Schroders ups the pace of innovation
Leading global investment and asset manager Schroders uses the Crowdicity Innovation and Idea Management Platform as the catalyst for their ‘hackathon’ approach to idea development, which drives continual innovation in the fast-moving Fintech market.
Innovating since 1804
Schroders has been a thriving business for over 200 years, continually adapting to the times to help its clients prepare for the future. Today, it’s facing an ever-faster rate of change and speed of business in a complex market. Constant innovation is imperative in order to succeed in the next 200 years and beyond.
This is an organisation where innovation is a founding principle, and it’s driven from the top. Schroders’ Crowdicity community is essential to its innovation strategy, functioning as the focus for creative thinking and innovation development - one central hub that’s available to the entire workforce, perfectly designed to maximise the potential of every idea. The open platform empowers employees to contribute on an ongoing basis, enabling a year-round flow of innovation with the scope to evaluate and develop ideas as they come in.
Let’s get hacking
As well as this day-to-day idea generation activity, the Crowdicity community gives innovation further impetus via Schroders’ global Innovation Challenge. This is a recurring hackathon event that invites all 5,000 employees to put forward fresh ideas and solutions that will move the business forward in specific areas.
To kick off each Innovation Challenge, senior leaders invite ideas within designated themes. Employees post their solutions on Crowdicity, and users can ask questions and add feedback as well as voting for their favourites. Shortlisted ideas are polished in an intensive development session in which teams work around the clock to prepare for the final event: a pitch to an internal panel of senior leaders, who evaluate the ideas on criteria like feasibility, business value and innovation in order to choose a final winner. This prestigious ‘shark tank’ event creates a buzz around innovation at Schroders, demonstrating to employees and clients that it is a strategic priority.
Crowdicity has given us one central place where we can continuously collect and assess ideas from across our global organisation. It helps us take advantage of the numerous great ideas within our own company, using our teams’ expertise to innovate and solve real business problems.
The hackathon process is an ideal way to focus and accelerate innovation by generating as many ideas as possible in a short time, quickly producing prototypes, then finalising outcomes. The approach works particularly well in combination with continuous, ad hoc, idea gathering because it means no idea can slip through the net.
One example of a successful hackathon idea is Schroders GO, a self-learning chatbot that is able to answer complex client queries and fetch requested data 24/7, for greater responsiveness with less resource. Another is an app enabling colleagues to commend others’ achievements, designed to create a positive internal feedback loop.
By running regular hackathons at the department and organisation level, alongside its ongoing idea generation process, Schroders is ensuring readiness for the challenges of the future. Its Crowdicity community is enabling it to power a continuous cycle of innovation and embed creativity throughout the business. An idea that starts as one person’s contribution to Crowdicity can rapidly evolve into something that changes how Schroders does business and serves its clients.