Even the strongest companies need to evolve to survive. DNB, one of the most powerful financial services groups in the Nordic region, knows this, and given the wholesale changes being experienced by the banking industry, has effectively been transitioning into a technology company with new strategic priorities, new values and a new purpose.
But it won’t work if only senior management are invested in the new approach, so to ensure the organisation has leaders at every level, DNB asked us to help create a leadership development programme for all of its 1,500 managers. Together we have delivered a ground-breaking leadership development concept that will enable the company to retain its competitive edge in the digital age.
Development programmes are usually top-down initiatives with standardised training where content is repeated year after year. In an age where technology is radically changing what leadership can be, DNB didn’t feel this gave it the flexibility it needed.
Instead, DNB wanted to build a continuous leadership journey focused on the individual, with different modules that participants could select based on the specific needs of their business unit and their own skills and development needs. It had to offer a structure that ran year round, and it had to respond to ongoing changes in the business and in its operating environment.
Our team was led from Norway, working closely with our leadership development and assessment specialists in the UK, and drawing on our database 20,000 leaders from across Europe. We analysed the database and extracted essential insights into different leadership capabilities and the key things leaders need to be mindful of to be effective in their role. We then worked with Deloitte Digital and experts from DNB to flesh out the concept.
It was much wider than a traditional leadership programme, as Arne Beek of DNB said: “The way you were able to use your extensive insight into our challenges, opportunities, culture and needs, and provide us with something new and different really stood out.”
The result is a world away from a traditional training programme, both in approach and content.
The journey begins with Capability Labs: day-long training events that encourage participants to apply new behaviours and use what they learn together. These are followed by three weeks of intensive development, known as ‘Sprints’, where leaders have the opportunity to integrate the insights from the Labs into practical leadership challenges. Alongside this, we’ve created a digital learning support package that leaders can dip into both before the Labs and after the Sprints.
Leading 4 The Future is playing a vital role in DNB’s transition from traditional bank to a technology-driven financial services company. More than 200 leaders are due to embark on their development journey this year, and those who have already started keep coming back for more.
The concept was only made possible by the unique combination of technology, expertise and research used to create it. As Arne Beek continued: “We’re really seeing all the benefits of the multi-disciplines of Digital, Human Capital and Financial Services that Deloitte brings to the table.”