Magazine article American Banker

Tips for Making Radical Change in Your Bank's Corporate Culture

Magazine article American Banker

Tips for Making Radical Change in Your Bank's Corporate Culture

Article excerpt

Every sort of company needs a unifying vision for its work force, shareholders, and customers. That's especially true for banks, because the financial services industry is consolidating and homogenizing fast.

Focus on who you want to be; visualize the kind of company that will be successful in the future; focus on that vision instead of on your past.

Incremental change may not be the way to go. Consider getting radical making a dramatic departure from your current vision and corporate culture.

To compensate for drastic change, you need to care about the employees and business more than ever. Try to catch people doing the right thing, and acknowledge them for doing so. We are too good at catching people making mistakes, and not good enough at recognizing excellence. Though it is time for "tough love" in most organizations, it is also time for truly caring and nurturing management.

One sure way to change culture is to revise the reward and compensation system.

Rewarding people for trying does not send the right signal; though "A for effort" is important, shareholders can't eat effort- they can only eat results. Employees who do not contribute enough to changing the culture and realizing the new organizational vision should get hit in the pocketbook, as shareholders will. Design a reward system that motivates your employees; as long as they perform, you know that the system is working.

To support the reward system, measure the results and track progress. Do so to identify small victories (to share across the company) as well as pockets of resistance to change (which you can isolate and address). …

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