Creating a Culture of Collaboration at Deutsche Bank

John Stepper (Deutsche Bank)
Enterprise, Social Media & Marketing
Location: Empire West
Average rating: ****.
(4.20, 10 ratings)

Deutsche Bank, with 80,000 employees, has achieved tremendous growth over the last decade and successfully navigated the financial crisis to emerge as one of the world’s most successful universal banks.

Yet, as a highly regulated company, Deutsche Bank has been slow to embrace modern communication and collaboration methods. In short, there has been little beyond email – and it’s Lotus Notes at that.

But it’s changing, and the company is now using a wide range of social media both internally and externally to connect people and get things done more quickly.

The changes are widespread and varied – from the widespread use of micro-blogging internally to an innovative recruiting campaign on Facebook to a growing number of communities of practice. Social media and new methods of organizing are changing the way the bank works.

The talk recounts the lessons learned from earlier failed pilots and management initiatives. And then introduces a framework for using social media and driving collaboration in large firms.

The framework focuses on 5 key elements and how we varied them based on the different communities within the bank (i.e., IT staff are different from private wealth managers):

  1. technology principles
  2. incentives – both intrinsic and extrinsic
  3. knowledge engineering
  4. individual education
  5. shared learning via communities of practice

In combination, these elements allowed us to introduce new tools while helping people understand why, when, and how to use them. And then we built on that individual learning by connecting people in communities who would advance and extend the practice of collaboration across the firm.

Several specific examples are provided showing how this framework is applied to different areas of the bank.

The talk concludes with how this framework can best be applied at other firms.

John Stepper

Deutsche Bank

At Deutsche Bank, I’m a technologist responsible for driving adoption of our collaboration platforms.

Prior to this, I worked on trading and risk technology at Deutsche, Morgan Stanley and NatWest Markets. And I started my career at AT&T Bell Labs where I reengineered network control centers and co-authored “Successful Reengineering”.

I graduated from Columbia University with a BA and MS in Computer Science.

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