Deloitte Greenhouse: Southern Africa
Pioneering new client service practices in banking
Innovation opens new possibilities for a divisional leadership team
The client’s challenge
With help from Deloitte Southern Africa, a leading investment bank had embarked on a company-wide innovation project, as well as a series of divisional strategy reviews. The leader of the bank’s equity investment division saw a prime opportunity to rethink the way the team serves its clients. He decided to bring his team into the Greenhouse to learn more about best practices and trends in innovation, and to begin developing and implementing innovative solutions for servicing clients, and their business overall.
The head of the equity investment division approached the Greenhouse session with two objectives: to identify areas for innovation in client service, and to assess the commercial potential of these innovations. Over several weeks, Deloitte Southern Africa worked with him on an agenda that would serve both goals.
Deloitte Southern Africa started the session by engaging the leaders in a discussion on areas that were most in need of improvement or innovation in their business. The session facilitators then directed the leadership team to enter observations about their innovation practices into ThinkTank® software, a collaborative tool that enables brainstorming and rapid prioritization of input. The anonymous format freed the division’s leaders to voice their opinions, which the facilitators sorted into themes to capture the current state of the division’s innovation capabilities.
Next, the facilitators prompted the leaders to assess their client service practices. By mapping the division’s strengths and weaknesses in client service against its innovation capabilities, the leadership team pinpointed the parts of their service model that could be improved with innovation.
A futurist then joined the Greenhouse session to examine trends outside the financial services industry, e.g., exponential technologies. This external view kicked off the culminating segment of the session: an “insight factory” exercise, in which the leadership team broke into small groups to brainstorm innovative solutions to client-service challenges.
Each group synthesized its ideas into a concept for an innovative practice and assessed the concept’s commercial viability using a one-page business model framework. The groups then pitched their concepts to the head of the equity investment division in a small-scale competition that brought the best ideas forward.
Impact on client’s business
Coming out of the Greenhouse session, some of the new concepts that were surfaced were put onto a fast track for development (e.g., cross-asset risk and execution), while other ideas continued to be explored. The team identified improved and more effective ways to fulfill their daily routines and collaborate across the bank. Across the division’s leadership team, the intense, day-long focus on innovation breathed new life into the way they approached serving their clients.