Ivan Stendal Hansen

Ivan Stendal Hansen

Managing Director at Jyske Bank A/S - Businesses and Private Banking Denmark

Module 2, in particular, was rewarding for us when I and 12 leaders together completed the Stifinder programme in 2005 and the years following. The common task under difficult circumstances was challenging both physically and mentally. We learned to recognise each other’s peculiarities, but above all we became more conscious of our own strengths and weaknesses.

A unique team performance
This benefited us when the crisis struck – we all went to work on Sunday night, 14 September 2008, and checked and settled currencies, derivatives and interest positions. It was an extreme event when one of the world’s biggest investment banks went bankrupt, and none of us had experienced it before. but we gathered together as a group and immediately allocated the roles and faced the situation as a team. It has to be done quickly, because we knew the world would look different already on Monday morning. The banking world is highly analytical and it has also become very technically oriented. But here we acted intuitively because we relied on each other and on our experience.

The concept of high performance teams was fantastic in this context. We used it to move boundaries and it has increased our awareness of how we function as a team. Each of us has become more open and we confront each other via the tools we have been given. The tools for personal leadership which we gained under module 3 are also useful in everyday situations. They have given us a common point of reference and trained us to communicate more effectively – a single word to a colleague can often be enough.

More prepared for change
There are qualities in the Stifinder Programme which can be very rewarding in a time of crisis. For example, we’ve become more conscious of the need to remain focused and not to become fragmented, even if we meet challenges. Our preparedness for change has become much greater, even if we naturally constantly test it. But we have become aware that we need to adapt too change quickly and not fall into self-pity. We cannot do anything about the world’s economic situation here and now. Instead, it is about accepting and finding a plan B – a blockage, we need to examine what’s involved and find a feasible way through it.

Our leadership group has of course changed a little relative to the team with which I became a Stifinder with in 2005. But we’re still sending new leaders to the Stifinder programme – because it works!