Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

In October 2017, TDI Lagos began a project to enhance AFC’s ability to originate, drive, and complete game-changing investment projects. We were tasked by AFC Executives to help transform AFC from an organization that lives in the comfort of making investments in predictable projects into an organization that can harness the strength of its various teams, to nurture and invest in game-changing, ground-breaking projects.

The Approach

Peek-Under-The-Hood – First we spent time with the project sponsor and other stakeholders. We had to understand what was going on before knowing what problems to solve.

Speak-The-Same-Language – Next, we ran a Design Thinking Workshop with a “Murder Mystery” theme. We wanted the entire team to understand and articulate existing limitations and challenges using a shared vocabulary and solution framework. We came away from The Murder Mystery with lots of stories, symbols and a deeper understanding of the AFC Culture.

Do-It-Yourself – Now that the team was on the same page, we divided them into subteams and assigned them to ideas. They were tasked with developing prototypes from ideas generated during our workshop. Some of the prototypes had to improve AFC’s culture while others were meant to raise AFC’s stature. Our role evolved into Design Coaches and we worked with these teams as they applied our prototyping framework to run multiple experiments.

Our work is still ongoing, but here are a few points of note:

1. The company created internal internships to enable job rotation and skill acquisition among staff.

2. Members of staff have augmented their roles and even changed entire teams into departments in which they did not have prior involvement.

3. Most importantly, the company’s leadership has now identified the biggest hindrances to innovation.

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