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Organization Design and Culture for Financial Services Firms

Our approach combines insight and research from behavioral economics, occupational psychology, and social sciences with real-world pragmatism and execution.

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Overview

Increasingly, culture is both a strategic imperative and an area of sharp focus for regulation and board governance. Regulators have signaled their view that cultural issues are at the heart of misselling, exchange rate manipulation, and other forms of poor conduct.

Yet in the experience of BRG experts who have advised boards of financial services organizations, the effectiveness of board response varies significantly, which is surprising, given the huge potential personal and reputational exposure. The key themes emerging from their observations are:

  • Board members don’t understand cultural and behavioral drivers: there is typically a lack of education and grounding in organizational culture, systems thinking, and motivation research
  • Boards are not consistent in commissioning independent expert assessment of the current culture to better understand risk and provide evidence of effective board oversight
  • There is an insufficient understanding of the “rhetoric versus reality” gap—the difference between the leaders’ espoused values and the reality experienced by customer-facing employees

BRG experts provide advisory services, leadership education, and coaching in the areas of:

  • Cultural education and training for boards and leadership teams
  • Expert assessment and diagnosis of systemic, cultural, and structural behaviors
  • Design and execution of research-based system interventions to shift culture and performance in line with strategy

Our approach is multidisciplinary and continuously evolving. It combines insight and research from behavioral economics, occupational psychology, and social sciences with real-world pragmatism and execution. We don’t deploy a rigid in-house methodology that provides a “one size fits all” solution—we recognize each client is unique and work with clients to create the right interventions for each context. We advise our clients on a “whole system” view of behavior—understanding how to design coherence into the key behavioral drivers to deliver sustainable performance change.

Visit BRG's International Financial Services blog.

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