How We Helped Wolters Kluwer Win at Corporate Innovation by Embracing an Entrepreneurial Mindset
- Built an AI-driven platform, InView Legal, by validating assumptions with over 200 lawyer interviews, constantly testing the prototype with 800+ labor lawyers prototypes, and implementing learnings to automate key processes.
- InView won the prestigious 2021 International CODiE Award for Best Legal Solution.
- Learnings from InView helped to create a new go-to-market playbook for innovations across Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory Benelux departments, including InView Tax.
To win as a corporate today, innovation is simply a necessity. Whether it’s customers’ changing needs, demands for new ways of working, potential disruption from startups or stakeholder pressure, innovation must be at the forefront of every corporate strategy. For many businesses, this poses a constant challenge: how to develop and bring these new products to the market?
As a market leader in professional information across multiple sectors, Wolters Kluwer (19k fte) has offers in health, accounting, tax, legal and finance. The organization, an established name in the professional information industry across the globe, has for many years been driven by innovation. However, innovation processes can be improved ongoing.
Legal & Regulatory in the Netherlands (LR NL) saw an opportunity to embrace a new innovative mindset and to get closer to their customers whilst doing so. And as a result, the department not only brought an innovative new product to market, it ended up developing a whole new go-to-market playbook that has spread across the organization.
In February 2018, LR NL reached out to Aimforthemoon with the request to help them apply an entrepreneurial mindset as they undertook a project to bring new value to their customers.
By looking at the market, the first sign we identified was that a lot of competitors were addressing the concerns of the labor market. This closely coincided with our philosophy at Aimforthemoon about corporate innovation where innovation must be driven by the customer: by bringing the customer into the innovation process, corporates can increase the likelihood of success.
The first step in the process was for LR NL to take a close look at the direction the industry was going towards, the challenges professionals faced and where they stemmed from. A few important factors were:
- Customers were overwhelmed with information
- Many of their conversations with customers were often about price instead of added value
- Once we became problem-aware, the next step was to bring together a seasoned team of experts from LR NL. With the industry know-how, these would-be intrapreneurs joined forces with an innovation coach from Aimforthemoon and embarked on the four phases of Aimforthemoon’s corporate-startup process: Scan, Test, Build and Grow.
The Scan Phase
The innovation team embarked on a journey to the very core of LR NL’s customer journey by interviewing customers and non-customers alike — a concept that was new to the organization at the time.
“In the scan phase, we interviewed 50 customers within just 6 weeks, which urged us to think very creatively. By the end, we saw lots of opportunities in the legal sector.”
Lucas van Ardenne, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory The Netherlands
During these interviews, we asked lawyers and legal professionals from all over the Netherlands what their challenges were, about the bottlenecks they face and the changes they would like to see in the future. We wanted to get first-hand experience of their workflow processes.
- The team found out that lawyers, on average, open 16 applications before they give advice to their clients — taking up valuable time and resources. The biggest inefficiency in their day was in the research phase, which would, in turn, be the starting place for our product development journey.
- With clear insight on how the customer actually wanted to work — by speaking with customers and other suppliers in the industry — as well as the pain points which they were currently experiencing, an Aimforthemoon innovation coach facilitated a design sprint.
The goal? Come up with the basis for a new proposition — to help legal professionals deliver better outcomes in less time — designed by customers, for customers.
“Customers were looking to be delivered value, not just content and data. Our single ambition was to give it to them.”
Leonard Bukenya, Partner at Aimforthemoon
Working backward from the customer’s desired process, the team began to validate what they actually wanted to offer with multiple throwaway prototypes. Once they had a clearer idea of the problem the end product would solve, they began to build out a prototype that would facilitate it — along with the customers they had interviewed.
The test phase
The next step in the process was to test the assumptions from the scan phase: that the way lawyers wanted to work was changing. They needed to do more with less time and fewer resources. But were they open and interested in solutions to streamline their research process?
- To test their assumptions before building their solution, the innovation team began to employ growth tactics on LinkedIn and within the first 6 months, this content had 300K+ product views on LinkedIn posts and over 800+ connections made with legal professionals on LinkedIn.
- To validate interest in the solution, we began interviewing 200+ customers and non-customers over the span of eight months.
“The first period was devoted to idea validation. Various ideas were tested with the target group on the basis of the corporate start-up method. The most promising idea has been further developed into a prototype. Subsequently, during the development of the product, feedback was constantly requested from the target group in order to arrive at a solution that suits the needs of our customers.”
Lucas van Ardenne, Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, The Netherlands.
Build phase: Bringing innovation to life
Over the next eight months, the innovation team embarked on a process to build out their solution with the customer.
- The first prototype was a simple solution which we tested with more than 80 interviews where we shared mockups and held face-to-face experiments with lawyers across the country.
- By testing the prototype with customers directly and involving them in the development of the product itself, we created an ecosystem.
- We had 800 out of 2,600 labor lawyers in the Netherlands using the prototype and we could check in real-time the processes they were using.
- By following their movements in the program, we began to understand the main challenges they faced and began to implement these learnings and automate key processes to help increase legal professionals’ productivity.
After 18 months of testing the product in the market, recruiting pilot users, building out the prototype, and taking them on the journey, LR NL unveiled its innovative new product: InView: An AI-driven software solution that enables legal professionals to work more efficiently and achieve better outcomes for their clients in less time.
Implementing the learnings for continued growth
InView is just one step in LR NL’s ongoing digital innovation path. The experience creating the platform has validated a new way of working which, in turn, helps the organization on its transformation journey. This includes three key areas including:
- Go-to-market playbook. The go-to-market blueprint for InView is being adopted within Legal & Regulatory the Netherlands. “This go-to-market strategy is now an essential part of the way that we work and is being adopted more widely across the organization for how we make launches a success,” says Marcel Vonder, VP Product Management, Legal & Regulatory Benelux.
- Marketing, sales & service. The InView program extended beyond the product innovation team itself and touched on different departments across the organization. “Building this new product created a domino effect on the whole organization. It’s a new solution and as a result, it’s now a different conversation we need to have with our customers. It made us reconsider how we approach everything from marketing, sales and services,” says Marcel Vonder.
- Customer-centricity. The experience building InView helped the organization better focus on the “effects of” the product and how it affected their client’s day than the product’s features themselves. “That mindset is something we have taken with us today and can be attributed to the process of creating InView,” says Marcel Vonder.
After completing the process with Aimforthemoon, these learnings have already led to the creation of similar projects in multiple jurisdictions — including a similar platform for tax clients called InView Tax — and further advanced digital innovation for the organization.
“Our team has been highly enthusiastic about adopting and applying what we have learned through our partnership with Aimforthemoon and we expect this to deliver new benefits across the organization, and most importantly for our customers.”
Marcel Vonder, VP Product Management, Legal & Regulatory Benelux
Want to learn more about this case or Aimforthemoon in general? Contact Leonard Bukenya at firstname.lastname@example.org.