This research considers how competencies are developed that allow for a firm to explore. Limited empirical studies exist on how these competencies are developed and how they evolve. Utilising a single case study research methodology approach, this research looks at a single case event at South Africa’s third biggest bank, First National Bank (FNB). In 2012, FNB was awarded the title of Most Innovative Bank in the World at the 2012 BAI –Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards, recognising their contributions to radical banking solutions. Considering only one such innovation, the Smart Device offering, this research places into context how FNB have evolved the competencies to radically innovate in a world of scarce resources. The fundamental outcome of this research is that competencies take considerable time and resources to develop and as such, firms must make intelligent choices about their strategic competitive path. The research also highlights that the competency to explore requires a coalesce of many factors that when aligned with that strategic path, ready the firm to execute on opportunities that are outside of their relevant knowledge distant domain. FNB’s “customer eco-system” model has ensured congruence with existing competencies and upstream processes while engaging their employees in natural collaboration across business units. This research considers these and other factors that have led FNB to position themselves for exploration.