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The Bank with the Human Face


OVER THE COURSE of three and a half years, Sonia Stojanovic led a struggling and fragmented ANZ Bank through a change process called “Breakout” that set a new standard in corporate cultural transformation. Stojanovic, with consultation from McKinsey & Co., created a program that took more than 21,000 employees through personal development workshops. In addition to changing how people related to each other at work, the workshops catalyzed an overhaul of the bank's internal practices and inspired the creation of a whole array of community service programs. The results have been dramatic: previously the least preferred employer in Australian financial services, ANZ is now an employer of choice; staff satisfaction increased by thirty-five percent in four years. The bank has won “Australian Bank of the Year” for three years running, and its stock price has more than doubled. For Stojanovic, the secret of ANZ Bank's success comes from tapping into the intrinsically human longing for meaning and wholeness:

“We're giving people hope—the hope to find meaning and to not compartmentalize their lives into home and work and self. We're inviting people to ask the questions: Why am I here? What is my contribution? How can the work I'm doing and the service I'm providing bring forth the best I can be in every moment? People really want to be accountable; they want to take responsibility; they want to feel that what they are doing is being counted and is contributing to the success of the organization as well as to the greater good. They are concerned about sustainability and future generations. They want to ensure that they are contributing not only to the here and now but to the future of the planet. We allow people to talk about this within their work context, to find out what impact they can make. That's why I say that this journey is a continual reinvention of ourselves.”


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