While the Global Financial Crisis saw a number of large banks and financial houses fail, the financial services industry is generally complacent and conservative.
In this fascinating speech (presented at Chatham House) https://www.chathamhouse.org/node/18672, Antony Jenkins, outgoing Group CEO of Barclays Bank argues that unless the “incumbent” financial institutions undergo major transformation they will become “capital providing utilities” in a highly regulated, ever less profitable, environment. This will lead to huge shareholder resistance.
Change, Jenkins tells us, needs to come from the top and be value driven. He sees a growing number of non-traditional competitors scanning the financial services space vying for a share of the lucrative market. He predicts that 20-50% of branches will close and 20-50% of bankers will lose their jobs.
Success in this environment is not about having a technology strategy but about having a culture that fosters risk taking, innovation and a culture of citizenship similar to those in high tech companies where the impetus isn‘t to make more money but to change the world.
Jack Collins told us this in his 1994 book Built to Last (BTL). BTL is still considered one of the most popular studies of organisational success in modern business literature. When the essence of the study is examined, several key success factors of those companies that consistently outperformed the market emerge. Highly durable and successful companies had:
- Vision (and core values) – which were lived rather than just articulated
- Level 5 leaders – who had great humility, skill and personal strength
- Success measures other than profitability – profitability was NOT the main measure of performance
- Capacity to continuously adapt and innovate in a changing environment
- Ability to exist with paradox
- Cohesive and directed culture – supportive of excellence, innovation, creativity, controlled risk taking and experimentation
- The “company” is the ultimate creation – it is all about community that starts with the company and reaches out into the wider environment.
Radical Change and Digital Disruption
Change has speeded up dramatically since 1994. Global competition and digital opportunity (disruption) have increased. Jenkins says the change from where most incumbent financial institutions are now to where they need to be is discontinuous. This isn’t about a nice neat controllable change program – this is reinvention, transformation starting at the top. We are not looking just for a change in behaviour but a radical change in values, attitude and levels of thinking. Up until now the financial services sector have been able to be greedy, conservative and self-serving. Jenkins tells us those days are over.
How 12 Steps for Business can Help
12 Steps for Business (12SFB) is a whole organisational transformation process that can be driven either in-house or contracted to external consultants. The program is a step by step process to take organisations (including financial institutions) through the radical changes in thinking, behaviour and action that are required to support the transformation into leadership in a rapidly changing, highly competitive digital environment.
12 SFB is based on 80 years of self and group propelled practice and experience in intense individual transformation by millions of people around the globe and 30 years of application of these principles at the top of major transnationals. While not for the faint hearted, 12 SFB is for those people who want to lead in the digital age, who want to create a culture of risk taking, innovation and community. 12 SFB is a step by step process to help individuals create joy, health and freedom in their own lives; outstanding organisational success and change the world.