Raiffeisen-Landesbank Steiermark, one of the four partners that will accompany Lauder Business School on the strato-flight project on 17 July, is a bank that values tradition. However, a bank founded in 1927 which withstood the economic crisis of the 1930s, survived the bombing of its headquarters in WWII, overcame the oil crises and the Lehman bankruptcy and the recent pandemic, doesn´t withstand history simply by maintaining the status quo. It moves ahead with the times in order to stay relevant and to provide value to its customers and shareholders. It must support innovation and look for sustainable solutions. Tradition and innovation must work together.
Tradition and Innovation
This year, Raiffeisen-Landesbank Steiermark celebrated its 95-year anniversary by outlining the strategy for the future. In the time leading up to its centennial anniversary, Raiffeisen-Landesbank Steiermark has mapped their future strategy with two key-words in mind, innovation and sustainability. The Raiffeisen group were, in fact, the first bank in Austria to sign the UN Principles for Responsible Banking.
Apart from the digital product innovations that enrich their portfolio, in 2021 they launched the RLB innovation program called “Hummelflug” (Flight of the Bumblebee) that challenged hundreds of employees to pitch their sustainable business ideas with a high-impact potential in their communities. The idea behind the project is simple – in order to drive innovation from within, you must rally your troops and go back to the drawing board. To understand the start-up environment and stay ahead of the curve, Raiffeisen employees rolled up their sleeves, put on their thinking caps, and approached the competition with a spirit of camaraderie and collaboration. Their winning team, STOAK, were given the chance to further develop their idea into a proper business!
A better future? WE take on the responsibility
The underlying culture of togetherness is the ultimate explanation for the bank´s long-lasting success. They approach innovation from the position of strength – the strength that comes from a team that works together to overcome major challenges. A few years ago, Raiffeisen reformulated its vision under a symbolic collective “WIR” (WE), to reaffirm the emphasis their central attitude towards all their activities and issues. Current major challenges such as climate change can only be met through joint efforts.
“WE” symbolically brings together employees, corporate customers – from start-ups to industrial corporations – and local universities and research institutes to work together, to drive new ideas and help new technologies break through.
When asked why they wanted to support Lauder Business Schools project, their answer echoed the same mission – Raiffeisen encourages innovation in all its stages, from seed to fruition, and wants to support tomorrow’s leaders be ahead of their time and offer them a platform to shine. Through this, they want to encourage the younger generations to actively partake in making a better and sustainable future for themselves.