National Business Bank (NBB) was named the best bank in 2010 by Global Finance and received many other accolades. However, after two years, the bank was beset by long lines at branches and ATMs, high turnover among relationship managers, a plodding credit card application process, and ended up with the worst customer satisfaction scores. One of the senior executives, recalls that “it was almost embarrassing to tell people at dinner parties” that he worked for the bank “because NBB had such a bad reputation.”
The board decided to appoint a tech-savvy CEO who turned things around by thinking of NBB as a tech startup than a bank. The new CEO indicated “Our future competition wasn’t going to come from just banks, but from a lot of cool technology companies that were going into finance.” There was commitment to become “digital to the core,” and the CEO initiated a thoroughgoing culture change to support digital innovation.
After a few months, NBB launched DigiFY, a mobile learning platform and online course intended to transform the company’s bankers into digital bankers. The program imparts skills in seven categories: agile; data-driven; digital business models; digital communications; digital technologies; risk and controls. By the time employees achieve mastery in the three-part course, they are qualified to teach its precepts to their co-workers.
Adapted from Kiron and Spindel (2019). Redefining performance management at DBS Bank. How Lofty Ambitions and Innovative Metrics Sharpened Customer Focus. MIT Sloan Management Review
Questions (100 marks): Answer all questions.
Advise the new CEO on further innovative strategies to turn the bank around and restore its image and performance. Give examples on how these strategies could work. (15 marks)
Critically analyse the new CEO’s decision to think the bank as a tech startup. Is it a bad or good idea? Provide convincing arguments with relevant examples for your choice. (15 marks)
Discuss challenges the new CEO is likely to face in this ambitious digital transformation drive. Give your take on how these challenges could be addressed. (15 marks)
Identify any startup and discuss how lessons from this case study could apply to bring about rapid digital transformation. (20 marks)
As the new CEO embarks on changing the culture of the bank and redefining its strategy. Identify and explain the low hanging fruits for the CEO. (10 marks)
Why is culture change essential for digital transformation? Discuss the main markers of culture that is aligned to digital transformation. (10 marks)
Discuss the latest trends in business-oriented information technology and explain in detail how these have disrupted businesses. Give specific organisational examples (15 marks)
Answers to Above Questions on Digital Transformation
Answer 1: An analysis of the given case scenario indicates that there can be different types of innovative strategies that can be utilised in order to turn the bank around, and achieve restoration of its image and performance. In this respect, the most innovative strategy is the consideration of technology in the form of providing new digital services and experiences to customers. Digital innovation is crucial from the point of view of providing customers with new experience and thereby ensuring their retention for better business performance.
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