Client Stories

NABResetting NAB's leadership model builds true competitive advantage

Key insights

Managing change for one of Australia’s big four banks required a fully immersive leadership program with purpose, mindset and belief at its core.

Engaging hundreds of NAB leaders in an in-depth program over a six-month period, we unlocked potential within a layer of leadership in the Business and Private Banks, and reignited a passion for customers among the Bank’s leadership.

Each of the big four Australian banks faces an ongoing need to review and improve to gain competitive advantage over the others, attract new clients and minimise churn. To help NAB achieve such a difference, we worked closely and systematically with them to introduce a new type of leadership, one which enabled more effective partnering between business and private bankers and their clients.

Being in the service industry, NAB understood that in a world of product parity, strong relationships were the key to retaining customers. After the Banking Royal Commission, a new operating model was introduced with 300 individual leaders deployed to form a greatly modified layer of leadership. The challenge for NAB was how to align and motivate such a large group. Maximus worked with the Bank to custom-build an in-depth program, Compass, to make that happen.

NAB leaders were divided into cohorts of 25, with each cohort sponsored by a senior leader within the Bank. We developed a residential experience in country Victoria, which all cohorts undertook over a six-month period. The emphasis was on reigniting the passion that had driven them to become bankers in the first place, aligning their individual purpose with the overall purpose of the Bank, and applying this to deep customer expertise. With no outside distractions, the leaders were immersed from breakfast walks to post-dinner discussions, and to ensure the experience was completely embedded and practised, each cohort gathered monthly for the following six months.

With many of the 300 leaders within this new layer of leadership making a step up from their previous roles, there was a degree of cross-learning across the cohorts as more experienced leaders helped others adjust to their more senior remit.

This cohort system engendered closer relationships between the groups which cut across the Bank’s traditional structures. With natural support and guidance emerging in this way, the program enabled leaders to drive positive customer outcomes back into the business.



  • Banking
  • Banks
  • Business Banking
  • Leadership
  • Leadership Coaching
  • Leadership consultants
  • Leadership Development
  • Leadership Development Australia
  • Leadership Development Experts
  • Leadership Development Program
  • Motivation
  • NAB
  • Passion
  • Private Banking
  • Senior Leader
  • Transformation