Cultural Transformation: Global Financial Division


Organisational Challenge

A Global Division of a large Financial Institution initiated a full-scale strategic operating model transformation. The strategy was to merge several business-led entities into one new global function to create operational economies of scale, enhance service standards and relationships with clients and stakeholders

Six months into the transformation process, a lot of activity had taken place and yet little progress had been made with the transformation agenda. Using familiar operational change practices, the organisation had overlooked that achieving their strategic aspirations required shifts in new operational practices, mindsets, leadership practices and new/different capabilities. The implications of their oversight resulted in divergent cultures, silo mentality forming an ‘us and them’ competitive operational environment. Global systems, processes and policies were inefficient.  And, relationships were strained both within and outside of the division. The overall impact was a culture of distrust, politics, low morale and transactional relationships, that facilitated dissatisfied stakeholder and client relationships

Our project was to assist the leadership team to create one unifying culture and support an effective transition process for the division integration strategy to achieve its goals



Diagnostics - Conducing cultural, mindset and leadership practice diagnostics, we supported the leaders to gain insight into enabling/disabling patterns in operational performance. Benchmarking the transitional gap between their current functioning, espoused strategy and industry best practices

Workforce Engagement - We facilitated the engagement of the whole workforce in the transformation process. Inviting and supporting participation in designing and implementing various different aspects of the transition strategy

Projects included:

  • Creating a new organisational purpose
  • Designing workforce communication protocols and practices
  • Developing transition leadership capabilities
  • Translating strategic values into day-to-day operational behaviours and performance standards

Transition Support - We partnered with the leadership and transition implementation teams, providing them with subject matter knowledge and transition leadership coaching and development. Supporting the leaders and workforce to acquire the knowledge, skills and capabilities to facilitate their development requirements and embed a new operational culture into the organisation



Fear and politics were significantly reduced and a unified culture with new working practices was implemented. The workforce was actively engaged, in strategic and operational decision-making processes and valued for realising and delivering the core purpose of the division

The leadership team experimented with new/different leadership styles and sought opportunities to develop partnership-based working practices, that facilitated depth in relationships across the whole global function

In two years the division had gone through a demonstrable transformation experience with the workforce being actively involved in all stages of the transition and transformation process


Long-Term Impact

  • Effective client partnerships
  • Engaged workforce
  • Resilient operational practices
  • Integrated and nimble operating model
  • Relationship based leadership practices
  • Self-sustaining culture, awarded for industry leading processes and practices
  • Reduced spend on development courses and consultants
  • Ability to work with ambiguous and complex agendas in a volatile and uncertain market