Most of us ‘feel’ bankers are suspect when it come to honesty, and ripe for some Change Management – alongside is the Gallup research that shows that. Being pillars of the economy does not translate to pillars of society.
Now a revealing study in Nature that exposes a cheating culture.
The study reveals a Jekyll and Hyde nature in bankers. The study found that bankers have a tendency to be honest when being themselves, but dishonest when thinking like bankers. It’s akin to a personality disorder. And the results are specific to bankers in the study because when other professions were tested this schizo-behaviour didn’t manifest.
We’ve discussed aspects of this culture issue before; how culture starts at the top and weakens down the line. The study doesn’t explain why bankers are cheats, or what aspect of the culture from the top engenders it. But it’s a case of Change Management at the top needed.
And we’ve also discussed Change Management: simple ways to change culture. Once you have a plan, follow the four steps:
- Communicate the plan: clear, concise, consistent, constant.
- Ensure easy to remember values. Keep the list short; keep it simple.
- introduce simple programs to change culture. And measure the change.
- Work on modifying the productivity drivers to support the change (e.g. is ruthlessness rewarded? Change that). In a competitive customer focused organisation, the drive for sales impacts on culture.
As the Wall Street Journal discussed here perhaps bankers, for a start, would benefit with a changed Code of Conduct, more like the Hippocratic Oath.
And it’s worth noting that the Mortgage Brokers Association of Australia has periodically sacked large numbers of members for not being up-to-scratch.