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 1 describes the background, the strategic rationale (digitalization) and how ING went through two transformation phases that laid the groundwork for the overhaul. Part 2 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