Bring a non-banker into the bank and you will often hear shock about the cultural rigidity and lack of innovation. The blame game is rampant – regulators, customers, the CEO, expenses, and tradition all get the finger pointed at them in order to rationalize not trying new ideas. Anytime you hear that you are not going to do something that your customers are not asking for, that is called a “scotoma” or blind spot. By not being open to new ideas the mind looks for ways to be closed to new ideas.
Tag: Bank Culture
Elon Musk, wearing his Tesla Motors CEO hat, was upset that some employees were violating his rule that Tesla’s product shouldn’t be discounted for anyone. This precept was made famous when Mr. Musk famously wrote a personal check for the full price of his Tesla. Not negotiating and not discounting your product’s price, whether it is bank service fees, money market account or car has an important impact on economics but an even more important impact on marketing. Most of all, the concept has a massive impact on culture.
If there is one thing your bank needs to be successful it is not more technology, a more profitable loan product or new fee income services. What your bank needs is culture and specifically, the ability to adapt. While that sounds like a trite business book topic and can easily be dismissed as pabulum, it is critical to success and only a few banks have it. CEO’s may talk about it, management teams think they are adaptable, but when you look at the actions of a bank, it is extremely rare that a bank demonstrates it - Umpqua does, as does Chase and Wells.
If you are a bank that believes delivering superior service is a function of being friendly and knowing your customers, then likely your bank lacks a strategic advantage.
Recently, Toshiba Corporation made the news for inflating earnings by at least $1.2B over the last seven years. Executives had to resign in disgrace. We are not interested in casting aspersions at Toshiba, but we do believe that at least one reason for this corporate governance failure is a lack of appropriate corporate values. The company’s public core statement is “Committed to people and to the future.” It further states that its activities are “attuned to the regions and communities where we work help maint
This week we are holding our sold out Bank Management Conference at the Ritz-Carlton at Amelia Island, FL. One reason we hold it at the Ritz each year is to remind bankers, and ourselves, what great customer service is all about. While there are many elements that go into the Ritz-Carlton experience, there are two that largely drive the majority of the experience and when used together, can be a powerful competitive weapon at your bank. The first element we will cover today and the second tomorrow. For today, the first element is – empowerment.
We are at the Western Independent Bankers this week and the most interesting presentation of the day came from Cort O’Haver, the Senior EVP for Umpqua Bank and new co-President of Sterling (their latest acquisition) on how their bank deals with uncertainty. In addition to looking like Ray Davis, tan and all, Cort sang from the same sheet of music as Ray as he talked about how Umpqua is positioned to deal with change.