Innovative Investment

Scott Warman, treasurer at M&T Bank, leads an activity using spaghetti noodles to spark creativity.

A behavior toolkit. Hands-on practice. Coaching and feedback.

Through a collaboration with CLOE, the treasury teams at M&T Bank are now equipped to be innovative in everything they do. 

CLOE’s faculty experts built the Fortune 500 company an innovation program focused on such skills as observing, questioning, associating, identifying outcomes, experimenting and measuring value along the way.

They began with a daylong conference led by Bob Neubert, director of entrepreneurship academic programs in the UB School of Management. There, the M&T treasury teams learned practices for divergent thinking: how to identify problems, generate solutions and find what works.

“We worked through the commit, design, build process and had 175 people collaborating,” says Neubert. “It’s a big change from a top-down organizational model, but once you work through the vulnerability of failing, you can really get the ideas flowing. By the end of the morning, they had generated 750 new ideas.”

After that, the program continued with quarterly workshops throughout the year, followed by a series of visits by Neubert to M&T to review projects in progress.

Terri Sams, senior strategic initiatives analyst at M&T, says the program has resulted in more collaboration across groups and functions.

“Our teams now spend more time defining the desired outcome of their work and analyzing their impact,” she says. “This new approach has improved the overall quality of our final product.”

The group has embraced a prototyping and experimentation approach to problem-solving and is learning with every iteration. 

“We’ve changed our focus to celebrate progress rather than perfection,” says Sams. “We’re still on our journey and are proud of our growth so far.”

Custom Programs

Based on the specific needs of your organization and industry best practices, CLOE experts create specialized programs to drive innovation, creativity and effectiveness.