#CIPDOD15 Creating an Enabling Mindset to Become Agile & Future-Focused

Steve Morton Head of People and OD at Virgin Money.

The VUCA got a mention!  *klaxon*  But yes, change is happening all the time, it’s just that it feels a lot faster these days.

We all have a different response to the word ‘change’.  As we do to most things in life.  We all have different baggage we bring based on previous experiences.

Steve likes to move away from ‘change’ and more into thinking about what you want to become – Virgin Money wants, and Steve says sincerely wants, to be a bank where everyone’s better off.  Steve has the CEO on his side, she really cares about what they do.

There was a key criteria to keep the language the same as change began – the language in Virgin Money is simple and transparent and that needed to be maintained.  Doing that helps maintain trust.

Monumental moment when Virgin Money and Northern Rock combined.  When Steve joined the language was still ‘heritage Northern Rock’ or ‘heritage Virgin Money’.  You can’t move forward until you accept those two things need to be something different in the future.

To support change requires consistency of words and actions to build trust and belief that this is really happening and that people believe in it.

At a big event with CEO announced that only 51% felt they got what they needed to do their job.  This was Steve’s challenge.  He took a standback, big approach to reflect a strategy that says everyone’s better off (EBO).

For leadership development they’ve got a social media platform to manage learning, invitations sent through the post, creating an experience for colleagues to make it feel EBO.  Role modelling what’s needed because creating an experience is what managers and their teams need to do for their customers – creating advocates of the brand in employees and customers.

Next step was thinking about developing talent.  The 9 box doesn’t fit with EBO.  He wanted a story to show an EBO approach that would include every single colleague and help them wherever they are.  They’ve got a 4 box and a circle model! – Core Performers – help them be the best they can be, Protect & Grow – key players, Honest Action – it’s just not working, Square Peg Round Hole – help back on track, Future Business Leaders – development stretch.  Whatever type of box-model you want to use, for me the key is the attitude towards the people in the boxes.  Respect for them and their needs.

They’ve brought in apprenticeships to help local and younger community.

Steve’s key – don’t talk up change – the word scares people.  Talk up the things that are most important to your org.  Talk about the reality in real language.

This post has been live-blogged from #CIPDOD15.  I’ve done my best to represent the content accurately and fairly but some errors may exist.  Most of it is the speakers’ content and I aim to show the bits that are my opinion.

One thought on “#CIPDOD15 Creating an Enabling Mindset to Become Agile & Future-Focused

  1. I am so inspired by this talk. Having just finished reading Bransons “The Virgin Way,” Steve Morton is living proof that solid, authentic, believable purpose and values can be cascaded, lived and breathed. You read it a lot in textbooks, to see/hear ot being brought to live is awesome.

    EBO was one of my major takeaways from reading Branons book, to see it reiterated during this talk is truly inspirational.


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