Co-designing OTP Bank’s Strategic Plan for Growth

This is an example of accelerating a transformation through co-design. Eighty-two professionals gathered, representing OTP’s whole organization. Together, they were able to achieve months of work in just three days.

OTP Bank’s Challenge

OTP Bank Romania (OTP) was at a key turning point in late 2018. The organization was undergoing changes in its leadership team. This new team helped them develop an ambitious goal:

OTP Bank will double its market share in 5 years.

They gathered for two Discovery sessions in December 2018. In these sessions, a carefully selected senior team chose three market segments to focus on. Then they built these segments into Personas.

With this new focus to guide them, they developed another vision of cultural turnaround. Their secondary goal was:

To shift from a products and procedures focus to customer-centricity.

The Accelerated DesignShop 2019, Bucharest

The DesignShop partnered with OTP to organize a workshop in Bucharest on January 20-22, 2019. The workshop aimed to build a growth strategy focused on the three Personae OTP’s leadership developed based on their marketing segments. It also focused on creating a subsequent business plan with operational details and cost-benefit calculations. The secondary aim of the workshop was to create the context of a new way of leading and working. This method was based on transparency, cross-functional collaboration, supportive creativity, and employee centricity. We organized the workshop along with OTP under the theme: gOTP! Jump Ahead! To Market Makers!

About the DesignShop

To help OTP accomplish their new goals, we organized an Accelerated DesignShop in January 2019.

The DesignShop is a collaborative design method invented by Matt and Gail Taylor and refined over four decades of practice with large corporate for-profits, non-profits, and other organizations. It optimizes its approach for every client – offering the environment and customized process needed for large, inclusive teams to co-design integrative solutions for difficult and complex problems.

The program’s foundational axiom is: “People support what they help create.”

It also builds on the principle of cross-functional teams and time-compressed assignments. These create the space, focus, and speed necessary to achieve difficult business outcomes in just three days.

OTP Start with customer

The Workshop

Eighty-two participants attended the workshop. They represented OTP’s headquarters in Bucharest, branches across Romania, as well as regional and central decision-making units in Hungary and the region.

These participants worked on individual, pair, and group assignments. They had a chance to meet teammates from all over the organization and step out of their comfort zones.

Throughout the workshop, the teams developed a new understanding of the problems their company faced. They also gained a deeper understanding and empathy for customers through exposure to contextual interviews with real people. These people represented each Persona group.

The groups also had a chance to gain a deeper understanding and inspiration from outside sources. Some of these included:

The first day was “Scan Day”. It kicked off the workshop with an introduction to the problem and goals.

At the end of the first day, each team created visual strategic models of their future.

The second day was “Focus Day”. It was dedicated to brainstorming and developing solutions. The strategic models the teams created on day one served as starting points to build more tangible versions of the strategies using two perspectives:

  1. A customer experience perspective
  2. A functional point of view (the 8 Ps)

The Solution

The third day was “Act Day” the day when the solution always comes together.

The teams revisited the customer experience prototypes, which led to a better understanding of what areas are priorities for OTP. These were different from their pre-workshop assumptions. For example, many had previously assumed the easiest solution would be to design a plan around the 8 Ps.

However, they learned through the workshop that a customer experience perspective by channels made more sense. In addition, it was even aligned with several employee pain points which impacted their service.

This change in perspective showed one benefit of holding a large, inclusive workshop. It also led to an organic blend of initiatives that solved both customer and employee pain points. Since these pain points affected both parties, they were the most important and urgent to address.

OTP Solution
Thumbs Up DTS

Final Outcome

The final solution after the workshop was a strategic plan consisting of eight initiatives. Each initiative was detailed with execution plans comprised of actions, resource allocation, timelines, milestones (of 6 months and 3 years), and cost-benefit analyses.

The participants developed four key messages, that they brought back to their colleagues to share what they accomplished with the workshop:

Build your strategy with solutions
to complex problems in days instead of months. 

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