BLACK-BOX THINKING WORKSHOP: MARGINAL GAINS AND HIGH PERFORMANCE

Wealth Management & Private Banking

Wealth Management & Private Banking

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Experts: Kathy Weeks - Matthew Syed Consulting

Moderator: Jenny Kvaskova - Scorpio Consulting  

Key Message

Marginal gains are achieved by breaking down a complex process into smaller digestible components and improving each part to drive performance.

Headlines

The workshop explored the challenges of a “fixed mind-set” culture vs. a “growth mind-set” culture in the context of wealth management.

Regulatory pressures mean that wealth management businesses have a tendency to adopt a fixed mind-set and hierarchical cultural traits to enforce compliance.

Firms might want to consider how to address this, so that when errors occur, they are not “blamed” on any individual, but assessed in terms of systemic problems versus problems due to a lack of skill or effort. This produces the framework for organisational learning and improvement.

Key themes

The workshop explored the differences between fixed mind-set cultures and growth mind-set cultures. Organisations with a fixed mind-set generally believe their achievements are due to talent. Individuals within these organisations therefore can become defensive when asked to complete certain tasks they may deem ‘below them’; they are less able to take feedback on board because it is seen as a challenge to their ego, knowledge, or ability.

By comparison, people with growth mind-sets are more adaptable, open to change and feedback, looking for new ways to understand results.

Organisations that display a growth mind-set often display the following characteristics:

  • Growth leaders – surround themselves with a strong team and want to be challenged
  • Empowered team members – everyone feels they have a voice
  • Honest about data – they use data to improve performance rather than validate the status quo
  • Don’t just hire for talent – consider resilience, determination and effort
  • Operate a ‘no blame’ culture – use mistakes as a resource for improvement

In general, wealth managers recognise the importance of a growth mind-set to delivering a high-standard of service to their clients. However, regulatory pressures mean there are areas of their business where there is a tendency to operate more hierarchically and with a more fixed mind-set.

In turn, this can create an environment where relationship teams are fearful about owning up to mistakes, potentially storing up additional compliance risks.

Conclusions

When errors occur, wealth managers need to determine the extent to which the errors are the result of systemic issues, a lack of skills or a lack of effort and take remedial action across the organisation with the goal of empowering and supporting teams to improve future performance.

 


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