For almost a decade the banking industry was under pressure. Uncertainty in geopolitics, increasing legislation and regulations, digitalization and changing customer behavior accelerate the fast-changing environment in the finance industry. New entrants challenge the incumbents by being more agile, more innovative and customer oriented on all fields: along the value chain as well as in product offering. Thus, future success and profitability of the big players in the industry will heavily depend on ability of banks to leverage digital technology and innovate, rethink strategy, develop talent and transform their culture.

We at Capgemini Consulting believe that the cornerstone of successful transformation is culture. This is in particular true for the banking industry compared to others. Our recent study confirms that: 62% of respondents stated that culture is the number one hurdle towards a digital transformation with banking industry reaching only a mediocre digital culture score.

One of the biggest risks for the banking industry are being left behind by other more agile banks and non-banks competitors as well as disruptive changes in the banking market. Banks need to become more innovative, more agile and above all, more customer oriented!

Crucial culture challenges for banks

Transforming a bank’s culture is not impossible, but the industry-relevant conflicts need to be taken into account carefully in order to make the culture transformation actually work and gain sustainable advantage in the long run. In our view, there are three hurdles in implementing a modern and innovative culture: risk & failure, unusual practices & innovative ideas.

Figure 1 Areas of conflict for culture transformation in banking

Figure 1: Areas of conflict for culture transformation in banking

The cultural and organizational challenges discussed in this blog show the complexity of the problem, but we at Capgemini Consulting can support and help overcoming these challenges and drive embedded cultural change in your organization.

Our culture transformation solution

Capgemini Consulting is the dedicated partner for enabling your culture transformation journey. Based on our culture assessment tool, which is a proven question-based analysis of your situation. This analysis defines your need for improvement and helps to focus on the cultural dimension that really matter for your bank. In the final step, together with your organization, we define the journey to transform your banks future culture.

Figure 2 Digital culture transformation journey

Figure 2: Digital culture transformation journey

Along the whole transformation process we work in an iterative and agile way. Furthermore, by forming assessment to drawing your target state culture, we focus on the eight dimensions characterize a future-oriented corporate culture in the digital age:

  • Innovation & Learning … Encouraging learning from mistakes and establishing a culture that fosters creativity as well as experimentation
  • Collaboration … Promoting an interdisciplinary exchange amongst employees, customers and other companies
  • Entrepreneurship … Encouraging and enabling employees as well as leadership to take risks and promote own ideas
  • Agility … Adapting to changing market conditions and customer needs
  • Customer Orientation … Placing customer is the center of all thinking and acting, solutions are developed together and communication takes place via digital means
  • Digital technologies and processes … Implementing newest digital technologies and platforms, decisions are made based on data
  • Autonomous working conditions … Providing flexible working models to foster self- leadership and personal initiative
  • Future Leadership … Emphasizing employee orientation, leadership acts as coach and has trustful relationships with employees

Ultimately, in order to make your culture transformation actually work, our iterative project approach is structured around 4 key milestones and ensures a deeply anchored cultural transformation.

Figure 3 Iterative project approach

Figure 3: Iterative project approach

The culture journey outlined above is an exemplary approach and will be designed for your individual transformation needs.


As famous economist Peter Drucker said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” – we believe, that without a corporate culture which is fully embracing the future of working and the evolving market, even the best banking strategies will never work! We have a proven culture transformation approach to overcome these challenges. Get in touch with us if we should tackle your challenges with you together!

This article was written in collaboration with Dr. Ursula Bohn and Denis Tintman.