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Unify a global workforce through a shared language of innovation

Kurt Bostelaar
August 11, 2023
 min read

Leigh Bochicchio and Eric Klisz of Mastercard wanted teams across their company to be able to have a common language when designing new products and services. They reached out to Strategyzer to improve their organization’s ability to craft clear business models.

Companies that are prepared for disruption are constantly reinventing themselves. They don’t believe they are invincible. The main task of leadership today is to constantly reinvent your organisation.”

The challenge

How might Mastercard establish a new innovation language and process? How might they spread it across a global workforce in a scalable, impactful, and cost effective way?

The solution

Together we worked to train employees in an interactive and engaging way. Mastercard then embedded the training content in their company processes and culture.

The impact

1,000+ people trained across 34 countries in a shared innovation language

Accelerating innovation at Mastercard

Mastercard is a global payments technology company with around 30,000 employees. They have offices around the world and decades of experience innovating in the field of financial services. To continue to innovate and stay relevant they had company wide initiatives to ‘reshape the digital economy’ and ‘modernize payments and transactions’.

Leigh and Eric focused on making sure the Mastercard workforce had the skills needed for these initiatives. They partnered with Strategyzer with two clear priorities. The first was to level up the strategy and innovation skills of its workforce. Paired with this was the desire to create a shared innovation language. This centered on the ability for teams across the company (and around the world) to easily align when working on new products and services.

The need for outcome driven training

The team at Mastercard had the challenge of upskilling a global workforce in the fast moving payments industry. Their business and technology environment was in constant flux and to keep up they knew they needed to change employee’s mindsets around innovation. They wanted tools and training that could make a lasting impact and set them up for success.

To keep their competitive edge, Mastercard partnered with Strategyzer and launched a 5 week training program for 60 of their product managers. We used a flipped classroom approach to allow employees to immediately apply what they were learning. This included async bite sized online learning modules paired with interactive live sessions that centered on real Mastercard projects.

Scaling across the company

With the pilot program being so successful, the team at Mastercard looked to expand the program to train more departments within the organization. Mastercard leveraged Strategyzer’s global network of expert innovation coaches to do so. A coach was paired with each Mastercard project group to train them in how to use Business Model Canvas.  Everyone learned one common business model language. Yet, each cohort had space to ask specific questions related to their unique function and role. By using Strategzyer’s digital platform they were able to scale this training program in a cost effective way.

To further cement the organizational culture change, Mastercard leadership was trained with a separate one day on-site workshop. This was to encourage executive buy-in of the program. It was also used to help champion the tools and methodology across the organization.


Unifying a global workforce with a shared language of innovation

Mastercard was able to train 1,000+ employees across 34 countries with a common innovation language. Since then, they have woven the training into the fabric of the organization’s culture and processes. They incorporated it into the regular training of employees and included it as part of their global product review process.

Leigh and Eric have now seen teams discussing business models with colleagues company wide. Teams have a way to design businesses and value propositions in a clear and consistent way with the practical tools helping to simplify their innovation process. They have also made it possible to easily test different product and business ideas before going to market.

A Strategyzer workshop is a dynamic event that features more than a top-down delivery of information.
We’ve accomplished a shared language, that goes without saying. We’ve been able to sift through the noise. We have critical thinking, business planning, taking in different perspectives, rallying teams around ideas. Consolidating various products and being more strategic.”
Eric Klisz
VP of Global Learning & Organizational Effectiveness

Kurt Bostelaar
August 11, 2023
It was a tremendous amount of work and we are extremely thankful to the whole team at Strategyzer. We learnt so much: three years ago we didn't really know how to start, and now I think we have built robust program that generations after us can continue to run.”
Henning Till
Head of Corporate Innovation, Bayer
people trained
countries were involved
shared innovation language was created thanks to Strategyzer's tools and methodology
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