The transformation that leadership development can deliver is more valuable now than ever, especially as every company and industry faces unprecedented change and disruption. Standard Chartered Bank, the UK-based multinational, can attest to this.

Standard Chartered partnered with Duke CE to create a culture change movement built around a scaled leadership development program that immersed 1,250 of the organization’s senior-most leaders in a disruptive learning journey. The programs, titled “It’s on Us” and “Make it Real”, were designed to achieve an ambitious wholesale change in the bank’s culture within one year.

As a result, there would be more accountable integrity, innovative agility and constructive collaboration. Among the unique interventions included:

  • Participants explored, through immersive simulations, their traditional hierarchies in the bank by getting junior and senior leaders to collaborate in new ways to solve their most intractable market and business challenges.
  • Participants were provoked and disrupted through immersive scenarios that explored the bank’s possible futures.
  • Participants built a culture of mass experimentation, launching innovative experiments and social movements that have changed the cultural fabric of the organization.

Positive results from these learning experiences have been noticed across the bank.

For scaling, it is imperative to gauge behavior and mindset change. One participant described a behavioral experiment as “changing the behavioral nudges that form collective behavior in the bank”.

Based on engagement surveys and the impact from experiments, there is a qualitative shift in the culture and discussion within the bank. There is much more focus on the client, a more engaged and progressive senior population and a less hierarchical and free flowing organizational energy focused around key priorities.

Early reports are that many experiments have had financial cost savings and benefits for the organization through streamlining processes, creating more psychological safety for innovation and new product creation.

The Financial Times highlighted this collaboration in the 2019 Executive Education supplement. Read the story.