By Bernstel, Janet Bigham
Publication: ABA Bank Marketing
Date: Tuesday, April 1 2003
While trying to institute any new initiative in your bank, you’re bound to run into the profit pirates. These are the “We’ve tried that before and it didn’t work” naysayers most of us have encountered in office environments. How effective is a profit pirate in his/her negativity campaign? Here’s a grim statistic that should make any marketing executive pause before launching another new program. Despite all your painstaking months of research and development, your new initiative has about 90 days to live.
“When you try to make a philosophical change, about 30 percent of your staff will be resistant and will do everything they can to make sure that it doesn’t go through,” claims Nolan Knight, executive vice president …
The profit pirate doesn’t care if the bank is profitable or if the changes will help everyone. This is one unhappy buccaneer, and he/she will do his/her best to make everyone around them feel the same way.
“We try to help the bank get a little bit better each day, so six months down the road they can look back and see vast customer service improvement,” explains Knight. “But before we get started, we have to make sure we’re managing negative people in the organization and letting them know we’re not going away.”
So, first you peg the pirates. Unlike the gangs of mutinous scoundrels from days of old, modem day pirates are not always easy to spot. There are some obvious and recognizable traits, however. Knight claims that in the initial session with a bank’s management team, supervisors often name some of the pirates right away.
“Then we’ll know who they are before we go in,” says Knight. “But there are people out there that we didn’t know about, and there are often some pirates sitting in the management meeting.”