Developing 21st Century Enlightened Leadership In Your Bank

Look forward to a series of articles on enlightened leadership for organizational evolution. This first one will introduce change and inspire leadership.  Change starts with you.

Simply said, organizations don’t change.  Executives and employees are the ones who change, and as a result, organizations evolve.  All too often, executives and employees become comfortable in their habitual ways of doing things and rigid in their thought processes. However, as the pace of change continues to quicken, having an organization that can adapt, flex and evolve is essential to remaining successful.  At every level of a bank, supervisors, managers and executives must become a catalyst for the necessary changes and develop  their abilities to inspire employees to want to change.  To do this, you must be willing to be the first in your department to change.

Know What You’re Dealing With

When it comes to effective organizational change, think of a bell curve.  Imagine that the receptivity of employees to change in your bank were to be placed on the curve.  If there were 100 employees in your bank, here’s generally how your organization and employee population would break down:

  • 15% of your employees would be open and enthusiastic about a new direction or a new system.
  • 15% of your employees would be negative and resistant to change while preferring to keep doing things as they always had.
  • 70% of your employees representing that fat middle portion of the bell curve would neither be enthusiastically open nor negatively resistant to change.  They’re lukewarm about it and most likely trying to figure out “what does this mean to me?”.  This 70% would be somewhere between “cautiously optimistic” and “somewhat concerned” about the new direction.

As a manager, it is important to assess and “read” your team prior to, and during, a change initiative.. Getting employees bought-in and receptive to change is a crucial, difficult and a fluid job.  At different times, employees can become more positive or more negative. This will largely depend on what they’re being asked to do and how difficult or easy the change is for them. Employees often need to be managed and coached differently in order for them to feel comfortable changing their behavior.

In October’s blog, we’ll be discussing how enlightened leaders create an environment that’s conducive for change to occur.