Key takeaways from the webinar on Corporate Innovation

The Swiss InsurTech Hub (SIH) held a webinar entitled “Corporate Innovation” and invited Roger Stoller, Head of Swiss Life Lab, and Ralph Hartmeier and Dave Hengartner, the co-founders of Zurich-based startup “rready”, to share their experiences in driving innovation in companies.

We summarized below 4 key takeaways from our discussions:

Take-Away No. 1:

There is no “silver bullet” to make an organization successful in embracing innovations. Plugging in an “off-the-shelf” package to drive new ideas or setting-up a corporate innovation lab in itself are not going to make a company innovative. It is equally important to focus on developing the right mindset and culture which support the innovation strategy. Knowing the customer needs and establishing the external collaboration with a start-up ecosystem are the additional must-have’s to make the innovation strategy successful.

Take-Away No. 2:

Failure is part of the innovation journey. Companies must be willing to take risks and to fail – a notion that necessarily requires a shift in mindset. The key success factors are persistence, ability to learn from failures to improve products/services/processes, and willingness to sustain short-term negative impacts on financial targets in view of long-term sustainable gains.

Take-Away No. 3:

The biggest contribution from a corporate innovation lab lies in the facilitation and empowerment to explore new innovation initiatives, new business concepts and prototypes. Its success lies in the right mix of independence and integration with a mothership company. If too independent, it risks the misalignment with the company’s business strategy. If too integrated, it loses the freedom to challenge the status quo and ask critical questions to the business.

Take-Away No. 4:

Intrapreneurship program is a great way to boost the innovation capacity and nurture the innovation culture within the organization. It allows to tap into employees’ processes, products, and services knowledge and curiosity. By giving the employees resources and space, it encourages them to develop and deploy ideas addressing business pain points or creating new products or services.

Here are couple of tips on how to do it right:

(1) Do not judge the raw ideas and give everyone the chance to validate new ideas;

(2) Be enabler and not the gatekeeper for ideas;

(3) Prefer simplicity over methodologies to ensure people understand what they need to do;

(4) Make the program gamified to keep people engaged;

(5) Keep in mind that you don’t need to start from scratch, so try leveraging proven methodologies, best practices that other companies have been already using.

About Swiss Life

The Swiss Life Group is the largest life insurance company of Switzerland and one of Europe’s leading comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions providers. In its core markets of Switzerland, France and Germany, Swiss Life offers individuals and corporations comprehensive and individual advice plus a broad range of own and partner products through its sales force and distribution partners such as brokers and banks.

Swiss Life Lab was founded by Swiss Life in 2015 to explore future-oriented questions about insurance, pensions and real estate and find the solutions to them.

To find out more, visit the website:

About rready

rready, formerly GETKICKBOX, is dedicated to making employee-driven innovation in organizations measurable, manageable and visible. The Swiss startup unleashes the entrepreneurial spirit within large organizations by automating and streamlining their innovation funnel through a modular SaaS platform that is backed by proven methods and ecosystems. Over the past 6 years, rready has empowered more than 25 international companies such as Roche, Siemens Energy or Implenia to successfully implement corporate innovation and generate significant business, cultural and brand impact.

rready is your passionate partner in crime for innovation with the ambition to unleash true intrapreneurial power.

To find out more, visit the website:

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