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Jo Geraghty

Director

It ain’t just what you do it’s the way that you do it

Date added: 18th Jan 2013
Category: Organisational Culture Change

The new boss of Barclays, Antony Jenkins has taken the next step in his bid to turn around the bank’s reputation and culture.  In a memo to staff Mr Jenkins has told employees to sign up to five key values or leave.  Future bonuses will be judged partly on the way employees match up to the values of respect, integrity, service, excellence and stewardship.

In announcing the new values Antony Jenkins highlighted the aggressive and profits-driven culture which had grown up in the banking sector and said that this short-termism “damaged our ability to make long-term sustainable returns.”  He went on to say that “there is no choice between integrity and profit in this business, and to pose them as opposites fundamentally misunderstands the problems the banking sector faces. This is the difference between generating short-term profits and long-term shareholder value.”

The memo hints that Barclays may well be weighing up the reputational risk of continuing to offer certain services and it certainly pulls no punches where employees are concerned.  Acknowledging that the majority of employees would welcome the new measures, Mr Jenkins addressed those who might feel unable to buy in to the new culture saying “My message to those people is simple: Barclays is not the place for you. The rules have changed. You won’t feel comfortable at Barclays and, to be frank, we won’t feel comfortable with you as colleagues.”

The road ahead won’t be an easy one as anyone who has tried to change the entrenched culture of any organisation knows. But as Mr Jenkins acknowledges, “If we combine the right values with the right strategy, we will build a more successful business, not just this year but in the years and decades that follow.”

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