ING: An agile organization in a disruptive environment
To support a new digital strategy launched in 2014 in response to multiple sources of disruption, ING Netherlands restructured in 2015 into an agile organization. Agility is based on speed, flat, collaborative and customer-centric design principles. In October 2017, ING was considering rolling the agile organization to Belgium in view of a merger of the two countries operations. On the one hand, agility was proving very effective to respond to disruption. But on the other hand, there were signs of tensions in the organization, some resulting from agility, some from the change process itself. The case puts participants in the shoes of Herman Tange, a tribe leader, in October 2017 as he ponders his recommendations about the future of the agile organization model to his new CEO. Herman wants to discuss three options.
• ING is one of the first large companies to embrace the agile methodology and to elevate it into a large scale organization design to respond to digital, competitive and consumer disruption.
• This case is about learning when agility matters, what agility is exactly, how to design agile organizations, and what the opportunities and pitfalls to expect in the transformation are.
• This case is an inspiration for any large, slow-moving, hierarchical organization trying to embed change on a proactive basis through collaborative, customer-centric and purposeful behaviours.
ING Group, Finance and Insurance, Banking
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