Putting the learning organisation into practice: the Crypto Currency Competition

16 November 2018

The world we live in today is highly competitive. Competitors lurk around every corner, customers become increasingly demanding and new technologies are able to devour your existing business model. Knowledge, and - even more importantly - sharing it, are essential in such times. Organisations and people who learn faster and more efficiently take the pole position.

Equally within AE the acquisition and sharing of knowledge is important. There are several different ways to do this. In this blog post, we introduce you into how we creatively tackled this in our financial service community via an in-house crypto competition.

Knowledge sharing comes with a number of challenges. How do you consolidate knowledge about a relatively unknown topic? Is it possible to engage employees to acquire and share knowledge outside of working hours? How do you preserve knowledge and avoid it from fleeing out of the company? AE invests substantially in its knowledge platforms and training days and uses the acquired experience to guide other companies in their transformation towards a “learning organisation”.

Within our AE Financial Services community, these challenges were no different. To counter them, we tried to broaden our community knowledge around crypto currencies in an original way, particularly around some relevant blockchain use cases.

Crypto Currency Competition

A competition seemed the ideal way to expand and spread the existing knowledge within the community. Interested colleagues registered in teams of three. We asked them to choose one crypto project and investigate and analyse across a few dimensions. Concretely, they took a close look at the feasibility of the business plan, as well as the social relevance and the technological dimension, i.e. the use of blockchain. These insights are very useful to apply in future projects.

We are happy to share the 4 take-aways, which are important for every company having knowledge sharing as one of its objectives:

1. Don’t forget the fun

Knowledge sharing shouldn’t always be a serious matter. In our challenge, we allocated a smaller proportion (30%) of the score to the performance of the crypto-wallet. The teams picked a currency to invest and trade in whenever they wanted. Given the recent evolution of most crypto currencies, this was a playful, yet quite exciting way to gain insight into the crypto world. Based on the performance, each team acquired a part of the points.

2. Get the community involved

Acquiring and consolidating knowledge is only part of the job. Sharing and distributing it efficiently in the entire community is equally important. Therefore the majorityof the points could be earned at the final presentation, the pitch, on our November training day. The entire community was invited to join, listen and vote for the winning team. The public evaluated each project across the different dimensions mentioned above. It makes knowledge transfer tangible.

Crypto currency competition

3. Keep checking in

Time, and particularly the lack of it, is the most important challenge for learning. The competition ran from spring to autumn allowing sufficient time for the consultants. The knowledge coordinators veiled at preserving the enthusiasm for this project and monitoring the quality . They regularly checked in with the teams to monitor progress and need for guidance. It allowed the organisers to keep the project top of mind with the consultants.

4. Reward knowledge sharing

Recognition stimulates knowledge sharing and can be achieved in different ways. We opted for a combination of rewards. Participating yielded anyway a gift voucher as a thank you for everyone’s knowledge contribution. The winner received a larger budget to spend on a challenging, fun knowledge acquisition experience of their choice. Furthermore, we reward all teams by communicating externally about their projects.


We are very proud of the results for the AE Financial Services community. The knowledge about crypto-currencies and their specific use cases within the organisation has been strengthened and useful to help clients with blockchain projects.

Naturally, we love to share this with our customers and prospects. Through our AE blog, you’ll be able to read in the coming weeks more details and insights on a few concrete projects. Do you want to stay informed? Watch out for the AE Financial Services blogs.

Crypto currency competition


Gert Nelissen

Written by Gert Nelissen

Looking at the bigger picture in a systemic way, Gert aims to have a sustainable end-to-end impact. With a growth mindset, he resolves inefficiencies in organisations, processes, data and IT architectures, so that full potential can be unlocked.

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