Ref: IMD-7-2192

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2192

Order this case study

ABN AMRO: When Culture Drives Transformation

Michael R. Wade

By Professor Michael R. WadeMichael R. Wade and Lisa Duke

The case describes two transformation journeys for ABN AMRO bank. The first transformation is cultural and the second is digital. It explores the interplay between these two journeys from the perspective of the head of the Personal Banking. The case goes into detail regarding how to bank rebuilt its internal operating model. The hierarchy was delayered and replaced with agile ways of working, employee empowerment, and a new performance management approach. At first, there was a lot of chaos, but, after some time for adjustment, benefits started to appear, such as higher NPS scores, and better financial results. The new approach also helped the bank cope with the COVID-19 pandemic as many of the changes were linked to remote working for employees and technology-mediated service provision for customers. Yet, the case describes the appearance of some new challenges. While some teams embraced the new ways of working, others had trouble letting go of legacy approaches. There were some inconsistencies and confusion around performance measurement. Despite improving performance in some areas, multifunctional teams were not necessarily delivering the best customer experiences. Sick leave was increasing, and there were signs that employee engagement was falling. The reader is placed in the shoes of the head of Personal Banking must to come up with solutions to these challenges.

Learning Objective

  • Explore the impact of large cultural change on digital transformation.
  • Examine the scaling challenges that occur along the transformation journey.
SettingsEurope, Netherlands
ABN AMRO, Banking
TypeField Research
Copyright©IMD 2020
Available LanguagesEnglish, Russian
Order this case study

Reference: IMD-7-2192

IMD case studies are distributed through case clearing houses. In order to browse the collection and purchase copies please visit the links below.

The Case Centre, UK Office

Cranfield University

Wharley End Beds MK43 0JR, UK
Tel +44 (0)1234 750903
Fax +44 (0)1234 751125
Email [email protected]

The Case Centre, US office

Babson College

Babson Park, Wellesley MA 02457, USA
Tel +1 781 239 5884
Fax +1 781 239 5885
Email [email protected]

Harvard Business School Publishing

60 Harvard Way, Boston MA 02163, USA
Tel (800) 545-7685 Tel (617)-783-7600
Fax (617) 783-7666
Email [email protected]

Asia Pacific Case Center

NUCB Business School

1-3-1 Nishiki Naka
Nagoya Aichi, Japan 460-0003
Tel +81 52 20 38 111
Email [email protected]

Copyright information

IMD retains all proprietary interests in its case studies and notes. Without prior written permission, IMD cases and notes may not be reproduced, used, translated, included in books or other publications, distributed in any form or by any means, stored in a database or in other retrieval systems. For additional copyright information related to case studies, please contact Case Services.


Information Center for additional information on IMD publications

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2192

Order this case study
Looking for something specific?

Keep reading

Back to top