Monday, 14 October 2013

We need to try and fix things

[Originally published on the Aspley Consultants website]

Another day, another media story about the banks from which we can all learn…

The latest revelations, about attempts by staff from Barclays and others to manipulate LIBOR, raise 2 specific points of interest for those of us interested in organisational learning. Firstly, there will only be lessons learned from this affair if the recommendations from any subsequent inquiries are fully implemented and their effectiveness assured.

Secondly, some coverage has focused on the need for a new banking culture to emerge from this. Naturally, I should declare an interest, but I think that a learning culture would be of great benefit to the banks, their shareholders and their customers because it would:

• Reduce the recurrence of market malpractice through more transparency;
• Reduce the impact of losing talented people and the loss of the knowledge that they take with them through its deliberate capture and socialisation;
• Reduce the risks associated with structured products through the sharing of all knowledge and the application of systems-thinking;
• Reduce the operating costs of trading through identifying frequent errors; •Increase productivity through the sharing of good practice;
• Enhance the bank’s reputation through demonstrating it has developed formal procedures for continuous improvement.

The Oil Majors developed an impressive culture of safety and learning after many years during which injuries were caused and lives were lost. Let us hope that one of the consequences of the banks’ current difficulties is similarly positive.

For information on how Knoco helps organisations develop a learning culture, please follow this link to the learning culture pages on the Knoco website.

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