Transforming with Obeya

Crafting an open, central, and visual space, where purpose meets strategy and execution

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About the client

The company is one of the leading financial service providers in the Central Eastern Europe region. It was founded more than 200 years ago with the aim of bringing prosperity to the people.

Today, with 7 operating markets, approx. 45,000 employees and more than 16 million customers, the company is committed to making a difference in the financial life of millions of people in the CEE region.

The situation

The ambitious business vision and the disruptive changes in the marketplace were strong catalysts for how our HR Group changed the way it discussed strategic direction, made decisions about priorities and delivered on these. Our HR Group found it was not close enough to the rest of the organisation and was not fully included in the strategic business dialogues.

At the same time, demands and requests came from various sources – from strategic agendas, business initiatives, day-to-day needs and local-specific needs. Hence, our Group was often caught up in firefighting as opposed to having a clear plan and structure for all the Group-wide initiatives. Lack of clear scope and data limited the ability for quality decision-making, whereas lack of transparency often created a mismatch between common Group-wide agendas and local agendas. We were focused on individual solutions with little correlation between each other.

The ongoing business transformation and the disruptive marketplace required a new approach, one where the focus was on prioritisation, alignment and solving problems from a joint perspective and in a collaborative way, rather than the traditional siloed one. A system that delivers a clear rhythm and helps the leaders to give direction, encourage collaboration and engagement throughout the department, and act as ONE.

Why client selected Twinxter

When you start a transformation and are looking for external support, you want to look for a party that shares your vision and knows what it means to change the ways of working. For us, Twinxter was this external support with the right mind-set and experience to help us on this transformation journey.

So, when we started the preparation for our transformation, we invited Twinxter without any doubt to be our principal guiding- and sparring partner on the way forward. We were confident that their extensive track record, way of thinking and customer-oriented approach, would be of great value to the success of our transformation.

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Interested in reading more details on our approach, implemented changes and results? Download the full Obeya case study of this international leading financial here and expand your horizon.

Our approach

To address our challenges, the HR Leadership Team started to experiment with visual management. With the support of their transformation partner Twinxter, they started building a space that provides an immediate overview on the WHY, WHAT and HOW of our HR priorities within the business.

Drawing on Agile-, Lean Six Sigma- and Systems Thinking methods, the Obeya marked a dramatic change in the way the HR Leadership Team operated. Our Obeya is a central space that provides an overview on the strategic initiatives and processes, and has a meeting rhythm to regularly meet, openly review, and discuss the strategic challenges facing the business, as well as bringing the priorities and risks to the fore.

We needed some time to discover and decide what we would want to see in the Obeya, and how to visualise the information needed. It was a journey of experimenting, reflecting, learning and adapting.

The success of working with an Obeya largely depends on how transparent you want to be, how far you want to go in distributing leadership to the teams, and how you communicate and behave. 

The adoption of this new leadership system brought change from the get-go. After becoming familiar with the philosophy behind this concept and gaining a better understanding of the principles, the conversations soon moved from a local level to a strategic level, with the definition of cross-border strategic pillars and signature solutions.

The Results

The outcomes have been very positive. There is a greater focus on alignment, collaboration and on problem-solving. There has been a tremendous impact on the level of collaboration, as the leaders benefit from weekly meetings and see each other far more frequently. There is a real sense that the HR Leadership Team are working as a team. HR never had a common space for the HR Group’s priorities, planning and discussions. They used to discuss individual projects, whereas now they discuss things in terms of offers, experience and strategy.

Overview on the benefits realised from this journey:

  • Clear link and alignment between purpose, strategy and execution.
  • Easy visualisation of strategy, key initiatives, status and obstacles to solve
  • Transparent Governance on Group and Local market priorities, resources and capabilities.
  • Purpose-led, data-driven, customer-driven and collaborative decision-making approach.
  • Focus on the things that really matter for the people and the organisation.
  • Proper allocation of resources and capabilities to the most critical priorities.
  • Clear rhythm for dialogue and a structured space for reflection and celebration.
  • Stronger portfolio, project and budget management.
  • Great methodology to build involvement and collaboration.
  • The Obeya allowed for integration of several project methodologies in the governance, such as OKR, waterfall and more.

For more details on our approach, implemented changes and results, please feel free to download the full case study.

Adriano Bruno

Chief Human Resource Officer, Erste Group Bank

Twinxter and our transformation team, designed our Agile change, our change journey, and build a strong, purpose-led leadership team. Followed by deciding what the best operating model would be and how we can align on strategic priorities. Alize and Twinxter were essential to the success of our transformation. Their expertise, open and seamless collaborative style always struck a great balance between adjusting to our needs and pushing us to remain on the right path. I can gladly recommend working with Alize and Twinxter’s team, and would call on her expertise any time such a transformation is required.