COVID-19 has impacted our lives in many ways and stimulated us to rethink and reimagine our way of living and working. We are witnessing the global transformation in the future of work resulted from the changes of employee behaviours and accelerated digitalisation. To thrive in the new normal, organisations are keen to reorganise themselves and transform in order to accommodate and operate. Horizontal Organisations are thus formed, which comprise a mix of team members from different functions who have relevant areas of expertise. This helps formalise collaboration and joint accountability among team members, who are all aligned to achieve a common set of goals and measured by a common set of metrics. They work collectively to enhance the customer journey by making data-driven and agile decisions.
A different spirit of leadership is required – one that enables and inspires human and organisational transformation on a much wider and yet deeper level. In 2019, DBS launched the Transformational Leadership agenda with the aim of building our Great Leaders, Great Teams and Great Culture. The multi-year journey is designed to strengthen our managers’ capabilities via various learning programmes, to achieve the following five specific leadership attributes:
Research shows that psychological safety is a prerequisite for greater innovation and growth, and creates highly effective teams. Organisations that practise humble, curious and empathetic leadership will be able to build a culture where managers have the desire to understand, the inclination to listen and the ability to acknowledge gaps. This enables teams to unleash their full potential in the future of work.
A growth mindset
Having a growth mindset means that we believe our intelligence and talents can be developed over time. In a future where automation and machine learning are getting increasingly prevalent, leaders who foster a growth mindset in employees help groom them to remain relevant in the workforce by being lifelong learners.
Encouraging a feedback culture
The most profound way to create a growth mindset is to create a work environment where people trust each other enough to voice concerns, disagreement and views, according to Neuro-Leadership Institute. This helps create positive feedback loops, while foster greater experimentation and productivity. Ultimately, workers benefit from a richness of ideas, which is vital to organisational resilience.
"Driven by the right values, we strongly believe this creates a powerful transformation movement that will make DBS a different kind of bank, and serves as an important pillar which supports DBS in reaching our next horizon to be the Best Bank for a Better World"
Having trust and mutual understanding in each other is necessary for courageous conversations and discussions, which enables the identification of real and impactful areas for improvement, so that individuals can grow to their fullest potential and operate at their very best.
Culture of collaboration
Leaders who foster a culture of deep engagement empower the team to share knowledge freely, learn from each other and work collectively towards common goals. This comes particularly critical in the horizontal and hybrid work environments of the future.
Our journey to cultivating 4,000 Great Managers started with “T-Sprints” at the top – a series of top team leadership effectiveness transformational sprints led by our senior management team. Participants were invited to an experiential journey to internalise the attributes of leadership and our values represented by PRIDE! – Purpose-led, Relationship-led, Innovative, Decisive, and E! for Everything Fun!. Follow-up workshops were conducted with very focused interventions to understand how every leader has put into practice of what they learnt. We also introduced mentoring circles called “T-circles” through social learning, where senior managers lead the mentoring conversations with next-generation managers, as well as discuss best practices to enable change at wider and deeper levels across the bank.
The Transformational Leadership Programme is more than just a training series. It is a cultural change initiative that involves and impacts every employee in the bank – deep commitment from the top to jump-start change, and wide engagement from managers to sustain the impact. It sets a new people development standard for DBS. Driven by the right values, we strongly believe this creates a powerful transformation movement that will make DBS a different kind of bank, and serves as an important pillar which supports DBS in reaching our next horizon to be the Best Bank for a Better World.