Driving Sydbank to a number one position in commercial financial consulting

Strategy & Leadership Training | Sydbank

Sydbank is the third-largest full-service bank in Denmark with more than 2200 committed employees and 65 locations providing financial services to professional and private customers across Denmark.


When Syddansk Erhvervsskole tried to tackle the smoking habit by prohibiting it in its schools, one of the core impediments to the implementation was the organization's "usual way" of running projects and their limited competencies in running projects smoothly for all the stakeholders. That was the moment when the shared journey between Business Learning and the educational organization team began toward materializing the initiative.


To change the narrative of fearing changes that dissatisfy a wide range of stakeholders, our consultants took the opportunistic approach that followed the design thinking methodology and switched the narrative from fear to challenge, the breakthrough question being “How might we help the smokers embrace the change we aspired to achieve?”.  In a short time, the design thinking session with 15 leaders, employees, and students from Syddansk Erhvervsskole revealed an urgency to make the end-user of the change understand the necessity of the initiative, as well as to create alternative solutions for both the students and the staff.


Syddansk Erhvervsskole found feasible, creative, and fun solutions that addressed the effects of smoke prohibition on campus. However, the main impact of the session was the happiness and relief achieved within the team when they acquired a constructive way of approaching the challenges.

Acknowledging that their number one position in commercial financial consulting could be threatened, Sydbank employed Business Learning's training and simulations in a successful program to enhance the understanding of their clients' perspectives and demands.


Having formulated the goal of maintaining the number one position in the best commercial financial consulting, Sydbank wished for its financial advisors to become more daring to ask relevant questions when serving the organizational segment. Grethe Harmuth, the business director of Sydbank, appealed to Business Learning to utilize their capabilities in implementing change in large organizations to enhance their advisors' understanding of their client's perspectives and demands.


Business Learning was tasked with training the advisors on how a company is run from a CEO's perspective. Our consultants designed a two-day tailor-made training solution that addressed the before, during, and after stages of the program. Sixteen cohorts of Sydbank's business advisors participated as top managers competing against each other in a simulation that trained them to create growth and profit in a company with four business lines. The simulation provided valuable insights into what it means to be part of a top management team and take decisions on markets, products, pricing, investments, quality, and strategy.


Sydbank business advisors acquired a new model for approaching their clients in an empathetic manner, as well as for asking relevant and daring questions to the respective CEOs. The bank continued to do a great job serving its professional customers and maintaining the desired number one position. Business Learning also broke a record in good evaluations at Sydbank, where participants consistently turned their thumbs up to the experimental learning approach that was used to solve their challenges.

The daring decision to prohibit smoking at Syddansk Erhvervsskole drove the organization to utilize Business Learning’s effective consulting techniques that address innovation processes, stakeholder alignment and tangible solutions.

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