Who ever doubted that happy employees were key to success?


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When you ask the question like that it seems preposterous that there are any employers out there who actually ever thought “differently”!?

Even more bizarre when you realise that some prominent companies in the insurance industry (particularly brokers focused on growth…at any cost) prefer to continue to ignore the detrimental impact upon their business – of a "bad" culture or environment – preferring instead to “blame” employees if/when they don’t “buy-in” to flawed strategies or a Corporate Culture that is more about “the model” that it ever was about “the customer”.

The tell-tale signs are there for all to see: low morale; high staff turnover; high growth targets; focus on price, sales and marketing; low renewal retention, etc.

Give employees freedom within a framework to improve the customer experience

There aren’t too many “happy employees” within organisations driven by Greed, Fear & Ego and if employers don’t recognise the contribution of their own staff to the success of the operation, it really doesn’t bode well for how the company’s “leaders” treat their customers and other stakeholders! 

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Lord Turner “calls it how it is” but even a Public Inquiry may not restore trust


FSA Chairman Adair Turner For a flavour of just why Lord Adair is talking in such terms this extract from the FSA report into the collapse of RBS (published late last year) should help:

“the multiple poor decisions that RBS made suggest that there are likely to have been underlying deficiencies in RBS management, governance and culture which made it prone to make poor decisions.”

Of course this is not the full extent of what went wrong at RBS – I actually don’t believe that this statement adequately covers the scandalous £12bn rights issue, “forced” by Hector Sants (former FSA CEO), aided and abetted by, such as, Goldman Sachs, UBS & Merrill Lynch  IF THIS ISN’T A SPECTAULAR FAILURE OF CORPORATE GOVERNANCE BY GOODWIN AND HIS FORMER CO-DIRECTORS I DON’T KNOW WHAT IS – but they are not the only “guilty” parties. Just the worst in UK…and that is before we learn the extent of RBS involvement in Libor rate-fixing.

So, if the original crimes weren’t enough to justify the “Public Inquiry” that Cameron and Osborne were so keen on, when they were in opposition in 2008(!), perhaps this latest scandal will change things. But I won’t hold my breath!

The fact of the matter is that, such an inquiry would have to ask far too many awkward questions implicating far too many influential firms and figures within, not only, banking but in Politics, FSA and “big four” Accountants.

So, in the meantime, it is a case of Business as Usual with banks and bankers believing themselves to be “above the law”! Content to treat customers, depositors, shareholders and Regulators with utter contempt.

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Beware the “Business as Usual” mentality!:: Grant Thornton risk report


“The evidence is that the current heightened risk management activity is part of the traditional cycle associated with economic downturns rather than a fundamental rethink. I am concerned that the corporate world has not learned the lessons.”

Grant Thornton

Insurance broking: What do you do when you’re in a hole?


STOP DIGGING!

Easy isn’t it?

Why then does an industry, I care dearly about (sad I know), refuse to do so?

Too many leaders are so immersed in the prevailing culture that they will readily recruit, at great expense, “Development Executives” to go out in a desperate effort to attract the volumes of new business that their budget forecasts dictate. Then get twitchy and irritable even when a “successful” conversion rate (in the current market 2 – 3:10) fails to deliver the results they hoped for.

That’s the way the market is…deal with it! Because you sure as hell can’t change it by sticking to what may have served you well in the past and is pretty similar to what everyone else is doing.

How much would a company pay to recruit an Executive who would add 10% to company earnings? Would you believe them? Read more of this post

Revisited: RBS Bonuses, Bullying & (more) BS


I had a sick – disgusted – feeling in the pit of my stomach when I read these statements:

Banking: Stephen Hester, chief executive at RBS, yesterday told the Commons public accounts committee that he was “low paid” compared to people in equivalent jobs. (Scotsman page 11).

At the same meeting Eric Daniels, former chief executive of Lloyds, angered MPs by suggesting that the banking crisis was good for the UK.

It did bring to mind an old blog item that does still make me smile…

RBS Bonuses, Bullying & (more) BS BBC News – Royal Bank of Scotland announces £3.6bn of losses In the style of “Points of View”: Why oh why oh why are we subjected to numerous column inches, hours of discussion, Select committee interviews, general politicking and bullsh*t on what are patently SYMPTOMS!? It is all just further evidence that it is the CULTURE that needs to change before anything else of any real significance or permanence will occur. As far as RBS is concerned, it … Read More

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