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Financial Executives: Before It’s Too Late, Stop The Executive Illusion


Ignorance is bliss.   

But it’s risky – and expensive.  I call it The Executive Illusion. 

The Executive Illusion is: 

The financial organization is operating effectively, efficiently, and calmly based on its ability to produce consistent and reliable results supported by measures, metrics, and management opinion. 

Is this true? Has it been tested…really tested?  

Are you willing to bet your career on it?  

If one takes the time to test it, often what is discovered is: 

  • a fragile détente between combative organizations 
  • siloed groups operating outside accepted norms 
  • cross communications using different understandings 
  • gross inefficiencies, broken processes, and low morale 

For many financial institutions, the truth is unfortunately discovered – and the illusion shattered during a transformative event such a core replacement, acquisition and/or digital transformation when the risk is extremely high.  

The question is: how to uncover the illusion before it explodes in your financial institution and shakes it to the core? 

Financial Institutions, You Must Assess Your Level of Reality 

If you’re rushing to achieve results, slow down. 

You need to know your banking organization’s capacity and competency to deliver on your promises to the board of directors. Before embarking on any major transformative event, it is wise to conduct an enterprise assessment and understand its findings.  

A deep multi-level inquiry and investigation will: 

  • spotlight the structural risks within the organization 
  • expose combative groups  
  • show communication gaps and misunderstandings 
  • rattle middle management 
  • uncover rogue teams 

A good enterprise assessment goes deep into the financial organization and: 

  • asks expertly crafted questions at every level from executives, through management to contributors, along with sample customers and vendors to get a holistic view 
  • objective-based evidence is gathered at every level to support or disprove findings 

A holistic enterprise assessment will discover your banking organization’s competency and capacity in:  

  • Leadership/Strategy 
  • Customer Focus 
  • Culture/People 
  • Operations 
  • Technology 
  • Sustained Process Improvement 
  • Quality Systems 
  • Innovation 

If It’s Broke, Fix It. Don’t Wait. 

It’s a given – every financial organization has areas of strength and weakness. Are you still buying into your Bogus Belief? 

A Gilman Patrick Enterprise Assessment provides a clear understanding of your organization’s risks, strengths, and weaknesses. 

The assessment also provides a ‘Crawl, Walk & Run” action plan that focuses on low hanging fruit and high reward initiatives to jumpstart the organization’s readiness for transformative change.   

With an Enterprise Assessment, you’ll know exactly where your financial institution is strong, where it’s weak – and most importantly, how to achieve strength, greater efficiency, and success in every area. 

Isn’t well-rounded success the goal of your organization? 

Discover the Doers and Uncover the Slackers 

Are you ready for a management reality check?  

It’s been my experience that most individuals do the best they can every day to meet management objectives and customer expectations. These are the people working every day to make sure the organization functions for customers, management, and executives.    

However, it’s often a thankless job and the odds are stacked against them.  

Most organizations are a cacophony of broken processes, antiquated systems, workarounds, and low morale. 

An assessment will shine a spotlight on this chaos and hold management accountable.  

While there are plenty of positive contributors in financial organizations, there are those that resist change and hinder your organization’s goals. 

I’ve found that management has the most to lose during a transformative event – and they know it. Often they blame individual contributors for resistance when in fact it’s them.  

An inquisitive assessment performed by a third party with a guarantee of anonymity allows individual contributors an opportunity to speak freely. 

Is Everyone On the Same Page – or in a Different Book? 

Your fellow executives also have differing points of view and tolerances to risk that may affect outcomes. Oftentimes a sound assessment briefing is exactly what executives need to instigate discussions, negotiations, and agreements.  

The goal of the assessment is to seek themes among many – and not individual points of view. There are times, however, when something grievous is discovered and must be delivered immediately to executives.  

A through assessment will reveal if everyone is on the same page. 

If you’re wondering whether a detailed assessment is needed in your organization, I suggest this test: 

Can you and your fellow executives agree on the answer to this one question: 

What is our definition of success? 

If you can’t agree, you’re already in trouble. 

Progressive, Innovative Solutions Tailored to the Banking and Financial Industry 

How do you translate aspirations into action and intention into reality?  

That’s where Gilman Patrick comes in.  

In this everchanging financial climate, you need a partner that can see the forest through the trees, providing a clear view of your organization, and developing a roadmap to help shift your perspective and free your imagination to help create the possibilities of tomorrow. 

Gilman Patrick LLC offers an Enterprise Assessment: 

  • 45 days to a deep understanding of your organization’s risks, competencies, and capacities 
  • outlined in a meaningful presentation to executives that can be used to support or delay transformative initiatives 
  • to support board of director decision making and set executive expectations 
  • to hold management accountable to objectives and (hopefully) relieve employees 

Contact us to learn more about conducting an enterprise assessment for your organization.  

The time is NOW – before the “everything is running fine” illusion is shattered. 

I also understand that not all financial institutions have the means to move forward. For this reason, I’m also pleased to offer you access to our valuable enterprise assessment tools for your use.  

Please note this is a right to use (not to copy or publish) and all other rights are reserved to Gilman Patrick LLC.   

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