How Kiwibank’s Culture Makeover Is Redefining Leadership Success

Apr 02, 2024

Recently, I had an enlightening conversation on The High Performance Leader Podcast with Andrea Duncan from Kiwibank. We dove deep into what it means to lead with purpose and how shifting from traditional values to dynamic mindsets can profoundly impact an organisation's culture and performance. 

Andrea's insights from Kiwibank's ongoing cultural transformation are not just fascinating; they're a roadmap for any leader aiming to craft a more meaningful, empowering workplace.

Purpose at the Core: A Game Changer for Kiwibank

Kiwibank's journey toward being a purpose-driven organization is a testament to the power of having a mission that resonates with every team member. For Kiwibank, it’s all about making a tangible difference in the lives of New Zealanders. This focus has not only set them apart in the competitive banking sector but also ignited a deeper engagement among their employees, connecting the dots between daily tasks and the bigger picture of societal impact.

The Power of Mindsets Over Values

One of the most striking shifts Andrea discussed was the move from enforcing a set of values to embracing a set of mindsets. This approach speaks volumes to any organisation looking to build a culture of growth and adaptability. By championing mindsets like belonging, innovation, and customer focus, Kiwibank has created an environment where employees feel empowered to take ownership and innovate.

Andrea stressed the importance of inclusivity in this cultural overhaul. It wasn't about a handful of leaders dictating what the culture should be; it was about engaging everyone in the organisation to contribute to its definition. This democratised approach to culture-building has ensured a wide buy-in and allowed the culture to be genuinely representative of the diverse voices within Kiwibank.

Key Takeaways for Aspiring High-Performance Leaders

Kiwibank's story illuminates several crucial lessons for leaders everywhere:

  1. Embed Purpose Deeply: Your organization's purpose is the compass that guides everything from strategic decisions to everyday actions. Make sure it's compelling and universally understood.
  2. Mindsets Matter: Cultivating specific mindsets can lead to more significant behavioral change and adaptability than traditional value statements.
  3. Inclusion is Key: A culture defined by its people is richer, more authentic, and more resilient. Engage your team in the culture-building process.
  4. Distinguish Culture from Engagement: Understand that while related, culture and employee engagement are not the same. Measure and nurture both.
  5. Adapt and Evolve: Culture is not static. Maintain an ongoing conversation about your culture, what it means, and how it should evolve to meet new challenges.

The huge cultural shift and the results created across the organisation are worthy of studying and emulation. This purpose-driven approach has not only differentiated them in the marketplace but has also deeply engaged their employees by connecting their day-to-day work to a greater cause.

Listen now to this incredible episode here


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