Sometimes, a company’s need does not lie with a new product or service, but with strategic innovation. The approach Six Fingers uses to develop products/services in parallel to the existing business can also be used to innovate on a strategic level.
We develop based on emotions in the market and insights gained from other sectors that are further ahead. We do not base ourselves on mathematical formulas, because in this day and age it can be dangerous to develop a strategy based on data from the past. By examining the client’s current situation, expanding management’s existing cognitive frameworks and thinking outside the box (as is done during the incubator phase), developing a new and future-proof strategy becomes a refreshing process.
Next, we set up small experiments that let us test the new strategy on a small scale within the organisation (just like during the Accelerator phase).
1 A strategy was developed at some point and it is often still effective when you start thinking about innovation. Common excuses are: “We have been doing things like this forever” and “We tried that once already.” In order to develop a new strategy, it is important to challenge this dominant logic and break through it to create room for innovation. Six Fingers does this by taking a stand and confronting clients with their own behaviour. This often leads to powerful insights.
2 You cannot achieve true innovation by only looking at your competition. You will always be one step behind. It is wiser to look at leading organisations in other sectors and learn from their successes. Six Fingers uses its successful proprietary Branchmarking method for this. It lets us learn from other organisations that resolved similar problems in a clever manner, even though they are active in a different sector. Why waste time and energy reinventing the wheel?
3 Strategies are often developed in a top-down manner. Terms like “customer-centric” and “service organisation” are often spouted. The question remains what part the client really plays in this strategic development process? Six Fingers starts with the client/user and tries to identify their pains. This approach leads to corporate strategies that are actually relevant to the client.
Florius posed the following question to Six Fingers: how can we take back the lead in a sector that copies itself all the time? The answer was to challenge the dominant logic and explore innovative directions.
A mortgage is a strange product when you think about it: it remains static for up to thirty years, while life itself is dynamic. People do not work for the same employer their whole lives, relationships fall apart and we do not always stay in the same house forever either. Permanence is a relic from a different age. We determined together that Florius had to introduce a new value into the sector that matched the client’s perspective and their future.
The result was a mortgage that moves along with life. This goes beyond the organisation’s logo. Florius was the first organisation to introduce the option to pay off a mortgage without incurring a penalty, a mortgage for self-employed people and financing solutions for residual debt. This led to much appreciation from customers and intermediaries and earned the company the title of “best mortgage provider in the Netherlands” twice. Today, banks are increasingly obligated to let go of existing penalties. Florius has been doing that for a long time. Not because it had to, but because of its values: being flexible and moving along with life.
Development time: strategic process 5 months, other products 2-6 months.