Read a related Knowledge article "Three Ways to Make Your Organisation Agile" by Maria Guadalupe.

The case describes the transformation of ING Netherlands from a traditional bank with functional hierarchies to an organization that embraces digitalization and ‘Agile’ principles. This means the bank is organized around self-managed teams without traditional managers, empowering employees to make decisions. The case has four parts: Part I describes the background, the strategic rationale (digitalization) and how ING went through two transformation phases that laid the groundwork for the overhaul. Part II describes the ‘New Way of Working’ at ING: the Agile organizational blueprint adopted and the new roles and rules created. Part 3 focuses on how ING implemented the change and the complementary actions that facilitated the adoption of Agile. Part 4 is a role-play that enables participants to experience the New Way of Working.

Teaching objectives

To understand how an organization that replaces hierarchy with self-managed teams operates, and how such a change is implemented. The role play (part 4) puts the students in the shoes of people having to operate in this radically new environment with new rules.

  • Digital transformation
  • Agile
  • Hierarchies
  • Organizational change
  • Empowerment
  • Engagement
  • Self-managed teams
  • Managers
  • Q11718