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Danske Bank revolutionises its ways of working for the benefit of our customers

With new ways of working Danske Bank seeks to be able to respond faster to customers' changing expectations, thereby ensuring better customer experiences.

In a few weeks Danske Bank will kickstart a new way of organising and working, that will fundamentally change previous ways of working. The transformation is part of the bank’s ambition to become a ’better bank’ towards customers, investors, employees and society towards 2023.   

“Yes, it is actually a palace revolution”
"Danske Bank has historically been a leading bank, also in the field of digital development, however, at the same time, also a very traditional and a fairly hierarchical bank. We will now change this fundamentally, and it will directly impact up to 5000 employees. In practice, it will have a massive impact on the entire bank. Yes, it is actually a ‘palace revolution’," says Glenn Söderholm, Head of Banking Nordic and Interim Head of Banking DK.

Image: Glenn Söderholm, Head of Banking Nordic and Interim Head of Banking DK 

Organised in Squads and Tribes

For many years, tasks have been solved by units that although they were supervised by management worked independently of each other. In future, this will change, and the more than 4,000 employees who are working on changing and developing Danske Bank will work in small groups – so-called Squads – that are made up by employees with many different competencies.

It is there responsibility to ’solve’ the task, and they decide how to do it. The Squads belong to a bigger Tribe, that contributes to the bank’s business goal and strategy. At the same time, it should be easier and more fun to work in Danske Bank as employees moves closer together with the autonomy to decide how we deliver the best customer solutions.

 We want to give the employees autonomy, and they need to listen to the needs of the customers, instead of what we think in the management. 

Frans Woelders

COO, Danske Bank

"We want to give the employees wide roads with high curbs. In other words, we want to give them autonomy, and they need to listen to the needs of the customers, instead of what we think in the management," says Frans Woelders, who is COO in Danske Bank and together with Glenn Söderholm lead the transformation.  

The beginning of a major cultural change  
In a few weeks, the first 700 colleagues in Financing Development move closer in five cross-functional Tribes, but this is just the first step towards a major cultural change, that will take several years according to Frans Woelders.    

“This is a considerable change for Danske Bank in many aspects and it will take some time before results become visible, but it is a change that is absolutely necessary. Fortunately, we have very talented and experienced employees in Danske Bank, who put in hard and dedicated work every day, and this makes me feel confident that together, we will succeed with implementing these changes,” says Glenn Söderholm.

What is a Squad?

  • Multi-disciplinary small group of people trained to work together as a unit.
  • The core unit of an agile organisation.
  • Has a clear and specific mission that contributes to the Tribe’s mission and is end-to-end responsible to deliver it. 

What is a Tribe?

  • A  collection of Squads that contributes to the Tribe’s and the bank’s strategy and goals.
  • Has a flat organisation.
  • Has a clear mission, purpose, business objectives and metrics – and holds end-to-end responsibility to deliver on them.

Today, departments in Danske Bank have strong dependencies to other departments, and the ownership of products and services is often spread across multiple departments, which increases handovers and blurs the ownership.

No Tribes have overlapping responsibilities, meaning that there is only one responsible Tribe for each product, service etc.