Exploring Business Solutions Through An Innovation Challenge

An innovation challenge is an effective way to infuse some energy into the idea creation of your company.

Whether you want to instil a culture of innovation or search for immediate ideas to solve pressing problems, an innovation challenge may be the answer.

Innovation challenges provide for immediate engagement and also offer an effective way to collect timely insights to solve a current problem.

Apart from adding enthusiasm in the work, innovation challenges also align everyone to a particular objective.


A financial institution with branches around the country was looking for ways to manage the increasing number of customers while serving them efficiently and in the shortest possible time. The financial institution wanted to achieve the following:

  • Reduce the length of queues for customers in various branches and effectively reduce the loss of revenue.
  • Provide efficient service for customers without necessarily increasing the number of tellers in a branch.
  • Build customer confidence by minimizing the downtime on ATMs.
  • Handle customer’s complaints more promptly
  • Add a feature to the existing channels to enhance the “wow” factor for the customers.


BongoHive Consult’s intervention was to run an innovation challenge that comprised of a 2-day hackathon designed to explore staff solutions to the institutions’ challenges.

A panel of judges was formed to shortlist 10 (ten) ideas that would be explored during the two-day event.

The 10 groups from the shortlisted ideas were taken through a rigorous design thinking and idea modelling process, including discovery visits to the institution’s branches. The whole process culminated in a pitch event where three groups/winners with the most outstanding ideas were selected.


During the hackathon, the average scores for concept and innovation increased by 76% and 84% respectively between the idea submission and group stages of the challenge; an indication that the staff built up their innovation skills at every stage of the challenge.

Based on the observations made during the innovation challenge, it can be argued that the program was successful in identifying prospective solutions to the identified problems.

BongoHive Consult went further to offer recommendations to the client based on the ideas generated from the challenge. It was recommended that the institution should consider timely execution of follow-on support for the winning teams, as this is important in communicating the bank’s commitment to developing staff ideas and would encourage more participation in future iterations of the challenge.

Further, the institution was advised to consider having team formation happen across management structures i.e. include middle management and c-suite members in teams, and not only engage them as mentors and judges.

BongoHive Consult can help you address your business challenge by designing a unique process suited for your business need.

Would you like to work with us? Email us: contactus[a]bongohive.co.zm or call: +26 095 301 7526