A strategic plan for ABSA to change into a high performance organisation
Alcock, John George
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Stringent competition and borderless financial markets necessitate change in ABSA. Pressure from the new major shareholder, Barclays pic, adds to the inevitable drive for change in ABSA Bank. Barclays Bank, as ABSA's brand new partner, brought a new dimension to ABSA Bank and its performance expectations. Although ABSA Bank targets Africa for market expansion, the focus has intensified as Barclays Bank aims to achieve its goal of becoming the largest bank in the world, and in their quest, envisages bringing ABSA Bank into play as their extension into Africa. The question arising is whether organisational practices in the first world are compatible with South Africa and Africa, for that matter, or not; and if so, to what degree? Therefore, for ABSA Bank to align with the goals of Barclays Bank to become the leading financial service provider in the world, it is very important to remain competitive and to gain a sustainable advantage over competitors by becoming the pre-eminent bank in Africa. ABSA Bank should have a strategic plan of excellence at hand to assist the organisation and its people to make the transition to the newly expected level of performance. The purpose of this study is to identify factors that could assist management/leaders in implementing Absa Bank's strategy successfully. The study will elucidate that management alignment is crucial to implement change strategies. It will also indicate that coaching is the key to successful change initiatives. In essence, the study aims to provide answers on the question of: how to move from being a good to a great financial services provider. In the quest from good to great, work ethics should work its way up to the next level, added to making smart decisions and managing polarities effectively. This is more than just creating a climate for change, but rather to ensure that a motivating climate for the workforce is accomplished. Therefore, it is vital that the following elements in ABSA Bank present itself to achieve the proper motivating climate for them to reach their goals: efforts, goals and expectations, unlocking potential of the team members, performance, results as outcomes, the experienced equity of outcomes, and the perceived significance of the outcomes. These elements interact with dynamics leading to the following outcomes: aligned commitment is achieved because of the right level of knowledge, their being informed and empowered, the level of rewards and recognition, and the level of understanding and living the shared vision (goals and value system). The research culminates in a strategic guideline that ABSA Bank personnel can apply to facilitate change and, as such, aligned commitment of the new challenges ABSA Bank is facing.