Accelerating Innovation at Banca Mediolanum
How Viima is used in a financial services institution to systematically collect and manage ideas to turn them into innovations
Industry: Financial services (banking, mutual funds, asset management, investment strategies, trading), Insurance & Pension
Size: 3300+ employees
Location: Italy, Spain, Germany, Ireland
Banca Mediolanum is a leading Italian financial services institution that puts their 2.3 million customers at the center of their business.
Banca Mediolanum takes pride in its “Freedom in Banking” approach, offering families tailored, comprehensive, reassuring and transparent financial solutions through innovative yet easy to-use technological solutions.
In brief, the outcomes of a a systematic use of Viima at Banca Mediolanum lead to:
- Systematic and structured management of ideas has led to solid bottom line impact
- More ideas implemented than with previous solution
- More ideas with tangible benefits and better than expected financial results
- Increased employee engagement and participation helps shape culture
- Eliminate barriers and enhance the flow of information
Banca Mediolanum is a leading Italian banking institution that for the past 40 years has been constantly innovating, growing and evolving, offering tailored and comprehensive financial services and solutions.
Banca Mediolanum started building their capabilities and culture of innovation in 2014 and throughout the years launched a series of projects that leveraged technology to create disruptive innovations. Among these, the Flowe challenger bank stands out as a model for sustainable FinTech products.
Supported by top management, Banca Mediolanum has built a strong innovation culture which lead to a series of initiatives, such as the Bonus Pool program that starts with the call for ideas, in Viima.
The call for ideas leverages the collective knowledge of their workforce and helps them identify new opportunities and areas for development.
To start the Bonus Pool program, they brought together a large part of their workforce, the change agents, to contribute with ideas. While collecting ideas from their community of innovators may sound straightforward, the way you organize such a challenge can have a huge impact on the end result.
Before starting with Viima, Mediolanum used a more complex tool for many years. While, in some respects, the setup may have been even more sophisticated on paper, in practice it made the process of collecting and managing ideas cumbersome and had become a bottleneck for innovation.
What's more, Mediolanum needed to manage the ideation process from start to finish in the same environment, in their case Microsoft Office 365. While Microsoft provides a very useful suite of tools for collaboration, they don’t provide an integrated idea management system. That’s where Viima comes into play.
The Bonus Pool
The Bonus Pool is an idea challenge that Banca Mediolanum is organizing every year with the goal of finding solutions to specific problems, new areas of development or improvements.
The process starts in January with the launch of a new Viima board, where ideas are collected, and lasts until December when they select the ideas that will eventually go into production. The teams with the best ideas are rewarded with a bonus of 40 000€.
For three months, they collect ideas from hundreds of employees using Viima. In this stage an "Innovation Team" aggregates similar ideas, as well as helps identify needs, and builds on top of existing knowledge to get to better, more refined ideas.
Next, promising ideas are distilled to enter a second phase of development. They look for potential partners and other startups, evaluate budgets and work on feasibility studies.
The remaining ideas are handed to smaller teams that they start working closely together on developing the ideas further.
In each phase ideas are evaluated by an internal “jury” of innovators and the best ones are finally evaluated and selected by senior management.
For the Bonus Pool to be successful, it was essential to eliminate any barriers, enhance the flow of information, and focus on outcomes.
The first stage of the idea challenge sets the ground for the end results, so it was crucial to have the right tool to collect and manage ideas effortlessly.
The solution they were looking for had to be engaging, enable everyone to suggest ideas quickly and easily, and facilitate collaboration and exchange of knowledge in a familiar environment. The key criteria were the user-friendly and engaging interface, as well as the Microsoft 365 integration.
Sharing ideas in Teams is fine when you have just a few people within a team, but when hundreds of people are involved, it quickly turns into a chaos that fails to engage team members in result-oriented, structured ideation work.
Viima’s idea management software offers a native Microsoft Teams app, integrates seamlessly with Office 365, and offers everything needed to collect and manage ideas effortlessly. Thus, Viima was the obvious solution.
Using Viima for the past three years gave Mediolanum the head start to generate more ideas and increase the odds of finding ones that can make a real difference.
At the end of each year, the Bonus Pool challenge rewards and implements the two best ideas. In 2021, however, the quality was so high that 3 ideas were eventually chosen. The implementation of the final ideas, which is currently under way, have highly promising projections that has exceeded initial expectations.
With an intuitive, easy-to-use tool like Viima, more employees feel encouraged to share ideas, collaborate, and contribute. While this might sound “soft”, the increased engagement has made a tremendous difference in culture, as well as of course the quality of ideas that will be implemented.
Together these have led to many tangible benefits and better than expected financial results for the organization.
2021 winning ideas currently in production
AI-powered management of credit applications is expected to lead to 47% reduction in FTEs (Full-time equivalents) and thus equivalent cost savings.
AI application in Asset Management processes and ESG portfolio construction. A sustainable solution that helps improve sales and reduces the risk level of the product portfolio.
Credit and debit card Aggregator targeting new markets and customers. Novel offering allows Mediolanum to attract new customer segments with high growth potential.
The main characteristic of Viima is that it's really easy to use. It has a playful and user-friendly interface which allows for easy collaboration, possibility to spot trends, and helps focus on what is important.
It's the perfect tool to engage everyone, share feedback with the community, and monitor project progress.
A truly simple and powerful tool at the same time.
Viima enables co-creation and idea evaluation across the innovation life-cycle through a playful platform.
The easy-to-navigate and visually engaging user interface makes the tool user friendly and catchy at the same time. Viima facilitates collaboration by improving communication and teamwork efficiency.
People can easily join the effort, contribute and share the best ideas, and leverage cross-functional working groups to eventually develop amazing innovations.
Did you know?
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Viima takes great pride in enabling innovation in forward-thinking organizations, like Banca Mediolanum.
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