Business Breakfast Digests Turning Turmoil into Triumph
The Graduate School of Business and Leadership (GSB&L), in partnership with Nedbank, hosted a business breakfast themed: Turning Turmoil into Triumph – a Case Study in Change Management.
The business breakfast series organised by UKZN academic and Learning & Development Manager Dr Abdulla Kader and Divisional Executive of Nedbank’s Client Network in South Africa, Dr David Schwegmann, is part of the School’s ongoing strategy of shaping visionary future leaders through creating a link between its students and industry experts.
Schwegmann’s address was about change and lessons learned when Nedbank’s executive management restructured Retail and Relationship Banking five years ago.
Using John Kotter’s eight step model for change, Schwegmann emphasised the importance of creating a climate for change; engaging and enabling the whole organisation; and implementing and sustaining change.
On creating a conducive environment for change, Schwegmann unpacked the initiatives that were implemented by Nedbank which enabled the organisation to attract change champions from all hierarchical levels to drive change in all areas of the business. He pointed out that the champions were not merely appointed because of their position in the organisation but because of their belief and faith in landing effective change.
He said communication with those affected and impacted by change enabled Nedbank to get buy-in from important stakeholders and minimised levels of uncertainty. He encouraged business students to remember to celebrate short-term achievements during difficult times of change. While going through the process of change he stressed the importance of continuous reinforcement of the vision through regular debriefs at all levels.
Following Kotter’s eight steps for change, some of the triumphs of the recent Retail and Business Banking integration led to Nedbank having a compelling vision across all client facing channels. Most of the staff affected and impacted by organisational redeployment were placed with 41 moving into more senior roles; and significantly the organisation achieved more focused sales and service tactics to make an impact in the marketplace.
The lecture was well received by students and staff who interacted with Schwegmann over breakfast.
Dr Muhammad Hoque and Mr Trevor Nkwanyana of the Business School thanked Schwegmann and Nedbank for their continuous support for the School.
Words: Hazel Langa