I believe the culture of your organization is your golden egg.
In this episode, I’m going to share with you how to protect your bank from the carnage that often results from bringing in executives who don’t get your culture.
If you feel like your executive team is ready to run a bank twice its current size, and the next-in-line are also ready to do the same, don’t go anywhere, because I have a few nuggets for you to make your situation even better.
On the other hand, you might be looking around the table at your executive team meetings and seeing a lot of gray hair, and not be absolutely convinced that the next string could run a bank twice the size within a few years. If that’s you, you’re going to love what I have to share with you, because it can solve this before it’s too late.
If you’re somewhere in between, that’s typical, and you’ll love knowing that you can protect your momentum and decrease the chance of an “oh my gosh—we didn’t see that coming” moment.
There are a few trials and tribulations to getting your next executive ready.
First, your current team may be operating so well that the people beneath them haven’t really had a chance to develop their skills and their ways of being.
In other cases, there are too few candidates internally that want the life of an executive, and they’ve made that clear. So you can’t even identify at least three people who are candidates for each executive slot.
Most challenging, some banks think they’ll solve the problem by recruiting when they are ready. The Society for Human Resources and Management has statistics showing that only 1/3 of all managers and above placed in a new firm are there a year later. It’s a huge risk… that they won’t work out, or worse, that they will destroy your culture.
It seems like most banks have at least one of these three issues.
I’m now going to give you four steps that will get you some traction on getting a workable solution in place to make sure your organization doesn’t hit the wall with unprepared executives.
Step 1: You don’t want the approaches for succession planning where a successor to the throne is listed, and then people sit and wait for their turn. You need to have at least three people selected for each position, each of which should have a working plan to get up to speed on not just the skillset of the job but also how to be an executive.
Step 2: Realize that growing your own is always a better alternative than using headhunters. But “growing” doesn’t happen without adherence to an extreme education and development plan.
Step 3: Beyond the thinking of “just teach them the skillsets,” what makes an executive an executive and not a manager is critical thinking skills. Uncommon sense. The ability to quickly sort through options, see the forest for the trees, and pull out what doesn’t matter so that a fast decision can be made. A recent study showed that CEOs said their biggest problem was having enough talent to move into the C-suite. From talking with hundreds of bank executives each month, it’s an extreme issue in banking that could cost hundreds of banks their very existence.
Step 4: In contrast to the “sit and wait” approach, getting that executive- in-waiting an executive coach or executive education is imperative. This goes far beyond the Graduate School of Banking, where people learn how banking works. They need an education on how to systematically and reliably make more money with less risk.
So, four steps. First, get a succession plan with at least three in line for every position, and get them tracking fast. Second, get the growth and development plan kicked off and institutionalized. Third, beyond the skill sets, they need to learn to reason like executives. And finally, they need to understand what really works to make money—the new game of banking.
By having your executive development and succession plan in the works, you can assure that your bank gets the privilege of continuing and doesn’t have to go up on the block even if you are running a top-performing bank.
Join me next time when I’ll show you how to build more accountability in your executive team.