Innovation in product development and internal processes allows institutions to deliver on the double bottom line of financial and social returns. Innovation requires strong leadership and a clear vision.

Highlighting experiences of Alumni of Women’s World Banking’s leadership and diversity programs this case study series demonstrates the strong link between leadership development and innovation. The alumni featured in this series describe the impact of their experience with Women’s World Banking leadership and development programs on their approach to innovation: product innovation, innovation in staff development and internal operational innovation.  The experiences of the Alumni featured in this series support Women’s World Banking’s theory of change for leadership and diversity programs with evidence of changes at the individual level – transformation in leadership styles, institutional level – modifications to processes and products, and at the industry level – through cross-regional peer learning.

The Advanced Leadership Program (ALP) focuses on critical leadership challenges, including innovation management, planning for managing risk, change and uncertainty, and strategic institution building. During the program, participants are placed on innovation teams where they collectively work through real business issues and make practical recommendations and propose action steps based on the tools learned during the program. This five-day program is designed for CEOs and senior leaders of leading microfinance institutions globally; and is taught at Wharton Business School’s Aresty Institute of Executive Education in Philadelphia.

Case studies in this series include:

  1. Innovation: Development of an Agri-business Portfolio for Rural Communities
    Baboucarr Khan, Chief Executive Officer
    Reliance Financial Services Company Limited (Reliance), The Gambia
    Advanced Leadership Program Cohort: April 2012
  2. Innovation: Manager Training Program (forthcoming)
    Presy Alba, Kiva Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the Executive Director
    Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), Philippines
    Advanced Leadership Program Cohort: November 2011
  3. Innovation: Updating Hiring Policy and Developing Gender Focus on Rural Lending (forthcoming)
    Carlos Villamayor Sequeira, Director, Risk Department
    Interfisa Financiera, Paraguay
    Advanced Leadership Program Cohort: April 2012
  4. Innovation: Audit Reporting Dashboard (forthcoming)
    Ruth Doreen Mutebe, Head of Internal Audit
    Uganda Finance Trust (UFT), Uganda
    Advanced Leadership Program Cohort: November 2011