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Financial Services

From a leadership vacuum to inspired key talent

The challenge

A multinational banking and financial services company (US$105 billion in revenue and 288,000 employees) was restructuring their operating model from a group of local banks with local identity to a truly international firm with connectivity across all. The aim was to become “one bank.” They were also changing their growth strategy from growing everywhere, regardless of size, to focused growth in the markets with the most leverage.

This change required a new set of values and a new way of thinking. The bank believed its integrity had helped them weather the financial storm of 2008. Yet they also recognized their risk aversion was holding them back. Was it possible to combine integrity and courageousness to become the world’s leading international bank? They identified three core values that would take them there: openness, reliability and connectedness.

I have considered it an absolute privilege to work alongside the Axialent team and wholeheartedly recommend Axialent for a thoughtful set of tools to help people become more mindful, deliberate and authentic in their work — and for patient, tailored coaching input to help unlock and transform specific team and individual situations.
Senior Manager, Group Graduate Development Program

The approach

We partnered to align their current high-potential program to the new values and leadership capabilities needed. This program is a key differentiator in their recruitment strategy and a benchmark in the industry. Every year, five cohorts of 80 participants from across the globe come together for one month of intense development. It combines leadership skills, financial training, outdoor team building, and solving a business challenge to present to senior leaders.

Different facilitators led different portions of the program. Under the umbrella of “courageous integrity,” Axialent provided the leadership development piece and facilitated the overall experience, including:

  • Running a Conscious Business 360° Assessment to identify an effectiveness gap to work on.
  • Creating a shift in participants’ mindsets to support the culture transformation needed from bureaucracy to openness and innovation.
  • Developing new leadership skills with emphasis on courageous conversations, effective meetings and impeccable commitments.
  • Facilitating learning conversations and group coaching after company-specific or financial trainings to ground the learning into a change of habits for the future. This also provided a red thread to the month and the experience of an integrated program.
  • Closing the month by helping participants identify how to take the learning back into the office.

Participants apply and understand company values, develop leadership capabilities and connect it all to the business. It equips them with the tools needed to drive the culture transformation desired and execute strategy through everyday business activities.

 

The impact

  • We have run the program for about 1,600 participants for four consecutive years, with outstanding feedback from participants and corporate university.
  • Executives report they feel they have the influence to create a workplace they can thrive in and are empowered to live the company values.
  • All of our facilitators score between 1 and 1.2 on a scale from 1 (excellent) to 5 (poor).

 

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