ASB – Banking on Leaders – Case Study

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Banking on Leaders Case Study

The challenge

The ASB Group is one of the largest financial services and insurance providers in New
Zealand. They have approximately 5,700 employees located at head office and nationally across 147 branches, various regional centres and support centres.

The Mantle team started working with ASB in 2010. During interviews with Executive & Senior Managers, the team gained an understanding of the key opportunities and challenges facing their leaders over the next three to five years.

From these conversations the ‘Leadership in Action’ (LIA) programme evolved. Its key purpose was agreed as:

“To foster and develop critical leadership capabilities to support the successful execution of business strategy”

Our approach

The team worked in partnership with the ASB team to design and deliver the programme. The following were seen to be critical factors in its subsequent success:

  • LIA was designed to complement ASB culture and existing group leadership and training offerings
  • Key stakeholders were engaged in the process from the outset, including a working party from the Executive team
  • The Mantle team included strategic partners, such as SHL, Winsborough and the NZ Coaching & Mentoring Centre in order to deliver an integrated, high quality and seamless service
  • A blended design approach included many different learning opportunities both on and off the job, individually and collaborating with others
  • It was designed to run over a 9-12 month period to allow for the appropriate transfer of learning and application to business situations and issues
  • Continuous improvement was underpinned and supported by a “high touch” evaluation approach. This runs through the programme and the six months following its formal conclusion
Organisational impact

80% of Participants and 95% of Managers indicated a significant or positive increase in the confidence and ability to lead others.

There is significant evidence of learning transfer back to the workplace; most, if not all, trainees have experimented and tried different things following programme delivery.

Most commonly stated benefits include:

  • Increase in confidence and self-awareness as a leader
  • Managing own learning and increased reflection and preparation habit
  • Impact and influence with others, leading to improved stakeholder and peer relationships
  • Some examples of significant monetary benefits (revenue increases, cost savings) attributed to participation on the LIA programme – see ‘What Line Managers Said”
The feedback from Management

” Increased productivity, efficiency gains, reduced cost, improved relationships, customer/people engagement, team performance. Her new department was a pretty closed shop and she has turned them around in all these areas.”

“Improved customer engagement, increase team engagement, improved results (heading for number one team this year).”

“The team have significantly improved their turnaround times since the start of the programme. This is now to the point that we are exceeding targets.”

“Increased focus and productivity – contributed to cost savings of almost two FTEs.”

“Won new business with clients – $9m more based on influencing and relationship building”

“Improved audit results via greater engagement with key stakeholders.”

“Increased strategic thinking in projects, more balanced peer and stakeholders relationships.”

“Increase in number of peer relationships.”

The feedback from participants

“More inclusive approach and ensuring team are aware of the direction that we are taking. Improved empowerment and ownership.”

“More effective by being more fresh in my approach to everything; the clarity I have gained has helped me be more motivated and quicker to delegate, freeing me up for the bigger picture things.”

“More considered in how I make decisions and lead my team (rather than guessing and hoping for the best). More focused on being an authentic leader – the best version of me. Letting go of some of the detail to free up my capacity to focus on future/leading change/developing relationships for impact and influence.”

“I tend to manage more at a “high level” rather than getting lost in the detail. I am more focused on planning for interactions to ensure that I have an increased chance of success.”

“Peer mentoring combined with LIA skills have assisted me in my handling of day to day challenges. Current restructure within the team – LIA has given me more confidence to manage through.”