Capos’ culture is one that we all dream about, one that promotes friendship, equality, and happiness. Bauer and Reardon define culture as an organization’s personality, which refers to a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs that show employees what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Capos’ culture was considered an outlier to say the least, one that was driven off of “inspiration rather than motivation” according to CEO Tony Hisses.
It was the goal of the organization to empower their employees and make them feel apart of something bigger than themselves” an organization that went against the grain of “normal” corporate culture. Capos’ leadership viewed the company culture as the key differentiator between their peers.
It was this school of thought that would give them a competitive advantage over their peers. It was the organization’s goal to help build a “better world and happier place” and in order to do so they established their “10 Core Values. ” Now normally, senior leadership would normally create these values themselves however, Capos’ acted differently.
They asked their employees to decide n the core values. These “organic controls” helped ensure Capos achieve their future success, Bauer and Reardon believe that organic controls help shape employee behavior through shared values, and developing a common understanding of strategy.
By letting the “people” have ownership over their own destiny led to a tremendous amount of employee commitment. Capos’ developed these extraordinary levels of commitment by focusing on what our text describes as “common design elements. ” One of the common design elements found within the Capos culture was their clarity of organizational goals.
Their focus on employee morale and building a better place helped build their foundation on future success. They focused on teamwork and their ability to coexist with their peers both inside and outside of work help build camaraderie amongst peers. Capos helped maintain this culture by making choices around which employees to hire and how to socialize them within the existing construct in order to help strengthen the company.
Here, we saw a great example of the “Goldbricks” rule where the level of “weirdness” amongst the potential candidates was evaluated and determined to be “Just right.
Employees, even though they were paid the Industry average, received much more given this “lifestyle” which had been created especially for them. Employees enjoy free lunches, pinball machines, karaoke, and have the ability to be formally trained for management roles. This experiment on organization culture led to the following; employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and finally, investor satisfaction with the success of the business. By enabling and empowering their employees, Capos was able to organically grow Into a billion dollar company, and all by having fun.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has two very distinct cultures.
A bank culture (Bank of America) and investment firm culture (Merrill Lynch). On a regular basis, these two cultures clash, with each Jockeying for one thing or another. For the purpose of this discussion, I will focus on Merrill Lynch, and their “wild west” Like mentality. As organizations culture profile, those being; innovative, aggressive, outcome-orientated, stable, people-oriented, team-oriented, and detail-oriented. Without even a second thought, Merrill Lunch’s core dimensions would be innovative, aggressive, and outcome-orientated.
We innovate in the form of product releases and enhancements. Coincidently, we Just launched the most innovative product in our industry, Merrill Lynch One. Essentially, this product is a consolidation of five different fee-based platforms with five different fee schedules, with five different websites, with five differed…
.. You get my point. Merrill Lynch One will look to simplify and create a single experience for our financial advisors and their clients. By creating a streamlined workflow we enhanced the overall FAA and client experience.
Secondly, I believe our rim is aggressive, and my group in particular being more so than most.
Currently, I am apart of our sales organization, and like most sales organizations, competition reigns Supreme. Day in and day out, there are targets on all of our backs, each salesman, or “wealth management specialist” must outwork the others in order to get into the top bonus tier. Finally, our firm, and my group in particular is outcome orientated. Bauer and Reardon describe these cultures as those that emphasize achievement, results, and actions as important values.
Like all sales organizations, we re all outcome orientated.
We are measured on a quarterly basis by several different factors in our respective territories; total ANA (net new assets), total gross sales, total proactive sales calls, total reactive support calls, and total campaign calls to name a few. Based on the above, we are then ranked against our peers across the sales organizations in order to dewy up bonuses. The remaining four dimensions, in my mind, make up less than 20% of Merrill’s organization culture. Being in sales, our culture is based on performance. The harder we work, the more we are compensated.
I wouldn’t call it the happiest, team-oriented place in the world, but at the end of the day, we all know why we do what we do. Our formal organizational design helps us achieve our goals. We are constantly being measured against our peers and compensated accordingly. As such, we are committed to the success of our respective territories and “Mother Merrill. ” I find that information sharing exists quite a bit amongst peers as we are always asking each other questions in order to provide our advisors with quality service and support.
Even though this appears to foster a team like environment, it is not.
We are all looking to one up our peers and outperform them to get that elusive “external specialist” role. Myself in particular, I make up my own goals and I’ll do whatever I can to hit my goals (stay late, make more calls, etc. ) in order to outpace my peers. I believe that this “aggressive” sales culture has led to a very successful organization as we are currently on pace to surpass our top gross sales year since the firm was incepted in the late sass’s. In my mind, sales, and successful sales, are founded on the very dimensions discussed earlier, outcome-oriented, aggressive, and innovative.