicon Valley & defined a way to actually make it happen…

Outcome

Introduced the bank to 50+ startups & 5 VCs, developed a ‘2020 vision’, defined 4-year strategy.

Method

Innovation visits, strategy definition, execution support, rapid prototyping.

Standard Bank was facing significant competition from both traditional and non-traditional players. They were under pressure to keep pace with evolving customer needs and fast-moving innovation. And previous transformation initiatives within Personal and Business banking had not delivered the expected degree of change. The executive committee united around a common cause – they needed to discover the art of the possible, envisage what the future of banking and customer experience could look like, and then define a way to make it happen. So that’s what we did…

Why Elixirr?

We have an extensive innovation network and strong connections with venture capitalists and startups in Silicon Valley and London. Our experience in hosting innovation immersion visits made us the perfect partner for this bank. They were confident we could apply our close relationships and deep understanding of innovative new technologies, business models and ways of working to drive real value for them. And that’s what we did…

The challenge

The executive committee were looking for the opportunity to explore the art of the possible, and experience the innovative approaches and outputs of some of the myriad of fintech startups out there. So, we needed to immerse them in the innovation ecosystems of Silicon Valley and London. They wanted us to explore some key themes and trends affecting the banking industry, and provide advice on how to respond to this new level of competition.

The approach

We don’t do ‘off-the-shelf’. Every single innovation immersion visit to Silicon Valley we run for our clients is bespoke – and this one was no different. We started by talking to this African bank to really understand what they were looking to achieve. We then designed a compelling agenda and identified the key topics to explore.

We comprehensively briefed each of our carefully selected VCs, startups and peers, so they could deliver insight that was bespoke to this bank, rather than simply providing insight into general trends. Once the team from the bank arrived in Silicon Valley, we introduced them to our innovation network, held design thinking workshops and identified priority projects, agreeing a ‘2020 vision’.

With the collective vision in place, over the course of the next 12 weeks we defined the strategy. By reviewing all the existing strategy material and conducting interviews with the executive committee, we had a full understanding of the bank’s key priorities and strategic aims. Once we had created the strategy document, we held a workshop for the executive committee to agree a high-level execution plan.

Next, we hosted 16 people from the bank for a second innovation immersion visit, this time in London. This gave them the opportunity to experience innovative new techniques and customer-centric implementation tools, such as design thinking and rapid prototyping.

The value

Across the visits we introduced this African bank to over 50 startups and 5 VCs.

Our input didn’t stop there. For an additional 6 months we provided ongoing support and strategic advice as they embedded the new ways of working. We developed training materials and created a financial model to show the impact they were having on the bank’s costs and revenues.

They fully embraced the need for change. By supporting them to embed new ways of working and developing a 2020 vision inspired by the innovative companies we introduced them to, they are now fully set up to make real change happen in response to increasing competition and the fast-evolving needs of their customers.

And the praise...

"A refreshingly different perspective. Elixirr aren’t afraid to take on the big boardroom issues, helping me to cut through the noise & find the right solution, quickly."

Peter Schlebusch, Personal & Business Banking CEO, Standard Bank