The Easy 5-Step Formula to Get Your Bank’s Culture Back on Track



Culture is the leading predictor of future growth and profitability. Great news if you have a great culture—otherwise, not such good news.

After working with hundreds of banks over 24 years, I can say unequivocally that banks that turn around their cultures turn around their profits quickly. It is the leading indicator…and a beautiful and fast needle mover.

And with the abundant acquisition opportunities about to hit in 2013, you know the importance of getting your own house in order before you compound the situation.

So, what’s the problem?

According to Gallup organization research, the number of disengaged employees in the last five years has gone from 30 percent of the workforce to over 70 percent! It’s hard to imagine a more alarming statistical shift for the business world.

If that’s not enough to make you want to give up, 27 percent of the workforce is receiving treatment for mental health issues while uncountable others remain untreated. With 153 million prescriptions for antidepressants written each year, know you have a lot of people who are challenged every day. Even those who are being treated are still in pain, and they tend to push that pain and […]

The Proven Formula for Sales Meetings that Create Results



Is there anything worse than a bad meeting?  Anything?  Fine, yes, world hunger, soul-crushing poverty, and violence in the Middle East.  But in the midst of a truly bad meeting, it’s easy to convince yourself that all of those problems will be distant memories before the meeting EVER ENDS.

You’d think the jury was still out on what makes a meeting work or not work.  In fact, there are a few very simple guidelines that can mean the difference between an agonizing, clockwatching dronefest and a powerful, effective meeting that creates results.

First, let’s look at the three main features of a bad meeting:

  • It’s too long.  Is this a surprise to anyone?  The Bad Meeting Hall of Fame includes very few meetings that were too short.  Make every minute count.

  • Non-pertinent items are discussed.  You have an agenda […]

The #1 Reason Bank Acquisitions Fail



hink you’re ready for an acquisition? Think you’ve got a bullet-proof plan?

Imagine if you take a “bring-it-on-and-make-it-happen-no-matter-what” bank culture where people are passionate about what they do and combine it with a group with a “sit-behind-our-desks-until-we-need-Preparation-H, whine-and-complain-about-the-economy-and-being-too-busy” group. How’s that going to work? Without a “come to Jesus, we see the light” intervention, the likelihood of being able to save many of those people is slim.

And what a costly loss that is.

Nothing trumps culture. Culture means you don’t have middle management breakdown, because they know how to lead. Culture means you have a tight system of execution and you have made winning fun. Culture means you aren’t losing 37 percent of a manager’s day dealing with dysfunctional behaviors and low performance—the current sobering average.

Here’s the good news. Despite what you’ve heard, culture transformation doesn’t take two years. It can happen in a day. Keeping it moving forward…well, that takes more time.

Don’t even think of doing an acquisition without a plan to transform and transport the culture to a level where everyone says in unison, “Thank God Its Monday!—I LOVE my bank!”

Study Shows 70% of Your Employees Are “Checked-Out” At Work (and it’s costing you!)



ave you seen the 2013 Gallup State of the American Workplace Report? It’s one of the clearest reports yet on the vital importance of having an engaged workplace culture. Among the findings were these shocking numbers:

  • Employees who are disengaged: 70%
  • Employees who are engaged: 30%

Of the 70 percent of American employees who are disengaged, 20 percent are described as “actively disengaged”—they essentially hate their jobs. This leaves fewer than one in three employees to push the rope uphill with very little help from the rest. That’s a slow train wreck for American business—and an incredibly expensive one.

Here’s why. When Gallup researchers studied the differences in performance between work units with different levels of engagement, they found that those scoring in the top half on employee engagement nearly doubled their odds of on-the-job success compared with those in the bottom half. Doubled!

This seems like good news for the folks on the upper end—until you consider the impact of all that dead weight down below. Comparing top-quartile and bottom-quartile units in engagement, you find a difference of

  • 22 percent in profitability
  • 37 percent in absenteeism
  • 65 percent in turnover
  • 48 percent safety incidents, and
  • 41 percent in quality defects

These […]

So What’s Your Story?



“Homework? Ah yes, I did my homework, but it didn’t quite make it here. Why? Well, my dog ate the homework. We took him to the vet to get the homework back, but the surgery took so long I was late to school and I think I’ll have to leave school early because my dog died and I imagine it will take weeks before I can get over the sadness enough to concentrate in school.”

Kids come up with the wildest stories to explain why they are late, why they didn’t finish homework and why they can’t come to school. It’s cute when they do it. It’s not so cute when adults do it.

Stories are something we make up or a real occurrence that we offer as an excuse for why we didn’t do what we said we were going to do. Stories are everywhere and have become so popular, we seem to think they are acceptable. They’re not. The result hasn’t changed and the fact is that circumstances could always have been overcome if there was solid commitment.

The top ten list of favorite workplace stories are:

10. My dog threw […]