Banking on Quest: A Culture Change Case Study

Why was our client seeking Culture change help?

A UK based financial services organisation needed support facilitating sessions with its board of directors. They wanted to examine their ways of working and explore ways to become a more effective as a leadership team…

What was our solution to their culture change need?

We developed a two phase programme, the success of which led to phase three; Quest Leadership being retained to support an ongoing leadership development and cultural change programme.

Phase one included a series of one to one interviews with each board member and a presentation of key findings from the interviews. A new board mission was created and work began on increasing ‘trust’ within the team.

Phase two focused on engaging the wider leadership team to support the board in developing a strategic plan and for them to then take ownership of executing this plan.

This:

  • Provided an opportunity for the business to adopt a proactive approach with its strategic direction in order to stay ahead of the competition;
  • Allowed the board to see in a ‘live’ situation the capability of the senior leadership teams across the company;
  • Supported the engagement and development of the wider leadership community.

Phase two was launched with a leadership event, over one and a half days for the top 40 leaders in the company and focused on developing a future purpose and key areas of focus for the business. Executive project groups were formed with board members taking an active role.

Following a further formal review of the effectiveness of the board a new executive committee was formed. During a series of off-site sessions decisions were then made on the fine details of the culture the senior leaders wanted to see in the business and the nature of the work required to bring about this change. Each executive committee member took responsibility for leading a variety of company wide projects, each of which required the engagement and participation of the wider leadership community.

How successful was this culture change programme?

Phases one and two had achieved the objective: the organsiation’s board of directors had examined their ways of working and identified how to become a more effective and successful leadership team. In fact, Quest’s intervention had created such an appetite for change, that we were invited to become the organisation’s partner for change.

Ensuring leaders model a culture of peak performance …

Quest Leadership is now playing an active role in supporting the development of the senior leadership team as well as the board members, attending all executive meetings with the intention of ensuring it fulfills its purpose in modeling a culture of high performance for the rest of the business.

Cascading learning …

This involved the business’s six senior leadership teams attending a 3 day offsite. They were given the opportunity to identify and work on the top three priority projects they felt they needed to work on in order to embed the new culture in their part of the business.

They were also introduced to the Kouzes and Posner, ‘5 Practices’ leadership framework and began to apply this to their projects. Members of executive committee participated in elements of these sessions in order to offer support and make the strongest possible case for change in person.

Catalysing consistent change…

As part of this process the Leadership Practices Inventory was used to help leaders identify their leadership strengths and weakness. This work was supplemented by coaching support for each of the 60 leaders in the programme. When the reality of ‘business as usual’ takes over following the leadership off-sites, the energy to fuel consistent change, over time, may be lost. Coaching had a significant impact within the project, by providing a safe platform for ‘un-discussable’ topics that otherwise felt too risky to talk about and getting to the heart of the systemic causes of barriers associated with behaviour change.

Creating collaborative culture…

Members of executive committee now contribute to the overall leadership of the business – beyond their functional responsibilities – and are actively involved in shaping and delivering regular communication events to the wider business.

Deepening contributions …

Each executive committee member is also committed to a programme of personal development aimed at broadening and deepening their executive contribution to the business.