Participation in the Leaders Lab is available exclusively to Financial Health Network Members. We select Members to participate in the Leaders Lab by assessing their ability to:
As an added benefit, Leaders Lab participants are automatically eligible for the Financial Health Leaders program. The Leaders program recognizes Financial Health Network Members who are measuring the financial health of their customers, employees, and communities.
If you’re selected for the Leaders Lab, your time commitment to the program will vary depending on the innovation you want to test and its stage of development. For example, developing and rolling out a new product requires more effort than testing an existing product feature. Internal operational requirements are the primary driver of the time required.
During the first few months of engagement, you can expect weekly check-ins with the Leaders Lab team as we develop and refine a plan for evaluating your innovation’s impact. Once the innovation and testing plan are final, you can expect monthly check-ins during the data collection process. This cadence is flexible in order to work through any challenges that may arise during data transfers or analysis.
Once you have been accepted into the Leaders Lab program, you can expect the engagement to last approximately 15 months. A sample timeline is provided below to illustrate the program’s stages and milestones.
Participation in the Leaders Lab includes five stages:
You may apply anytime prior to the cohort deadlines (see main program page for dates). There will be multiple cohorts selected each year. The Leaders Lab team will review applications after the cohort deadline and contact selected participants within three to four weeks.
Our goal with the Leaders Lab is to develop an evidence base for how products and services can improve financial health. This means that a broad range of innovations can fit within the program, such as novel product features or messaging campaigns. Through the Leaders Lab, we seek to learn about the mechanisms and types of approaches that can impact financial health and to highlight them for others to emulate and implement.
Generally, full product evaluations may reveal less about the underlying mechanisms that drive financial health outcomes, making them less of a fit for the Leaders Lab program. We might evaluate a novel implementation of an existing product if the goal is to test it with a new set of users, environment, or delivery channel, however.
If you’re uncertain whether the idea you’d like to test is a fit for the program, sign up for a time to talk with us about it. Even if your innovation isn’t a fit for the Leaders Lab program, Financial Health Network experts can still help you with product design through our consulting practice. Connect with us to explore how we can help you assess the financial health impact of your product.
We encourage companies to apply when they have a plan for developing and implementing a new finhealth innovation, and before the innovation itself is finalized or rolled out to users. The Leaders Lab team can help you refine your ideas during the application process. For example, if you have a product or feature in mind that you want to test, we can help you think through options for the type of testing, population, and concepts to test. If you have a question or an idea you want to tackle, we will draw on behavioral science research to provide suggestions for product design and delivery. You may apply at different stages of product development.
The Leaders Lab may not be the best fit for testing if your innovation has already been implemented and rolled out. If you are looking to test it in a new context, with a different user base, or by adding a new feature, however, an existing innovation may be a match for the program.
Your team should have the capacity to execute on the proposed innovation when you submit your application. You will have the flexibility to adapt and further refine your original idea, if needed, after applying. If you are unsure about eligibility or would like to discuss your idea before submitting an application, you can schedule a 30-minute consultation with the Leaders Lab team.
The program has limited capacity and will not be able to include all of the promising innovations that Financial Health Network Members develop. If you are not selected for the Leaders Lab, the Financial Health Network team will connect with you to identify alternatives. In cases where the innovation is too early-stage to be ready for the Leaders Lab, you are welcome to apply again for a future cohort. If your testing needs fall outside of the Leaders Lab scope of work, or if you face technical limitations to implementing testing through the program,we offer a range of opportunities to collaborate through our consulting team.
As part of the Leaders Lab, you may partner with another company that is not a Member of the Financial Health Network. If you are partnering with a non-Member, your company must be our primary point of contact for the duration of the program and must be leading the innovation implementation.
For an example of previous Leaders Lab partnerships, read about Elevate and Finicity’s collaboration for the 2019 cohort here.