At Wolters Kluwer, innovation matters. In 'The Game Changer', A.G. Lafley and Charan wrote that a companywide commitment to innovation in both products and internal operations can increase organic revenue, profit growth, and create competitive advantage. We couldn’t agree more. That’s why, driven by our 2016-2018 Corporate strategy, this year’s Global Innovation Award categories were: Greatest value to customers, Business model/Operational innovation, Business improvements and Sustainability. Last week, sixteen finalists presented their ideas to the Company’s Innovation Board—which some call our very own ‘Dragons’ Den’. Today, we are pleased to announce our eight winning innovations.
Innovation and Inspiration
As Nancy McKinstry, CEO, said, “Innovation is integral to our way of working. What inspires us are opportunities to innovate solutions that matter to our customers, their clients, and our operations. I see that ambition in our business units, divisions and in all of our regions. Hearing our people stand up and say things like, ‘This innovation saves lives’ or ‘This innovation helps companies get ahead’ is inspiring. The Innovation Awards are one of my favourite times of the year in the Company.”
Driven by our 2016-2018 Company strategy of Growing our Value for customers, employees and shareholders alike, this year’s Awards were organised in four categories:
- Greatest value to customers: In which the call-to-arms was for ideas that create maximum value for our customers through new product innovations, enhancements or other expert solutions.
- Business model/operational innovation: In which Company employees worldwide were invited to submit ideas that could reinvent the way we do business to deliver on our mission—a process, a plan, or other strategic initiative.
- Business improvements: Ideas that advance our operational effectiveness & efficiency in line with our strategic priority of driving efficiency and employee engagement.
- Sustainability: Ideas that significantly change our solutions or processes towards social and environmental contributions in, for example, data access and security, social responsibility in supply chains, strategic sourcing and more.
Launched internally in late 2015, the 2016 Awards generated more than 300 submissions from across the Company.
All submissions were initially evaluated by strength of business case by Wolters Kluwer Corporate strategy, or the Company’s global Innovation Tournament in which voting was opened to our 19,000 employees worldwide. Early stage, as well as ongoing, innovations were supported with the Company’s internal INVENT Fund.
Sixteen teams from seven countries made it through to the finals. Pictured below are the team members elected to present their cases to the formidable Innovation Board for the final hurdle.
Into the Dragons’ Den
The Innovation Board, headed by Wolters Kluwer CEO, Nancy McKinstry, is composed of internal stakeholders such as Andres Sadler, CEO, Wolters Kluwer Global Business Services and Karen Abramson, CEO Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting, and external innovation luminaries such as Anne Berkowitch, Barry Jaruzelski and digital media pioneer Martin Nisenholtz.
Understandably, some entrants call the Innovation Board our very own ‘Dragons' Den’: exciting to meet, but challenging too.
All of the finalist’s innovations were evaluated to the strictest criterion. Breakthrough performance for our customers and/or ourselves was a ‘must’. Flawless project execution, a rigorous business case and clear contributions to our global, digital and sustainable business ambitions were all considered.
The Innovation Board faced tough choices. There were inspiring entries built around innovative cloud-based apps, deep integration with our customers’ workflow, blended learning ideas and more.
Finally, after much deliberation and debate, the Innovation Board announced our 2016 Wolters Kluwer Global Innovation Award winners:
Greatest Value to Customers
- CCH iQ: a predictive intelligence tool that brings clients impacted by tax and accounting events together with actionable content. A game-changer, the Innovation Board believe CCH iQ has the potential to make significant impact with small to medium sized accounting firms in Australia—and perhaps beyond.
- ADDISON OneClick: An innovation for the German tax advisory market that addresses key digitization challenges and increases productivity for our customers.
Business Model/Operational Innovation
- Self-Guided User Product Onboarding: An innovation that transforms the way customers thinks about impending regulation changes, and improves customer retention rates.
- Crowd-Funding a Strategic Investment: An innovative funding approach to help deliver even more value to our trusted customers.
- KleosTWO: A concept that addresses pain-points through the ‘Voice of the Customer’ while improving the KleosTWO product and delivers impressive results.
- Step Up: A scaleable gamification model for employee engagement, personal development and more.
- The Pro bono Evangelist: Fostering and promoting a pro bono culture with our customers that helps give back to the communities in which we operate.
- Work from Home Policy: Capitalizing on the potential benefits of a progressive ‘Work From Home’ policy.
We offer our congratulations to one and all! Take a quick look at the video below to hear what drives our finalists to innovate.
Building on our Digital IQ
As Nancy McKinstry, CEO, said shortly after the Awards, ‘On behalf of the entire jury, I would like to thank all the teams for presenting—we really enjoyed hearing from them all.’ In fact, the Innovation Board was so impressed by the quality of the submissions this year, that they awarded two winners per category—instead of the planned ‘one’.
After the summer, the Award winning teams will share more about their innovations through a series of internal webinars. Over time, with the support of our internal INVENT innovation fund and global Innovation Labs, we shall be building further on some of these ideas.
At Wolters Kluwer, innovation does indeed matter. Over the years, the Company’s dedication to continual innovation and improvement has yielded significant results internally, and for our customers. As we noted in the Company’s recent Tax & Accounting iLab Code Games (another Company innovation initiative) some of our recent customer-facing innovations include:
- CCH Axcess: the tax profession’s only modular, cloud-based solution.
- OneSumX: a full ecosystem of complementary and comprehensive solutions and services to manage the intersection of governance, finance, risk and compliance.
- Kleos: the only product on the market offering a next generation cloud platform supporting both the practice and business of law, and is fully compliant with local regulations.
As a recent PWC Study showed, companies with a leading ‘Digital IQ’ are twice as likely to achieve stronger financial performance, rapid revenue and profit growth, as the laggards. We know our people have what it takes. And our finalists are, we believe, proof of the pudding.