Managing change at RBS - Case studies - Gateley
Case study

Managing change at RBS

Kiddy & Partners

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RBS had been through the initial phases of its turnaround under public ownership when Ross McEwan was appointed CEO to lead the shift towards recovery.

A key step in this process was the restructuring of the bank from seven independent divisions – each with its own corporate functions – to three more sharply customer-focused businesses, drawing on shared functional support. This was coupled with significant and painful downsizing.

As a consequence of these changes, virtually every team at the top two levels of management had new membership or a changed mandate or both. And they were under pressure to lead major cultural change, put the customer at the centre of the bank’s operations, pursue the CEO’s ‘stronger, simpler, fairer’ vision, and eliminate cost and jobs.

So every team was challenged to perform, yet had not had time to work out how to form quickly as a team.

How did we help?

RBS had been through the initial phases of its turnaround under public ownership when Ross McEwan was appointed CEO to lead the shift towards recovery.

A key step in this process was the restructuring of the bank from seven independent divisions – each with its own corporate functions – to three more sharply customer-focused businesses, drawing on shared functional support. This was coupled with significant and painful downsizing.

As a consequence of these changes, virtually every team at the top two levels of management had new membership or a changed mandate or both. And they were under pressure to lead major cultural change, put the customer at the centre of the bank’s operations, pursue the CEO’s ‘stronger, simpler, fairer’ vision, and eliminate cost and jobs.

So every team was challenged to perform, yet had not had time to work out how to form quickly as a team.

What was the outcome?

The vast majority of the teams we worked with have reported greater clarity of purpose and priorities, have valued the creation of a transition plan and an operating rhythm for their team and have made a more rapid shift towards agreed team behaviours than they had expected. And the bank is seeing senior teams performing well under tough conditions and breaking down aspects of culture that helped to get RBS into trouble in the first place.
 

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