The Power of the ELO Model - Reap What You Sow

Last week we highlighted the 2016 World Series Champions and how the Chicago Cubs created the right culture where the organization enabled player-led, leader supported performance, creating an atmosphere where everyone takes pride, ownership, and accountability in being a leader where they are.

Today we want to highlight how important it is to ensure all three key performance components, organization, leadership, and employees, are all properly aligned to the right performance, and delivered in the right way.

Wells Fargo, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, shook the trust of its customers as well as the entire industry.  The fallout, as a result, will impact the future of Wells Fargo and the financial services industry forever.  To date, Wells Fargo has agreed to 185 million dollars in settlements after admissions from bank employees that they created and operated over 2 million fictitious accounts so employees could meet aggressive sales targets and earn bonuses along the way. And that 185 million is only scratching the surface. It does not account for the loss in customers and the tarnished reputation and stigma that will be attached to the organization for a very long time.

So what do the troubles of Wells Fargo have to do with an employee-led, leader supported, organization enabled performance model?  Everything!  While the now former CEO of Wells Fargo sat before Congress attempting to explain and blame the employees of the organization for not living the values, it was the organization that enabled those actions and behaviors to run counter to the stated values, even encouraging them with aggressive performance goals, punitive performance management practices, and reward and compensation plans established to reward results seemingly at any cost!

During a period of very rapid growth and success from 2011 until early 2016, this aggressive cross selling culture was cultivated and supported by leadership.  Leaders supported this high pressure sales culture by firing over 5300 employees for not meeting their sales targets.  Unfortunately, employees at all levels trying to survive in this environment were driven (doesn’t make the actions right) to open up bogus accounts to meet performance expectations and reap financial rewards or, like 5300 of their co-workers, face termination.

Once again, we have a clear and powerful example of organization enabled, leader supported, employee-led performance, but this time the outcome is much different than the Chicago Cubs. 

Watch what your organization is sowing because what you reap could be a World Series Championship or destroy the faith and trust of millions of people across the globe.