Changing Bank Environment Calls for New Management Style; Bank of America's Revised Human Resources Strategy Focuses on Flexibility and People Rather Than Procedures

By Beck, Robert N. | American Banker, July 30, 1984 | Go to article overview

Changing Bank Environment Calls for New Management Style; Bank of America's Revised Human Resources Strategy Focuses on Flexibility and People Rather Than Procedures


Beck, Robert N., American Banker


The financial services industry is undergoing radical change. The passage from a highly regulated to a deregulated -- but competitive -- environment has forced us to rethink such fundamental issues as what we stand for, who we serve, and what the principles are by which we will operate our business in the future.

The nature and magnitude of this change means the future will continue to be ambiguous and we must respond with a strategy that is flexible and a management team whose style is based on people rather than procedures.

BankAmerica Corporation's (BAC) human resource strategy is changing to better support our business strategy. Our goals are to build flexibility into the organization, to provide a climate that unleashes the creativity and innovativeness in our people, and to ensure that these qualities are reinforced and rewarded at all levels of the business.

Risk-taking must replace rule-following, and the rewards for success must clearly outweight the penalties of failure. To meet this challenge, all human resource systems have been reviewed, modified, and/or strengthened accordingly and are tday in a state of considerable change.

In early 1983, our senior management evaluated its current culture to determineif the vision of what we stand for and intend to achieve was sufficiently clear and well understood. It also analyzed the values motivating the daily behavior of our employees to see if they were sufficiently in tandem with our heritage and future goals.

The results of this exercise were revealing. Some very fundamental issues had become blurred during a period of regulation and compliance, and the principles by which we wanted to manage our businesses were not uniforly understood. It was recognized, therefore, that in order to move an organization of our size in the right direction, our vision, values, and strategies needed to be much more clearly understood by all employees, customers, and communities.

As a result, senior management -- drawing heavily on employee input -- committed itself to clarifying our vision, values, and strategies and presenting them in a way that could be widely understood. The process helped bring back into focus a philosophy for the future that drew heavily on the tenets of the past.

In early 1984, the corporation's vision, values, and strategies were published in the form that could be widely distrubuted. The challenge now facing us is to integrate these concepts into the daily actions of our managers and employees.

From a human resource perspective, this process of integration involves: communication; the development of managers who embody the values of the organization; and recognition and reward systems that ensure that people are considered the organization's primary resource for meeting its business objectives. Even though achieving this goal will take several years -- or be ongoing -- significant progress has already been made in just six months.

Many of the management policies and practices here were based on a culture of compliance during years of heavy government regulation. The rigid bureaucracy created during this period developed in many managers a fear of risk taking. The result was a rule book orientation that no longer worked for managers in today's highly ambiguous, deregulated environment.

Managers still need guidance, but must also have the flexibility to take risks and make their own decisions within the context of clearly understood vision and values. Development of these managers now focuses on building skills they can use to help their employees cope with rapid organizational changes; to help them understand the mission of their organization; and to help them define their role an the contribution they can make toward the realization of that mission.

Training System Adapted

Increasingly, managers are concentrating departmental effort on the bank's success and inspiring employee goals that complement this thrust. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Changing Bank Environment Calls for New Management Style; Bank of America's Revised Human Resources Strategy Focuses on Flexibility and People Rather Than Procedures
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.