Build a Regional Consumer Bank Innovation Lab

How do you drive a culture of innovation in a market-leading bank based in a conservative middle-eastern country?


Business Challenge

All organizations want to pushing forward with new services and new approaches to improve their business, but most are caught with large teams focused on managing business as usual which leaves them open to disruption.  The challenge is to both bring in agile product development while also increasing the organization’s focus on the end customer.

Approach Taken

Working directly with the CEO and CMO we created and delivered an innovation lab program that brought together customer experience research, team education and innovation projects.


Beyond the PR that an innovation lab creates, the bank saw an immediate impact on its digital product development as all projects were routed through the innovation lab’s usability testing center and compared to leading global fintech innovations.

Lessons Learned

  • To be effective, corporate programs need senior sponsorship and multiple connection points into the organization.
  • A usability testing lab on its own is frequently seen as an obstruction to delivery.  It needs to be positioned as a way to raise the profile of projects and be a force of innovation alongside the voice of the customer.
  • Innovation labs can’t be like a makers lab that only has tools, it needs a dedicated program to ensure constant traffic and learnings to publish back out to the organization.


This initiative was completed with a mixture of marketing, IT and direct sales teams from the bank, working with a global digital agency driving the content and testing lab, and a global branding agency defining the center’s branding and interior design.


Middle East

Customer Experience, Innovation, Organizational Change, Usability