Derek Bishop


A Culture of Challenge

Date added: 21st Feb 2016
Category: Organisational Culture Change

Having an open, interactive and challenging culture not only helps to drive customer excellence...

You probably don’t need me to tell you about the way in which organisational culture permeates and influences every aspect of a business. After all, it seems as though virtually every business failure over the last decade has at some level been blamed on the way in which the leadership set (or failed to set) the organisational culture; with business success also being attributed in the same way.

The latest example of the importance of culture comes from the FCA’s thematic review of research and due diligence within financial advice firms. In general, the review was positive with firms being able to demonstrate good practice on the work they did to understand the products and services which they recommend to their clients. As with any review, there were some areas in which room for improvement was identified, notably in the way in which firms were able to challenge themselves as part of the due diligence process.

Perhaps as you would expect, those firms which were identified as having a good level of research and due diligence also had a good culture of challenge. This included having processes in place which enabled and encouraged staff to question the firm’s approach. However, where this culture of challenge was missing the review found that there could be “a bias towards the status quo with firms not questioning why they continued to recommend certain products and services.”

Having an open, interactive and challenging culture not only helps to drive customer excellence, it is a prerequisite for building a culture of innovation which delivers game changing solutions for the benefit of the business, its customers and its people.

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