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The banking jobs : Leader of the Transformation Project
A wind of change is blowing through the Group. Employees dedicated entirely to the transformation of the company are providing momentum for the future. Among them is Grégory Gourdin, in charge of the Transformation Project. Let’s take a closer look at a job that balances human nature with technical know-how.
What do you do as Leader of the Transformation Project at BNP Paribas?
My role is to help our various entities implement their operational and digital transformation projects in the context of the Group’s strategic plan for 2020. In addition to providing them with technical support to optimize their processes and professionalize their project management, I try to foster a collaborative culture and to promote more flexible and open ways of doing things.
The Transformation Branch has a number of teams, specializing in one business segment or cross-discipline. Within the Consulting & Transformation Department recently created, there are 40 employees on the Group’s cross-disciplinary transformation team, with a target of 120 in the next two years.
Why is transformation such an important matter for BNP Paribas?
In order to build the bank of the future it is essential to ensure constant evolution in a changing world to adapt to the omnipresence of new technologies and regulatory developments. All our business lines are involved. The Group’s transformation plan should therefore help us to better anticipate our customers’ expectations and to construct a suitable offer, while changing mentalities internally.
Also, some of our entities have their own consulting and transformation teams to provide this momentum. Others use us and our cross-disciplinary vision to help them implement the plan.
it is essential to ensure constant evolution in a changing world to adapt to the omnipresence of new technologies and regulatory developments.
Tell us about a project that you are working on at the moment.
Currently, I am helping an entity to certify the quality of its financial reporting data. In order to do this, we are helping them to put reference frameworks in place, a table of criteria relating to data processing, and to introduce monitoring and control systems. In total, this three-year mission is made up of 25 sub-projects. Apart from achieving regulatory targets, we aim to spread a genuine data culture within the entity. In order to do that, we are also helping to introduce specific governance involving the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Data Officer and the various heads of customer and business lines.
What are the qualities required to do this job?
In order to succeed in this position, you have to be a seasoned project leader, an expert in the new working methods of the Agile and Design Thinking kind, and a change management specialist. Personal qualities of curiosity and an ability to listen are also very important, because change is often difficult for the people involved. Helping those staff requires empathy, availability and intuition—in short, emotional intelligence.
We are not there to provide ready-made solutions, but to observe, listen and understand before guiding the staff toward tailor-made solutions.
One also has to have a certain humility—keeping a low profile (“proposing” rather than “imposing”) while being proactive and bringing forward proposals. We are not there to provide ready-made solutions, but to observe, listen and understand before guiding the staff toward tailor-made solutions. We work in French and in English. You have to be convincing in both languages and effectively get your messages across both in writing and orally.
This is a job that has to be learnt, aimed at both those with experience and younger people with a background in project and change management, people who thrive on coordination and facilitation, and want to get involved in contributing to customer success.
You joined BNP Paribas in this position in January 2018. What attracted you to the Group?
I had already been part of the Group between 2001 and 2006, in operational positions. After a period in banking and financial consultancy, I decided to rejoin the company to give my career new impetus. When I saw the advert on the BNP Paribas LinkedIn page, I immediately tried my luck. For me, this role combines areas that I am excited about—consultancy and banking—with the field of transformation, and the possibility of working with several business lines. Thus, I can explore the various challenges facing the Group. The thing that I like most about BNP Paribas is its open, dynamic and multi-cultural environment. These are assets that enable it to deal with current challenges with confidence and humility.
Do you have any stories to share with us?
Because the Transformation team recruits on a yearly basis, we have chosen the dragonfly to symbolize our January 2018 intake. This insect, which is agile, adaptable and has 360° vision, is the perfect incarnation of the qualities of our entity.
Also, at the end of one of the training courses conducted in partnership with the École Polytechnique, one of our colleagues gave each member of the team a metal dragonfly as a gift. They now have pride of place in the team’s offices alongside the mascots of each year’s intake.
“ Be natural and enthusiastic. And, above all, don’t be afraid to change or to promote change. Have confidence in yourself. ”
Leader of the Transformation Project
What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
One of my challenges on a daily basis is to get people or departments that don’t usually communicate with each other to work together. You have to be able to get people together and create cohesion within the group, to get each person to see the shared challenges that will help them to collaborate.
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