February 3, 2015

Banking Culture:  Change Starts at the Top

Banks face an unignorable moment. It’s great that culture is all the buzz, but surveys and monitoring communication won’t be enough to build an ethical culture. Culture shows up every time bankers use their judgment to make decisions – decisions based on agreements embedded over time about how to succeed. The stronger the history of success, the more difficult to change company culture.

 

Changing banking culture means changing everyday behavior under tremendous pressure not to. Pressure comes from the top. Adjusting it can’t be delegated to others. Committed leaders - boards and executives themselves - need to invest the time to make explicit the often unspoken, but well understood, agreements about how judgments are made, and to face the risk that comes with changing them.

 

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