Culture, Talent, and Leadership in a fast-growing Fintech business.

  • Our Work
  • 01 August 2019
  • Written by Director Indigogold
Our Work

The context

Our client was an international Fintech business.

They’d exploded into rapid growth off the back of an innovative new technology, going from a small team of ten to an international network of 150 over the course of three years.

The objective was to continue with this rapid growth, scaling to 250 employees over the next 18 months.

The challenge

Bright, talented, and experts in their field, the employees were passionate about making the project a success.

But staff turnover was high, especially in senior hires, and there was a prevailing culture of transiency that they were struggling to deconstruct.

Were they hiring the right people? And if they were, why weren’t they retaining them?

The company brought in Indigogold, and together we determined three key objectives:

  • To make rigorous, better quality hiring decisions
  • To develop leadership capability and management skill
  • To retain the entrepreneurial, start-up culture as the business scales 

Our approach

1. Hire the right people

We spoke to key people across the business to gauge what ‘good talent’ looked like in the context of the organisational goals and values. We then designed a bespoke forward-looking framework to support assessments to ensure hiring decisions were more objective, rigorous and consistent. To ensure the methodology was adopted and embedded worldwide, we ran a ‘train the trainer’ programme with the people team which was then rolled out in all four geographies.

2. Develop leadership capability

The leadership team and management population were all experts in their own right: but 90% had no experience or training in people management and leading teams.

We coached each of the leadership team individually to develop their self-insight and to help them better understand their leadership style. We also coached the group to overcome the fears and reservations they had about letting some things go, giving more autonomy to their teams. This would enable them to focus on the strategic agenda of the business, simultaneously empowering their teams to step up.

We believe you can avoid an overload of people processes by investing in management capability. We set up learning circles to build a manager toolkit, introducing shared standards based on the company’s ethos and strategic aims which would encourage good quality conversations between managers and their teams. The aim of the sessions was to create a platform for managers to learn from one another with the support of our expert consultants; and to increase confidence and self-efficacy.

 

3. Retain the start-up culture

The work was carefully designed to make the individuals more capable – without putting too much process in place that would slow down the quick thinking and creative spark that was key to the company’s success.

The hiring framework gave a starting point, without being prescriptive and hindering true diversity in pursuit of the business’ goals. And the leadership work was focused on helping individuals understand themselves as leaders and how to be more effective – not dictating a certain style or approach. 

 

One year on. 

The business has continued to grow as forecast, and all of the hires made since the programme’s end have been retained.

95% of employees would recommend their managers to a colleague, and every single senior leader said they felt that their ability to contribute effectively to the business had been significantly improved by the work.

The business has now introduced a peer-to-peer coaching initiative with IG as external support, and are currently in the process of doing a ‘culture check’ to ensure they retain the innovation and creativity at the heart of the operation.

What they said...

“The coaching gave me reassurance about letting go of some of the stuff on my plate. Rather than having to be everywhere at once, I can trust my network of managers to role model the culture we need.”

Senior Leader

“The coaching was a revelation – and also really challenging. I’ve got a much clearer idea of my role within the business and how I can help it succeed.”

Manager

“More than just training them, IG have helped create an agile, connected, and confident leadership team who feed off each other and grow to meet new challenges. They ‘read the room’ immediately when they came into the business and have gone about the work with a purposeful informality that has made it land well and stick even better.”

CEO

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