Agile Organisation and Leadership in the Banking Industry

We implemented this development program with a focus on “organization and agile leadership”, now in its third year, with an Italian company of circa 2800 employees in the banking sector. 


The need of the customer


“How do we support the transition process towards organizational agility, as well as in a methodological level, with a program based on culture and development of personal skills?


This was the question of the client, from which we began to implement this program.


The company’s request was immediately clear to us. In order to apply change in the methodological approach in organization, it is essential to firstly prepare the cultural foundations of the system. This also includes helping people to develop new skills and competences with coaching from several organizational levels.


How we worked


We started from a specific business sector (IT), with a gradual path into agile experimentation.


Being aware of the impact that such an orientation would have on the entire business community, co-creation meetings with the client kept constantly and deliberately a wide eye open. By doing so, it would possible to create continuous bridges between the experimentation (IT) area and the rest of the organization.


The 300 people who were the most directly involved in the transformation were also those who were involved in the actual transformation process. At the same time, in order to work systematically and synergistically across the organization, we created moments of alignment. The aim of these moments was to raise awareness, engage and bring on board the top management and the rest of the organization.


We activated several parallel and complementary paths, which will be illustrated below, that were accompanied by constant mirroring conversations. We started with an initial co-design of the entire program together with the responsible representatives from HR and the key functions involved in the project.


How the agile organization and leadership program was structured


The organizational levels which we have been working on are the followings:


  1. Raising awareness on the theme of organizational agility with 300 people. A specific focus on Scrum modality, co-facilitated with agile partners, created in order to combine the technical experience on the field with the part related to the facilitation of a cultural path and the development of soft & personal skills.
  2. The path for 25 managers who are in a role which changes in the interaction with the groups who work with the agile mindset. It has developed around themes related to how to support teams and be facilitators and enablers of value, quality and context. In this year, the path will continue with themes identified as sensitive areas for the management level.
  3. Team coaching for the IT Leadership Team function (5 executives), as a reflection of the group itself and in issues emerging from the paths of the other functions.
  4. A path for the main figures of the HR function, affected not only by a cultural change, but also by the need for different techniques and strategies to be put in place. For a changing mindset and a changed way of operating, it is necessary to activate new processes of agile people.



Agile groups and diverse conversations with management levels


An important theme which we have developed in all paths through all the levels is the one of Deliberately Developmental Conversations. That is, the ability to activate Conversations that are constantly oriented towards the Development of people, teams and operations. They aim to grow the individual as a person and as a professional while developing an ability as a group to be in a space of social growth.


The path to agile organization and leadership in numbers

  • 3 years

  • 4 organizational levels involved

  • 335 people

  • 32 meetings

  • Focus on: agile hr processes, cultural mindset, soft skills, servant leadership


Impact and results of the “Agile Organization and Leadership” path:


  • One of the first results was the creation of a base for a systematic shift to new ways of collaboration and teamwork.
  • 6 agile teams were initiated. Agile teams have integrated both methodological, cultural and behavioral approaches.
  • The role of managers has moved towards a mode of servant leadership. The role of managers is moving towards a mode of servant leadership. Leaders are therefore learning how to be facilitators of transformation and enablers of possibility, context and relationships.
  • The rest of the organization has begun a process of awareness about the value of agility.
  • The first agile “seed” is blooming in the organization. The future? Let’s hope for a contamination by osmosis until we reach the whole agile organization!


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