Identifying the problem

Rombouts explains how this came about and how his work began to create the changes within the company. “It was really our former Belgian CEO, now KBC group CEO, Johan Thijs, who identified the problems and decided that we needed a specific programme and management input to address them. The financial crisis had hit our group badly and it was felt that a lot of staff had become very conservative, very risk-averse in their decision-making and had lost the entrepreneurial spirit that the company had built its success on. This had had serious repercussions throughout the business; processes had become over-complex and projects were often delayed through indecision or inertia.”

“The CEO wanted to re-energise the business and staff and put a new, more dynamic management organization in place to achieve this and galvanise the decision-making process. There was a belief that more common sense was needed in the business approach and that facilitating this would help the staff and organisation reassert itself in an increasingly competitive marketplace. He discussed and expanded his ideas with some of the academics in Vlerick but they were not directly involved after that as it was important that the change process came from within KBC.”

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