How Employee Entrepreneurship helps drive Digitalization 

Leveraging employee-driven innovation and ownership culture at SFS

Digitalization not only involves determining the right kinds of technology and capabilities for the future, but also necessitates preparing our workforce at all levels of the company to own and drive digital know-how. 

I think there's a lot of work being done right now in the field with the effectiveness of training and training in different forms. We've been talking a lot recently about how you can measure someone's IQ. In recent years, we were all taught to think as well about the emotional quotient, EQ. Now, we must also consider employees' DQ, their digital quotient, and their ability to work with the digital tools of the trade, and their ability to understand how data is changing business models. 
Barbara Humpton, CEO, Siemens USA.

With grassroot efforts and initiatives towards modernizing business solutions and systems, Siemens Financial Services (SFS) is committed to employee entrepreneurship and development, which prepares us to solve the problems of tomorrow. Taking this approach, SFS Americas is continuously expanding opportunities for workforce development in order to build a truly digital enterprise.


One such initiative was the SFS 2020 Datathon – an employee-driven effort to develop and improve the digital efficacy, resilience, and overall competence of our business systems and processes. In an immersive three-day event held in Princeton, New Jersey, SFS Americas employees worked together in multifunctional teams comprised of employees from disparate business and IT backgrounds to present business solutions to a panel of judges made up by leadership.


For being the first of its kind, the Datathon was a success for SFS. Within the 72-hour event, the teams walked away with five concrete solutions, at various stages ranging from a proof of concept (POC) to a minimally viable product (MVP) – all of which are now in various phases of completion or implementation. In fact, two solutions are already being used. 

Our first datathon was a testament to SFS employee talent and capability to take ownership of an entrepreneurial approach to digitalization. With the generation, development and implementation of ideas – all cascading from the bottom up – the SFS Datathon tapped into the potential for employee-driven innovation, ownership and problem solving for short and long-term business challenges.
Anthony Casciano, President and CEO, Siemens Financial Services, Inc.

Prior to the SFS Datathon, SFS Americas worked closely with teams in Germany, India and Portugal using digitalized platforms, skill matching as well as design thinking workshops. Now – with COVID-19 posing remote working challenges and opportunities – new skills are being tested daily and employees are leveraging the collaborative potential of remote knowledge sharing and co-creation using fully digitalized global resources even more.      


Promoting digital readiness among employees is part of a larger business strategy stemming from the need to train and develop our workforce for the dynamically changing business landscape – an ongoing process that continues to evolve. 


By: Rabeea Tahir and Laura Schneebacher