From a red to a black bottom line
(and a jump in share price of 50%)


  • Why are banks so inflexible?
  • In partnership with senior management and its 86,000 staff, Lindstrom Company introduced a ‘human mindset’ into the organisation by systematically removing lack of common sense, banking-speak, acronyms, rules, restrictions, and overly complex procedures.
  • The organisation converted from an inside-out point of view to an outside-in point of view.
  • Over a four-year period, Standard Chartered’s bottom line changed from red to black.
  • Not only that, but the bank’s share price nearly doubled.
  • How not to woo customers

    Know anyone in love with their bank? I don’t, or didn’t until quite recently.

    It seems there is a worldwide secret manual for banks on how not to endear customers. Page 1 beginning with how to purposefully exasperate and obstruct customer satisfaction to the point of crazed frustration.

    Impossible-to-navigate websites designed by engineers for engineers. Insufferably long lines in the branch offices. Zero discretion given to the relationship manager resulting in no flexibility for customers. Customer service? Never heard of it.

    And that’s just the client interface. Behind the scenes you’ll encounter a complex operation which can distract employees and prevent them from being able to really engage with their customers, to understand them and to help deliver what they need.

  • The power of one word

    This is the reality with practically every global bank.

    It was then that Lindstrom Company began an ambitious project, in close partnership with Standard Chartered’s global senior management and local leaders across the world, to alter the classic bank trajectory via a thorough cultural and operational transformation. With the aim of helping employees find new ways to tackle the old challenges.

    Using the example of iconic brands whose essence could be summed up in one word, like ‘safety’ is to Volvo, and ‘search’ is to Google, the bank set off on a mission to identify the one single word that would encapsulate the future focus of the organization.

    Standard Chartered landed on ‘Human’.

    Human. So easy to say – but immensely hard to live up to.

By analysing customer touch-points that take place regularly across the bank‘s many customer facing operations – an undertaking led jointly by Lindstrom Company and many of Standard Chartered employees worldwide, we looked at what it would take to create a truly Human bank – from best practice use of email correspondence, face-to-face interaction, direct mail communication, to the language used on the website – change began to happen.

At the same time, the culture of Standard Chartered underwent a major overhaul. Thousands of bank employees began intense workshops, exploring how to create a human bank and engaging them in a worldwide movement.

With NPS up 30% and the share price up 50%, Standard Chartered’s newly adapted customer focus rules every touchpoint of the organization.

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