ANZ Agile Transformation To Create A Learning Organisation

The journey of transforming ANZ Banking Group into an awesome place to work has begun.  It’s about three months since Shayne Elliott, CEO of ANZ publicly announced his vision and plans to make the bank agile as part of the transformation into a bank and brand people love.  ANZ is a large enterprise with ~46,000 employees and the change of this magnitude will be complex.

The ANZ transformation will be emergent and informed by the knowledge of the experience and making decisions based on what is known as we progress through the transformation.

It will be guided by the agile values and principles as well The ANZ Way.  This is ANZ’s vision for our purpose, strategy, culture and ICARE values.

ANZ Agile Transformation: Shaping An Organisational Culture Where People and Teams Thrive!

I recently joined ANZ as an Enterprise Agility Coach.  My role is to help the bank create an agile culture as a strategic enabler, working with General Managers and other management roles.  Along with other coaches, I coach people within the organisation to increase their learning agility, and through this, build a mindset of people to own the transformation.

An agile organisation is about flexibility and the ability of the organisation to rapidly adapt and steer itself in a new direction.  At ANZ the culture change and transformation to a new agile operational approach is called New Ways of Working or NWOW for short.

[NWOW] is how we organise ourselves to deliver outcomes for customers and how we work as teams to do that. – Katherine Bray, Managing Director Products

Although its called New Ways of Working, the concepts of agile, lean and modern management principles have been around for decades but it is relatively new to many at ANZ.  This means a key imperative for ANZ is to increase its learning agility.

With today’s complexities and uncertainties, the ability for organisations to learn faster than their competitors may be their only sustainable competitive advantage.  With this change, ANZ is on a journey towards being a learning organisation.  In a letter sent to everyone at ANZ, Shayne Elliott highlighted the importance of learning and being curious:

We are a learning organisation that encourages us all to adapt and improve. This means we’ll recognise and reward those who are curious and able to learn new skills. And we want to encourage people to try stuff out so we improve. We believe that with effort, we can all learn and grow. – Shayne Elliott, CEO ANZ Banking Group


ANZ Agile Transformation – Chris Chan Gives Thumbs up To The Growth Mindset

Why a learning organisation?  Agile ways of working and learning are synonymous.  Being agile means having a Growth Mindset which is a term coined by Dr. Carol Dweck.  In essence, Growth Mindset is an individual’s belief that they can learn and grow, and can improve their capability through purposeful effort.  People having a Growth Mindset will enable ANZ to grow and adapt as an organisation.  It is key to ensuring the collective energy, intellect, and unique individuals with varied talents are brought to bear on the change.

However, once we have transformed into the next state, we will need change again as the world will have changed.  We need to constantly evolve in order to stand still relative to a surrounding ecosystem1.  By having a Growth Mindset and being a learning organisation, we will have the ability to constantly learn and co-evolve.

Being a learning organisation and having an agile and growth mindset will allow ANZ to transform at will.

We are embarking on a huge paradigm shift that is about creating a new operating model for the organisation that makes the existing model redundant.  An incremental change to the existing operating model based on mid 20th century management processes and 19th century management thinking will not be able to take us into the future.

This paradigm shift has clear leadership intent & purpose.  This is where most business & agile transformations fail.  Shayne Elliott and the executive group, lead by Katherine Bray have provided a strong vision and clarity of purpose for the change which is important for it to be successful.

I have joined ANZ at the starting line and am really excited about the journey ahead.

This will be the first of an ongoing series of personal blog posts about the ANZ agile transformation and my journey working in a team of coaches helping to build a learning organisation and creating an awesome place to work for everyone at ANZ.

There’s an audio podcast called The ANZ Way that can be found on iTunes and Soundcloud.  I would recommend you listen to the 3rd podcast – New Ways of Working to hear more about the change.  In this episode Katherine Bray discusses important issues about the change and answers some hard hitting questions.


Here are some additional articles and videos about the ANZ agile transformation:


  1. The Red Queen Effect, Prof Van Valen

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