Lean-led business transformation: A real change agenda for financial services

Published: September 26, 2011

Executive summary

Financial-services (FS) firms are in the middle of a challenging period. Margins are shrinking as services are commoditized and lessthan-loyal consumers look for the best deal, no matter who offers it. Even more troubling are the dynamics in the industry: Globalization and new regulations have added a layer of complexity and risk to the FS landscape. To overcome these disruptions, financial-services firms increasingly seek to simultaneously improve efficiency and client service, while also meeting regulatory demands for increased transparency and risk management. However, to do this, they too often rely on narrowly targeted improvements, an incremental approach that may achieve one-time gains but not sustainable or structural repairs. As a result, enthusiasm for change dissipates and the firm continues to face a rapidly changing marketplace without enough weapons to truly compete.

Simply put, real and lasting holistic change is essential — and it can be achieved by following a pathway called “Lean-led business transformation.” This approach, which can deliver cost reductions of more than 25 percent across an organization, will also help better meet customer demands, increase transparency for risk management, and create capacity for growth. Lean-led business transformation is particularly effective because it attacks waste, inefficiency, poor processes, and systemic breakdowns across the entire organization. The advantages of Lean-led business transformation are myriad: Resources are better aligned with demand and capacity; functions are consolidated, propelled by technology and process gains; customer responsiveness improves greatly; risk mitigation is enhanced; and staff satisfaction is measurably higher.

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Lean-led business transformation: A real change agenda for financial services