The Culture Challenge

Written by EO Executives on Oct 25, 2016

Over the last four years Executives Online have provided senior Executives to Challenger Banks of all sizes. Ranging from small start- ups at seed funding stage, through to those with a banking license and high growth, these banks have one thing in common... people that thrive off a driven culture. 

Often founded by HNW individuals or PE / VC backed, Challenger banks are growing at a rapid and advancing pace, but this success it not without hard work and determination. There is often a perception that starting your own business will give you a better life balance and allow you to work less hours. If you think that your are in for a big surprise. Every successful start up I have worked with have proved to be highly driven, work at great pace and put in the extra hours.

What Do Challenger Banks want?

Our clients always tell me they have two key needs. Firstly, like any successful organisation they need high caliber individuals that have a proven track record of delivery in their discipline. Secondly, these individuals need be the right cultural fit.

What does 'cultrual fit' mean exactly? A client of mine once described the perfect cultural fit an individual that is "comfortable with being uncomfortable". They are also:

  • Unphased by continual change
  • Doers. They may have worked in a large banking and led a team of 100 but now have a team of one (there in no one to delegate to)
  • They have a practical and pragmatic approach
  • Adaptable
  • Energetic and can work at pace, addressing multiple issues

Business Executive and author Jack Welch, once described the key characteristics he looks for as 'The four E's" :

  • Energy
  • Energise, motivate the team
  • Edge, make the difficult calls
  • Execute and deliver

These characteristics are all very applicable to what our clients and many industry leaders want from the individuals they hire.  

It is important to remember that people are the key ingredient to any business. So, if you're a PE business, HNW investor or CEO looking for guidance on how to place the right level of individuals into your business, please get in contact on 01962 893300 for a confidential discussion.

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