Innovation through co-creation with customers

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Mikkel Jespersen
Co-founder & Chairman
+45 2711 5080
Tangible InnovationBusiness Transformation


Over the last couple of years, large companies such as Amazon, Apple and Netflix have pushed the boundaries on digital services and digital customer engagement. These trends have manifested in increased customer-expectations where even old-fashioned industries, such as the financial sector, are forced to rethink their organizations and working methods.

To keep up with these expectations, Nordea Liv & Pension - who in October 2018 became a customer owned company and changed its name to Velliv - recognized a need to accelerate their digital transformation in early 2016.


To accommodate the speed of changes in customer-expectations, Velliv needed to transform their daily business routines. To ensure this transformation, Velliv needed to succeed with these conditions:

  1. Anchoring a new customer-centric mindset
  2. Implementing the right tools and processes
  3. Incorporating the right mindset at the workplace

To honour these goals, Velliv established an agile, interdisciplinary digital unit. Through a pilot project, the unit would test and prove how Velliv should work in the future.

Organizational changes

Organizational working philosophy\
To ensure a faster time-to-market, many previous processes and procedures were replaced by the principle of one daily meeting of maximum 30 minutes. During the meeting, relevant stakeholders could come by the project room where problems were raised, and decisions taken.

Customer panel\
To ensure a customer-centric focus in the development, a customer panel was established at the project kick-off. The panel was made to continuously provide feedback, guiding the development of new digital initiatives. The panel quickly rounded 500 members.

Tools and processes\
The unit's working methods were based on 1508's Digital Innovation Framework 'Proof by Design', helping Velliv challenge their current mindset and provide the necessary tools and know-how to ensure an efficient, customer-driven transformation setup.

The pilot project to show the way forward\
The pilot for the new digital unit was the development of a mobile app, which would make it easier for the customers to monitor their pension savings.

The purpose with the pilot project\
To clarify the advantages in using the new working methods and thereby create buy-in across the organization.

Overall, a significant number of tangible initiatives were put in place. These included:

Number of leaders attending courses: 20

Number of employees trained in facilitating: 4

Number of Design Sprints held: 20

Number of employees participated in Design Sprints: 45

Customer-centric mindset

The customer panel today counts 600 members with a high and fast response-rate. Customers are also taken in to give feedback on new ideas and test new products. This is essential to maintain a close relationship to the users and test ideas and hypothesis quickly

This has enabled an increased focus on development of MVPs with following additions of new features and improvements based on user feedback has led to a significant improvement of the development time.


”We've probably been used to - figuratively speaking - going down the basement and reappear a couple of years later and push something out."

- Thomas Jensen, former Director of Development, Nordea Liv & Pension

The Board of Directors sees the digital unit as the company's 'Department of Innovation'. They follow the digital development closely, with continuous involvement of users and internal resources.

The unit is now anchored as a part of the main organization and consists of 13 employees. They have become the central fulcrum for Velliv's business transformation and acceleration over the last three years.