How this bank is way ahead of the pack with HR and digital disruption

by Miklos Bolza23 Nov 2015
Talking about DBS Bank and its drive towards digital development, Paddy Miller, professor of managing people in organisations at IESE Business School had one thing to say; “There are shafts of brilliance amongst HR managers getting on board.”
During a recent HRD interview, Miller praised the HR team at DBS Bank for doing a “fantastic job of bringing on board the whole organisation”.
“In terms of developing a digital strategy and then creating a culture that invents a digital mindset, DBS is way ahead of the curve compared to most organisations in that sector. In other words, compared to most banks anywhere else in the world, it is way ahead of the pack.”
Staying ahead of the curve
HRD contacted DBS Bank to see what they were doing to bring about new technological change with the whole workforce on board.
“DBS is focused on making sure staff embrace innovation to stay ahead of the curve as the industry faces new challenges brought about by digital advances,” a spokesperson said.
In order for a mindset change to occur amongst staff, the bank uses a number of tools and resources to assist them provide a better customer experience.
For instance, DBS Wealth Advisor is supported by IBM Watson, an artificial intelligence that provides “contextualised and customised wealth advice to high net worth clients,” the spokesperson said.
“Our frontline staff are also equipped with iPads loaded with apps that enable them to serve customers outside of the branches.”
 Hacking the way to success
In order to develop digital leaders within the organisation, the spokesperson said DBS used experiential learning through programs called “hackathons”.
In these courses, senior leadership and executives spend a week “immersed in all things digital” with each person working with a start-up company to develop digital solutions to real world business problems.
“Earlier this year, [DBS Bank also] organised a megahackthon, which brought together 150 DBS employees and start-ups from around the region to tackle business and societal challenges,” the spokesperson said. This was the first time any such event had been held in Singapore.
Grooming digital evangelists
DBS also recognises the need for people to embrace that digital mindset within the organisation. It does this through the DBS Academy: an in-house school that was launched in 2010.
“[The Academy] provides training programs that develop our employees across core competencies such as leadership, customer focus, performance and results orientation, and innovation and change management. In 2014, we carried out more than 132,000 training days,” the spokesperson said.
The bank also has dedicated “evangelists” and “agitators” amongst staff. These individuals stimulate digital thinking while exploring new ways to use technology and encourage greater collaboration amongst employees and customers.
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  • by Hack1 25/11/2015 9:29:45 AM

    Where exactly other than the opening lines is there any mention of an HR Digital Strategy? This is all around a general digital strategy, that while good and innovative is being replicated or challenged by many other banks in the region or globally.

  • by Kevin 25/11/2015 10:58:19 AM

    The article was about how HR was getting people on board with digital disruption at DBS Bank. It's an easy connection to make. Technology is used by people so HR should be there to train and develop them in this area. There was no mention of an 'HR digital strategy' anywhere either. The title reads 'HR and digital disruption' and the writer connects the two. I don't see any problem here.

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