REPAIR YOUR CULTURE
You've done an assessment, you have found some challenges in your culture. How do you respond?
When you complete an assessment of your organization's culture, you may discover that your culture is not tight enough to confer the competitive advantage, the effectiveness and nimbleness, that you are after. (For more about what I mean by a "tight culture," see the "Culture & Competitive Advantage" page.
Remember that a tight culture helps you in a couple of ways:
- In a tight culture, the strategies devised at the top are truly delivered at the front line, and
- A tight culture enjoys effective communication practices that spread new ideas, strategies, and practices throughout the organization quickly, with a nimbleness that delivers a powerful competitive advantage
To enjoy those benefits, you need:
- Common knowledge among various employees and functions of what is important and how things are to be done;
- Explicit communication efforts designed to nurture a tight culture; and
- Supporting systems and documents to anchor and support desired practices.
Jeff Judy & Associates addresses those needs with:
- Training and curriculum development in banking practices, from credit analysis to loan structure to portfolio management to relationship management.
- Consulting and education in effective communication practices.
- Consulting on credit policy and process, key elements in capturing and supporting a tight credit culture, as well as ...
- Consulting on risk management practices.
Reinforce Preferred Practices with Training
Many of my clients respond to culture issues, whether already known to them or exposed through an assessment, with training. Indeed, many clients book me for training events even as they are assessing their culture (for which they receive a discount).
When is training part of the solution? And why wouldn't you wait until the assessment is done before booking training activities?
There are many ways that clients address disparities in vision and practices within their organization. The most common ways of applying training to strengthen the culture include:
- Reviewing and enhancing communication patterns. When the leadership's message is not being applied at every level and location of the organization, finding the weaknesses and addressing them with better approaches can make a huge difference to the culture. My team of associates offers communication expertise, specific to the banking environment, including standard services that can be bundled with your culture assessment.
- Reinforcing core banking practices. There are many reasons that different groups within your organization might have different understandings of credit analysis, or financial analysis, or loan structuring, or handling problem loans. Sometimes mergers or acquisitions bring different cultures together. Sometimes individual charters that have enjoyed a lot of independence for years are being drawn into a more consistent, centralized systems. And sometimes it has been a long time since some staff have explicitly reviewed core practices, so that, say, experienced employees and more recent hires are badly out of synch. In all of these situations, training can bring your workforce back together and ensure consistent application of accepted practices.
- Developing a custom curriculum. Adapting standard training to more closely reflect the language, processes, forms, organizational structure, market, and other unique attributes of your bank can significantly enhance its impact on your employees. When you need a more comprehensive training program, or a more customized program, look into my curriculum development services.
Training, Assessment, and Timing
Naturally, some clients know when they contact me that they have issues with consistent practices or effective communication. They may my help in addressing those issues, without any culture assessment at all.
Others sense that they have inconsistencies within the organization, perform an assessment, and then use the results to make decisions about the need for consulting and training services.
But some engage me and my associates before the assessment is completed. Why?
- As mentioned above, when you are already aware of regional differences, or "hangover" differences from acquisitions or mergers, you know you need some training on banking practices.
- Sometimes awareness that current communication patterns are producing less than satisfactory results prompts the culture assessment. In that case, help with better communication patterns can begin to enhance management/communication skills, while the results of the assessment will help pinpoint where those enhanced skills need to be applied.
- Bundling services together can reduce costs. Communication consulting and training services can be offered at a discount when they are closely tied to an assessment project.
Meeting Your Needs
Training on banking practices is such an important tool in supporting a tight, effective culture that it has its own section on my site. Please visit the training services page for more about the subjects I have taught, the clients I have served, and the curriculum development services I offer.
For more about our approach to enhancing your communication patterns, please continue on to the "Making Communication Work" page to learn about our most popular offerings.
And you may also wish to review our consulting services around Credit Policy and Process, supporting your efforts to capture, standardize, and reinforce key elements of your culture and practices.
Continue on to Making Communication Work ...