Executing ambitious goals at a difficult time

Our client Absa, is the corporate and investment banking division of the leading African based financial services group Absa, offering personal and business banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking, wealth and investment management.

The company employs c.40,000 across the continent and continues to expand its reach outside Africa. Like many large financial institutions, the bank is dealing with legacy IT challenges; there is a need to accelerate its digital transformation to provide an enhanced customer experience for a demanding client base in challenging economic and social circumstances. 

The project was commissioned with the objective of piloting the introduction and implementation of the OKR method within the Absa’s transactional banking division (TXB). This division’s OKRs would be aligned to the business’s mission, vision and three overarching OKRs created during several AuxinOKR facilitated ideation sessions with the company’s executive board (EXCO). TXB’s own OKRs were created during an offsite two-day senior management workshop facilitated by AuxinOKR and hosted by the Head of TXB, a member of the EXCO Board. This workshop was itself preceded by individual introductory scene-setting calls with each member of the TXB senior management. 

In addition to the EXCO and TXB workshops during the first quarter of the ongoing engagement more than twenty-five potential, OKR champions were identified and trained together with an identified OKR Master during the course of two two-day workshops supported up by subsequent remote sessions via one to one video conferencing. 

OKRs have been enthusiastically adopted and rolled out by the TXB team. The Bank’s EXCO has welcomed the methods used to focus on priorities through the AuxinOKR ideation process. The project is moving from pilot stage to roll out in Autumn 2020. Contact and assistance have been maintained with numerous Absa colleagues during the course of the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Speaking of the support given by AuxinOKR, Absa’s Transactional Banking Division’s Chief Operating Officer Steven Zwane has said: 

“like many organisations, we recognised the need for experienced coaches to help us introduce the OKR method laying sound foundations before out rolling OKRs. Peter (Kerr) and Mark (Richard) have run several executive and senior-level workshops, helping us set ambitious goals at a difficult time, providing a sense of common purpose – particularly as remote working is upon us.

AuxinOKR have helped us set ambitious goals at a difficult time, providing a sense of common purpose – particularly as remote working is upon us.

In addition to the OKR setting sessions, OKR Champion training workshops and follow up 1-1coaching consultations have been lively and illuminating. The team at AuxinOKR has been both proactive and responsive to our requests throughout and we are grateful for their expert advice and direction”. 

Absa Corporate and Investment Banking