case study - Leadership Development
Leading through Change
ABN AMRO Private Banking

With the banking industry facing unprecedented upheaval, ABN AMRO Private Banking Belgium wanted to reinforce leadership practices through a programme aimed at helping leaders be inspiring agents of change and contribute to the bank’s long-term success.

Collaborating closely with the bank’s HR team, we developed a seven-month programme that took 75 participants on a journey of self-discovery and skills-building.


ABN AMRO Private Banking Belgium is an innovative bank with Dutch roots and an international network. Through its comprehensive range of Private Banking products and services, it aims to provide ‘Banking for better, for generations to come’. Specialist Private Bankers provide support at each stage of a client’s life, offering services such as wealth planning, portfolio management, and a unique Enterprise & Entrepreneur package.

The context

ABN AMRO Private Banking, like many others in the banking industry, is facing significant changes due to external factors like regulatory developments, market challenges, and shifting customer expectations, as well as internal reorganisation.

Recognising how essential effective leadership is in maintaining employee engagement during times of uncertainty, the bank was looking for a programme to help their leaders build skills and confidence in leading their teams through change and driving the bank’s success in the years ahead.

What we did

Collaborating closely with ABN AMRO Belgium’s HR department and the Management Team, we developed a highly interactive leadership programme tailored to the bank’s context, needs, and aspirations. The ultimate goal was to equip leaders across management levels with the necessary skills to navigate the challenges of leadership and help them become a source of inspiration for their teams.

Over a period of seven months, the programme took 75 participants on a journey of self-discovery and skills-building, exploring various facets of leadership. The main areas of focus were embracing change, inspiring and activating teams, communicating courageously, and providing support to help teams thrive. Participants were given practical tools and techniques for everyday topics such as delegating, having difficult conversations, providing feedback, and managing stress. We also worked on coaching skills for leaders and explored the power of storytelling in driving engagement and results.

The programme itself remained flexible throughout, allowing us to adjust it where necessary to better respond to questions and needs that arose. This kind of dynamic fine-tuning lets us build on feedback and observations to deliver the best possible result.

In order to enhance the effectiveness of the examples and exercises, we tailored them to the managers’ everyday experiences. This makes it easier to apply the learnings directly to real-life situations, thereby encouraging concrete behavioural change. We used a variety of interactive methods to keep the participants actively engaged, including role-plays, group discussions, individual and team assignments, as well as regular recaps of key learning points. Participants were also encouraged to make connections between what they were learning and their Insights Discovery Profile to further enhance their working relationships.

Between programme sessions, we wanted to maintain the learning momentum and also make sure we could address any specific questions and challenges that arose. To do this, we provided individual coaching sessions and peer-to-peer coaching opportunities. These offered managers the chance to share success stories and address any challenges encountered when applying the new techniques.

Overall, the programme was designed to provide a comprehensive and personalised leadership experience that allowed the participants to grow and develop their skills in a supportive and engaging environment.

The results

The programme had a significant impact on the managers and their leadership practices. By building a safe and supportive learning environment, we were able to create a space where participants felt comfortable exploring new ideas and taking risks. The mixed audience also allowed for networking and connection across management levels, teams, and departments, which strengthened collaboration and promoted a sense of community.

Another notable outcome was the creation of a common vocabulary, which allowed participants to communicate more effectively and hold each other accountable. This proved especially valuable, as a shared language helped the teams better navigate the changes and challenges ABN AMRO Private Banking was facing together.

Participants also expressed their enthusiasm about the programme’s effectiveness by giving it a high satisfaction rating: 96% of participants rated the programme as ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’. Even more importantly, all participants reported making concrete changes in their behaviour and leadership practices as a result of the training, showing that the programme had a significant and lasting impact.

What ABN AMRO Leading through Change say about us
The programme was excellent! Content was good, and it also provided a vocabulary for the leadership team to continue working on within the organisation.
I loved it, more than worth the invested time. Good to have mixed groups with all levels of managers. Inspiring!
Insight into my own role and what I can (and want to!) improve in my leadership.
Hands-on and useful techniques. Perfectly linked to one story line. Good speakers and time-keeping.
Refreshing and thought provoking.
Gave a lot of inspiring thoughts, as well as practical things to implement step by step.

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