August 2017 | John Marik | sharing-business-ideas.com
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) CEO Shayne Elliot visited our little community in Launceston, Tasmania (Australia) recently. Shayne spoke about why ANZ intends to remove the bank’s hierarchies and bureaucracy in preference to an agile model later calendar year 2017. On the world stage this is not a new concept with businesses such as Google, Facebook, ING and Spotify already operating in such a manner to get speed to market to win against their competitors. If this experiment works for ANZ the proliferation of this model through-out Australiasia will be copied very quickly.
Shayne Elliot spoke of his 50,000 strong workforce being essentially split into two categories:
1.) Those employees that come to work each day and make something happen, essentially the back of house employees writing code for websites, apps etc.
2.) Those employees that come to work and wait for something to happen to them, here we are talking front facing customer staff.
It is the first category impacting approximately 4,000 staff that will be grouped into teams of about 10, known as “squads” that are then grouped into “tribes”. Agile is standard operating procedure in technology businesses whereby daily stand up meetings and six-week project delivery “sprints” are a common sight. While this is nothing new for running projects, with ANZ this will be how the bank will be set-up to do all their work on-going.
In times of low credit growth and stiff competition from other lenders, Shayne Elliot’s objectives are:
a.) Increase staff engagement; own the job from inception to market.
b.) Increase customer engagement; increased speed to market with better products and improvements to existing products. Projects that once took up to 18 months to get to market are envisaged to take sometimes only weeks.
c.) Overall improvement in the ANZ value and accompanying share price.
The Australian corporate landscape will change dramatically over the next few year’s if this experiment from ANZ is a success. The business world has a tendency of not moving against the tide too much and will readily follow another’s success whether it is right or wrong for their industry, markets and business models. This also has huge implications of how employees do their work and the skill-sets they require will shift from specialist to generalist roles. The soft skills of communication, emotional intelligence, how you work within teams will be a very sought after skill indeed.
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