Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2009 (Revised January 2013)

Ingrid Johnson and Nedbank Business Banking

by Michael Tushman and David Kiron

Abstract

This case discusses the issue of leading change at the business banking division of Nedbank, a prominent South African bank, between 2005 and 2009. (This timeframe, beginning just 11 years after Apartheid's end, covers Ingrid Johnson's leadership of this division during a period of significant change within Nedbank and South Africa). One of the oldest banks in South Africa, Nedbank merged with another South African bank in 2002. Troubles financing the acquisition and several ill-advised bets in the market caused Nedbank's market value to plummet and led to the ouster of the bank's senior leadership. The business banking division was one of Nedbank's largest business units with 2000+ staff. For many years, it had been a consistently profitable but underperforming division, and had yet to fully implement a strategic restructuring when Johnson takes over in 2005. Johnson's mandate is to instill a high performance culture, which she determines requires overhauling the division's culture, formal organization, critical tasks, and people. The class discussion focuses on what Johnson did to lead the change effort, what worked, what did not, and what more she needs to do. The case and associated video nicely describe Ingrid's leadership style shifting from a chartered accountant to a more seasoned leader. The video shows Ingrid interacting with AMP participants. Ingrid describes what she did in Business Banking, how she executed those changes, what she learned about leading large system change, and what she learned about herself as a leader.

Keywords: Leadership and Change Management; Leadership; Leading Change; Banking Industry; South Africa;

Citation:

Tushman, Michael, and David Kiron. "Ingrid Johnson and Nedbank Business Banking." Harvard Business School Case 410-003, October 2009. (Revised January 2013.)