Fostering Intrapreneurship

How can the creation of competition and implementation of support drive marketing innovation within a global asset management firm?

The marketing division of a global asset management firm wanted to engage marketing associates directly in solving key pain points felt by the client groups, who are their internal customers. As part of their strategy for enabling associates to better respond to client group needs, the management team wanted associates to find and use skills that were not part of their typical day-to-day work. We co-designed an innovation competition for all 70 members of the division, across 3 countries, which ran over a three-month period.

The competition was carefully designed to balance input needs with the high levels of ‘business as usual’ pressures during the same period. Using a user-centric workshop approach allowed us to quickly understand the motivational profiles for the division, which we built into the competition dynamics to ensure lots of lightweight touch-points throughout: workshops on ideation, creative working, self-organising teams.

As teams worked through the competition period, we supported the project team through weekly checkpoints and content creation. Our aim was to ensure that the competition could be a repeatable part of the marketing division’s ongoing activity, which could be owned in-house.

The client groups have all been engaged in understanding the huge amount of value generated by the competing teams and the winning team have already seen their idea taken forward and launched as a formal product. Each of the concepts developed are now planned for implementation throughout the 2015 calendar year.


  • Co-design of innovation competition to improve associate response to client needs
  • Insertion of user-centric approach to competition to understand motivational profiles of the division
  • Creation of workshops in relation to the competition to upskill associates
  • Content creation to support teams processing through the competition


  • Creation of competition strategy that can be repeated in the future independent of external aid
  • The initial wave of internal innovation ideas led to the development of a new product, keeping this firm at the forefront of its industry
  • Huge value is created in the form of understanding the behaviour and progress of associates
  • Intrinsic motivation increased within the marketers as the competition provided an opportunity to share best ideas and gain recognition

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