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Innovation is about being open minded and curious

At SEB, we believe in the importance of innovation. But sometimes it may feel difficult to understand exactly what we do when we strive for innovation. Giedrė Ramanauskaitė, Innovation Lead at SEB in Lithuania, explains how her team works toward innovation.

Being part of the Baltic Innovation Team, Giedrė Ramanauskaitė is responsible for different initiatives and projects that cultivate an innovation culture both within the bank, but also in society. In Giedrė’s daily work she reads, participates in discussions, prepares workshops, and leads cross-functional teams to gather valuable insights that are leveraged for good decisions.

How do you and your teamwork with innovation?

“We have lots of different activities and directions that we work with, where we want to boost innovation culture, entrepreneurial minds and creation within and outside the bank. Externally we have two main audiences to whom we are boosting knowledge, which is business customers of small and medium enterprises where we work with growth ambitions and youths.

“We support youth through Youth LAB - a summer internship program where students, work in teams to solve real bank challenges by learning how to build and validate innovative concepts. They work as “internal start-ups.”

“More specifically, I am responsible for internal innovation activities. One of those is Design Sprints, which is appreciated by both employees and management and gives noticeable results. Since we started with it in SEB Baltics, more than 20 concepts have been built and validated with customers and more than 175 SEB employees were part of this exciting journey.”

Giedrė adds that innovation is not just about developing things that technically work, but about developing things that make our services better and more convenient with a price tag that customers are ready to pay. To build new solutions you must set this mindset that it is about trying, failing and testing until you reach the desired state.

Why did you choose to work at SEB?

“I have been in the bank for over 10 years, but more on the traditional banking and corporate side. I started to work at SEB during my bachelor’s studies in Finance and Insurance Mathematics and later got a role as Account Manager. SEB has really evolved during the time I have worked here – both internally, and externally with the services we provide. SEB is really a respected and trusted bank in our market.”

What has your journey as Innovation Lead been like?

“It has been challenging, but very interesting. It was difficult going from the corporate banking that I understood, to something completely new. I am still learning on the go what kind of skills I need, with different cultures, mindsets and expectations where I am trying to manage and find the best solutions. At the same time, the new “universe of start-ups’ ecosystem” is very exciting and interesting, and I am continuously building knowledge.”