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Anne Boden at Starling Bank: Disrupting an industry

By Herminia Ibarra, Luisa Alemany, Nick Mickshik, Ken Mark


The case describes the start-up and evolution of UK-based digital bank Starling. Founded in 2014, Starling offered personal and business accounts, and lending products, promising a better customer-service experience, faster approvals and a more digital-friendly approach than traditional banks. By 2022, a European expansion was underway, along with plans to provide the bank’s proprietary technology as software-as-a-service outside Europe and prepare for an IPO. The case analyses the leadership style of Starling’s founder and highly atypical leader, Anne Boden, and the corporate culture established under her leadership.

Learning objectives

  1. Analyse the role of leader/founder in articulating a disruptive vision and creating a business and organisation that delivers on their vision.
  2. Elaborate concepts of leadership styles, and situational leadership in particular.
  3. Elaborate concepts of organisational culture, focusing on the role of leaders and key early events in creating culture and embedding it in organisational processes, systems and lore.
  4. Explore the leadership challenges that arise in scaling organisations.


Publication Date: June 2022
LBS Case Code: CS-22-002
Topic: ,
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Industry: ,
Geography: , ,
Pages: 16
Format: pdf