ANZ Bank Case Study – Sticky Learning Insight #2: Uniquely Me

This is part 2 of the 5 part instalment of the ANZ Bank Case Study on Innovative Staff Development.  Please read Part 1 for further information.

Case Study 1: Creating Lasting Impact Through the Learning Experience
Sticky Learning Insight #2 – Relevance

uniquely me2

Learning designed in the ANZ has been traditionally poor. This has resulted in effort in developing experiential learning opportunities for ANZ staff (see Kolb 1984). Additionally, the new learning development has attempted to customise learning according to the individual need of the learner. Video cameras are located in the roofs of learning spaces and recording of each session is carried out and burned to DVD. The learner is able to take this back to the workplace at the end of the day and re-visit content as needed (just-in-time, reflection).

As a part of the Learning & Breakout Centre, there is a dedicated media centre with four Apple Macintoshes located at the front. Most learning videos are now being developed down here. The making of learning content is getting cheaper and cheaper. All participants in the Graduate Program in the ANZ will be recording a podcast in their first ninety days. This is a critical part in inducting new stuff to the organisation’s learning culture. Additionally, the making of this form of learning content generates timely and relevant content that is accessible to all staff via an internal iTunes system.

The ANZ are taking advantage of the rapidly shifting changes in the technological environment to customise staff learning experiences as frequently as possible. The learning fingerprint thus becomes stronger, more relevant and more likely to ‘stick’.

An ANZ Leadership Experiences program runs over two days. Participants are required to record a one hour personal reflection of the themes from the workshop. Participants are given the space and time to conduct this reflection.

ANZ Bank – A Case Study of Innovative Staff Development

I have just returned from a 5 day trip to Sydney.  The purpose of the trip was to attend a conference by Liquid Learning on Blended Learning.

I must honestly say this is one of the best value conferences I have been to in several years.  Firstly, it was aimed at Human Resources and Organisational Development practitioners, so the content was tailored more for workforce development compared to the normal fodder of university, TAFE and school-based educators.  For me, this increased the relevance of the content quantumly.  Secondly, the format was primarlily case-study based.  I tend to get a lot of value from case-study approaches – I am always endlessly fascinated as to how people apply such innovation to their contextual problems.

There is more content from 3 days learning than I can poke a stick at.  In fact I typed 42 pages of notes onto my tablet over this time frame.  I will post a variety of information here over the next few weeks and am more than happy to answer any questions that don’t appear to make sense from my interpretation of events.

Case Study 1: Creating Lasting Impact Through the Learning Experience

Presenter: Erik Zimmerman, Head of Learning

Organisation: ANZ Banking Group Limited


The ANZ bank is keen on improving the economic return of learning in today’s environment.  They use the concept of “sticky learning” as their approach to getting learning to stick for employees thus resulting in behavioural change.  Since 2000 the ANZ has had 26 000 staff go through a cultural change program called ‘Breakout’   New CEO Mike Smith has set a bold target of doubling the banks profits within a five year period.  He also wanted the organisation to shift from Australia/New Zealand to a ‘super regional’ one.  The organisation is now staffed and represented in thirty different countries globally with 35 000 staff on the payroll. With this geographic spread a learning infrastructure in thirty countries is required and needs to be able to adapt to change rapidly. Change is not linear it is exponential.  This is a concern as talent and infrastructure is increasing with change in a linear fashion, thus increasing the gap between the increasing change and the ability of organisations and the workforce to be able to adapt to this. Some of this exponential change is significantly affecting the ANZ

  • There is rapid consumer change – they have more choice, more sophisticated products and customers are becoming more sophisticated.
  • The competition for talent and staffing is continuing to intensify particularly as banking is a niche market.
  • The economic outlook is uncertain and tighter credit markets are occurring.
  • There is a rise of technology.  Mobile phone banking is the new shift with customised solutions for customers.
  • The world is becoming increasingly global hence the shift to the super regional bank concept.

In 2007 the ANZ bank spent $62 million on learning and development.  Their concern is that formal learning processes are not necessarily transferring to be used back in the job.  Looking at measuring the learning transfer six months after the formal learning instance has occurred (see ECU Evaluation Framework)   Current learning “Mega Trends” include:

  • The sustainability of learning (less leakage, learning to learn).
  • The context of learning (closer to the business).
  • Portability of learning (anywhere, anyhow, interactive, collaborative).
  • Diversity of learning (diversity of learning styles).
  • Convergence of learning (talent, culture).
  • Communities of learning (collaboration, bringing thought leadership together).

Many organisations are experiencing a gap on the learning Return on Investment.  If this gap could be resolved, learning budgets may not get slashed so hard.   In the last two years in Australia, companies with greater than five hundred staff, 60% have had one Chief Learning Officer changes; 20% have experienced two changes and 20% had three or more changes.   Given the rapid turnover of key staff, learning needs to be agile.  Content tends to date rapidly – how do we then create a learning environment that can change on demand?

Sticky Learning Insight #1 – Relevance

The ANZ conducted an extensive, twelve month benchmarking exercise of their organisational learning environment against global companies and other large Australian organisations.  Whatif, a company located in London, was looked at during the benchmarking process and had a dedicated learning centre.  It was not just a place to learn, but to grow the company and was considered to be a centre for learning and innovation.   After extensive research the ANZ developed the Learning & Breakout Centre.  It was not built on the premises of any existing branch as it was an important consideration of the design to be able to take people into a different space and the physical layout of this centre has been highly customised to provide a stimulating environment.  It is a constant struggle to get the head of learners out of their day-to-day work and hence a different location between three of the major branches was identified for the site (Collins Street, Melbourne).  Of the $7 million set up costs, $2 million of this was invested in the technology in the centre.   Not a single room in the Learning & Breakout Centre has been made into a square room.  It has been designed so that natural daylight comes into all learning rooms while meeting rooms are located in the centre of the building. Interactive whiteboards are located in every room and shared space where created for mingling and the exchange of ideas. In the extensive benchmarking exercise all learning spaces were square rooms.  Facilities for creating podcasts on site are available and are developed in teams and made available to the rest of the organisation.  There is a central area that does the editing.   The centre is currently experiencing an occupancy rate of 77% and some bookings are now occurring several months in advance.

Next installments include:

Sticky Learning Insight #2 – Uniquely Me

Sticky Learning Insight #3 – Meaning

Sticky Learning Insight #4 – Focus

Sticky Learning Insight #5 – Practise

Where do I find more?

Search my account for the ANZ tag – I have found a few relevant documents of interest