We ran a project a while back for one of the major banks – it was for a team of about 180 people who were spread all over the country. Each member in the team historically worked, and acted, like solo performers. We helped them to restructure their work teams so that they could leverage off one another’s skills, improve their efficiency and productivity.
We also helped them to redevelop and deepen their internal and external relationships, with the purely commercial goal of increasing internal referral rates and doubling the average loan size they dealt with.
Within months we started hearing stories like, “this is the first time in years that I’ve been able to go on holidays without my phone, because now I know I’m part of team that can and will cover for me.”
Sounds simple but in terms of the quality of life of the people involved the knock-on effects were profound, with one consequence being that people who might have been candidates for burn out were able to rediscover enthusiasm for their work. We see this sort of thing all the time and it’s one of the most rewarding parts of our job.
Commercially, that division also began trading well above ‘system’ (average across all banks) and maintained their lead well into the global financial crisis.
For every commercial outcome there will be cultural consequences, and every cultural outcome will similarly bring a commercial benefit. You don’t get one without the other.