Align teams in the bank behind Client-centric OKRs

In partnership with The Field Institute – a consulting company.


A large bank in Africa offers a range of banking and lending products to retail and corporate customers. Established in South Africa in the 1990s, the bank has grown to become one of the country’s largest and most well-known financial services providers, with a wide network of branches and ATMs across the country. 

The Bank recognized that digital transformation is not just about technology, but also about putting the customer at the centre of its strategy and operations. The bank saw this as an opportunity to differentiate itself from its competitors and to meet the evolving needs of its clients. To achieve this, the Bank engaged the Field Institute to support them in identifying the unmet needs of its clients through the Outcome-Driven Innovation Methodology.

The research process involved extensive interviews and surveys with banking clients, including those who use other banks and those who are unbanked. The findings of this research led to the identification of a cluster of themes that were important to clients. The challenge now was to align the banks people and resources to address the unmet needs of clients across all areas of the bank, positioning itself as a customer-centric organization in the competitive South African banking market. The CEO decided to give the Transformation OKR Matrix a chance:

The Solution

The first step in the bank’s transformation was to align the executive team. The leadership team was brought together to co-create the desired objectives and goals for the transformation.

It was crucial to orchestrate the ambitions within the executive team, as alignment at the top makes all the difference in a big initiative like this. As a result, three major theme objectives, each with three to five goals ( key results) behind each theme, was defined. This intent behind this was to provide clarity and focus on the outcomes to be achieved, for the teams across the organisation.

The next step was to align cross functional teams behind these objectives and goals through a series of workshops and communication initiatives. Teams from different departments and regions were brought together to understand the objectives and how they fit into the bigger picture of the bank’s transformation. 

The workshops helped to break down silos and foster collaboration and a sense of shared purpose among employees to achieve these goals.

To measure progress towards these objectives, a set of KPIs was defined and regularly reviewed by the leadership team. This helped to keep the organization focused on the goals and ensured that everyone was working towards the same end.

Finally, the bank implemented a transformation management program to ensure that the objectives and goals were delivered on time and to budget. The program included regular check-ins, progress reviews and continuous improvement activities to help the bank achieve its desired outcomes. This provided a structure for the bank to continuously monitor, measure and improve its performance over time.


The implementation of the Outcome-Driven Innovation methodology and the Transformation OKR Matrix allowed the bank to better understand the needs of its clients and develop solutions that meet those needs.

The bank was also able to align its different business areas behind a common goal, resulting in increased efficiency and effectiveness in achieving its objectives. The use of SMART goals and regular progress tracking allowed for continual improvement and adjustments to its plans as needed.

Lessons Learned

The challenge of competing priorities was an important lesson learned during the transformation. Despite the executive team aligning behind the new program, other programs were already underway and not clarifying the context of the new program in relation to existing initiatives led to conflicting priorities.

This demonstrated the importance of not only co-creating objectives for a new program at the executive level, but also placing the new program in context with other ongoing initiatives.

This approach helps to avoid duplications and misalignment, ensuring that all programs are working towards the same goals and objectives in a cohesive manner. By taking these lessons into account, organizations can avoid similar challenges in their own transformation journeys.


The Bank’s successful transformation was a result of its adoption of Outcome-Driven Innovation and the use of the Transformation OKR Matrix.

These tools allowed the bank to better understand the needs of its clients, align its different business areas behind a common goal, and track progress towards its objectives. The Transformation OKR Matrix was a key factor in banks successful transformation and its continued success in meeting the needs of its clients.