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Revising a national bank’s strategy and operating model for growth


This client was a national bank that has a rapidly growing customer base and leads with purpose to create a positive impact for their customers and the world.

The bank sought to revise its strategy and operating model to achieve new goals

The bank had experienced strong growth, having largely achieved its strategic ambitions that it had set five years ago. Yet in the face of rapidly changing customer expectations, new technologies, regulatory developments and a record low interest rate environment, it sought support to revise its strategy and operating model to continue its growth and success.

The Nous team was strongly committed to understanding the bank’s needs, collaborative, commercially savvy and practical. They went the extra mile to ensure that we got the most out of the work, built our staff’s capability along the way, and provided thoughtful support.

Executive, national bank

We collaborated closely to develop the strategy and operating model while building internal capability

We recognised that the bank was operating in a highly competitive, low interest environment in which margins would be slim and the budget to deliver significant change tight. We therefore adopted a purpose-led approach that focused on identifying critical areas that would allow the bank to release costs and achieve the greatest ‘impact’, and which would distinguish it in the market.

We engaged extensively and led ideation activities with leaders across different levels to obtain fresh and quality perspectives. We undertook:

  • detailed market research of key trends affecting the banking sector
  • competitor analysis to understand strengths, weaknesses and opportunities to capture market share
  • an organisational survey to develop a deep understanding of the current state of the bank’s operating model
  • development of an organisational maturity assessment model, tailored to the bank’s specific context and goals.

These activities translated into a compelling strategic narrative that set in place the bank's five-year trajectory, a revised operating model, and a clear roadmap of transformation priorities. We also simultaneously built key staff members' ability to own and sustain the new strategy and operating model.

The revised strategy and operating model formed a clear pathway for new ambitions

The new strategy and operating model assessment will form the basis for the bank’s five-year transformation plan. We have continued to support the bank by conceiving ways to sequence and prioritise the work program and to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the financial services sector.

What you can learn from the bank

  • A purpose-led approach brings fresh thinking and focuses strategy changes on the impact sought.
  • Focusing resources on the most critical and effective items is especially appropriate in challenging operating environments.
  • A highly collaborative and ‘hands on’ engagement style challenges preconceptions early on, stress-tests solutions and builds confidence and ownership in a new strategy or operating model across different leadership levels.
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