Like many of its competitors, this FTSE100 bank had been criticised by the regulator due to its culture and practices around customer conduct. However, moving from a culture based on performance against targets to a culture of customer insight and understanding was a transition that many found difficult. YSC was asked to diagnose capability in the critical management tier, focusing on their ability to adapt to a more customer-focused culture.

Challenge

  • Assess a representative sample of the two key leadership groups (Branch Managers and Local Directors) to gauge their understanding and facilitation of cultural change, and what additional developmental support these groups might need going forward.
  • Draw on the company’s immediate needs and YSC’s Digital Think Tank to create a vision of what future leadership will need to look like for the retail banking sector, and root diagnosis of capability in the vision.
  • Gauge individual capability, strengths, and development areas, as well as examining the extent to which the environment, structure, culture, and/or leadership around this group enables or impedes them.
  • Ensure that any contact with this group has a positive effect on them and helps them develop, rather than adding strain and uncertainty to an already stretched group.
  • Support client colleagues in the complex and time-consuming task of engaging senior stakeholders with the approach and the findings.

Solution

  • YSC firstly designed a developmental workshop for a small sample of leaders and delivered it alongside the internal learning team. This workshop was based around a development centre structure and involved bespoke exercises focused on connecting personal purpose with the values of the organisation, customer insight and collaboration. The workshop had two purposes:
    • To generate qualitative insights based on the small sample which could be generalised to the overall population.
    • To aid individuals’ personal development through feedback and opportunities to reflect on their current capabilities and how they are responding to the programme journey.
  • Next, YSC constructed and analysed data from observations on the job and a short developmental interview conducted by the client. The purposes of the analyses were:
    • To collect primarily quantitative data on the broader population to corroborate qualitative insights.
    • To provide colleagues with an opportunity to reflect on their personal strengths and challenges in relation to the cultural change taking place, as well as feedback to benchmark their performance.
  • The output of the project was a presentation to the retail executive committee outlining our findings along with a set of recommendations at a micro and macro level.
  • As the YSC capability diagnostic was being carried out in the context of a large programme of work, we were able to be creative and opportunistic. For example, we used a set of coaches who were already out working in the business as a means of collecting capability data.

Results

  • Following the programme analysis and recommendations were presented to the retail Executive.
  • One month after the workshop, attendees were reporting that they had already made significant changes to how they worked and connected with colleagues. Similar feedback emerged about the analyses; colleagues were energised and engaged by the personal focus and opportunity to learn.