Modernising the leadership competence model at KfW Bankengruppe

Our client’s concern

KfW Bankengruppe is highly committed to the selection and development of managers. The foundation for all implemented measures is the leadership competency model. Due to the constant change within and outside of the company, KfW wanted to update their competency model in a systematic process. The KI.M was assigned to support the process of modernizing the competency model.

The project

The particularity with modernizing the competency model laid within the holistic approach of the new development. All essential perspectives were systematically incorporated into the conceptualisation. The strategic perspective was represented by the higher management positions within the scope of a sounding board. The managers – as the key target group – were directly integrated into the selection of relevant competences during special management events. The employees’ perspective was also taken into account by making use of the results of the last employee survey. The content-related development was accompanied by a scientific-methodical consulting in order to reach the goal of a tangible and practical model which forms the perfect foundation both for personnel selection and development.

The result

The result of the project was on one hand a successfully modernised leadership competency model which enjoyed positive feedback due to its tangibility and the high participation. Furthermore, the project led to lively discussions during different events with regards to leadership at KfW and the relevance of different competences. 

Dr. Franziska Dietz
Dr. Franziska Dietz
Psychologist (Diploma), Managing Consultant
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1 Approach for the elaboration of the new competency model

2 Situation analysis of the model through leading questions from differing perspectives

Employee‘s perspective
  • Clarification of conceptualities?
  • Simplicity of application?
  • Acceptance of the model?
Company’s perspective
  • Adaption to strategy?
  • Orientation for managers?
  • Enhanced employer atrractiveness?
Methodical Perspective
  • Logical structure?
  • Given measurability through operationalisation?
  • Discriminatory power / no overlaps?

3 Conceptualisation of the new target model

Supplement to a complete table of competences – Comparing the KfW competency model with best-practice methods and reference models


Prioritisation of the admitted competences– Within the scope of manager workshops competences of a high relevance were identified with a pair-wise comparision. 


With the help of PaiRs© – a scientific method in which pairs are compared – the exact ranking of competences was determined by over 100 managers.

4 Operationalisation of the new competence model

For the successful implementation of the new model a reflection sheet was developed to provide guidance for employees and executives in transferring the competences to everyday work life. 

Extract from a reflection sheet on one competence
Extract from a reflection sheet on one competence

5 Perspectives of the new development

Market comparison

Benchmarking the model with other reference models from the banking sector and different industries provided the client with a comprehensive overview.

Strategic orientation

The addition of competences which are critical to success resulted in reaching the set strategic goals of KfW.

Employee’s view

In an employee survey the competences were compared with the employee’s demands regarding the leadership of their superiors.