Great-West Life, a multi-line global financial services company with operations in Europe and North America, has adopted and deployed Planbox to run several challenge-driven innovation campaigns. Greatwest Life developed multiple communities that welcomed over 13,800 employees and achieved a 25% engagement rate resulting in immediate ideas and actionable solutions that were retained by the business for consideration – some of which were eventually selected for implementation. The rapid pace at which the innovation management solution was deployed and embraced by users was praised by the innovation team.

Core innovation is critical to an organization of Great-West Life’s size. While the company may find some success in more ambitious areas, unless it is able to quickly and effectively create new and useful offerings within the core of its business, it will be challenged. That was the main driver in seeking a challenge-driven innovation management partner that can help Great-West Life continue to improve and innovate around its core offering.

One of the main goals that we identified is market-leading customer satisfaction, advisor satisfaction and where we see the Planbox solution play is really around the employee engagement piece. We cannot expect to grow and achieve success with customers and advisors in the market if we’re not first delivering a really great employee experience and engaging employees in this journey.” stated Ben Harrison, VP of Innovation Great-West Life

Great-West Life has adopted crawl walk run approach to ideation and idea development. The initiative started with running several challenges for the entire organization and within specific segments of the business, to get people familiar with how the application works, what it looks like and how to engage with the tool. The company is planning to run a shark tank type challenge with its employees to identify more high value opportunities in 2017.

The total challenge-driven innovation audience is 13,800 Great-West Life employees. 3,500 users were engaged in this initial phase. Those numbers have varied by challenge. There has been higher uptake within the business unit challenges specifically which is considered a good sign and the team is learning what works as the company plans a broader scale and larger initiatives for 2017 with the entire organization.

One of the benefits of the ideation tool for Great West has been that it has simplified what was historicallya paper-based manual process within the organization. That has helped a tremendous amount just to get the process started, to get leaders to buy in, and to go through the process to get ideas identified. Ultimately you can do that amazingly well with an innovation management tool. But if you do not actually do anything with the ideas then you’re going to quickly lose employees interest and ultimately employee engagement.

When the innovation team started to look for a partner Ben Harrison states, “We didn’t know what we didn’t know. What we found great about the Planbox solution was that it fit exactly what we needed at the time to get things going and to start. The flexibility aspect very much ties in with the fit aspect in that this is also a solution for us that we can grow with over time. As our capabilities evolve, we are in a position to leverage the tool in bigger and better ways.
– Ben Harrison, VP of Innovation Great-West Life

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About Planbox

Planbox is the pioneering provider of cloud-based Agile Work Innovation solutions – from creative ideas to winning projects. Our mission is to help organizations thrive by transforming the culture of agile work, continuous innovation and creativity across the entire organization. Our family of products include Collaborative Innovation Management, Team Decision Making, and Work Management applications. Planbox is designed to be the agile work innovation tool for everyone, built for companies and teams of all sizes and trusted by some of the world’s most recognized brands including Bridgestone, Honeywell, National Express, Panama Canal, Sealed Air, Willis Towers Watson and Verizon with millions of internal and external users. To learn more, visit: and unleash your innovation butterfly.

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