CFOtech New Zealand logo
Technology news for Kiwi CFOs and financial decision-makers
Story image

ANZ hurting after former CEO’s life of excess at the bank's expense

Wed 3 Jul 2019
FYI, this story is more than a year old

ANZ did the right thing by going public about former CEO David Hisco's life of excess at the bank's expense, but management's attempts to downplay his misconduct will only worsen the damage to the bank’s internal culture.

OneHQ co-founder Craig Cotton says management at ANZ and the general public should spare a thought for the thousands of workers at the bank.

"The people who work for ANZ will be feeling it as a result of their former CEO's publicised behaviour and seeming attempts by senior management to downplay his misconduct.

"ANZ's employees will be feeling under the spotlight. I don't doubt that they are taking flak from family, friends and customers because people expect that if the CEO is behaving in a certain way, it's reasonably likely that some of those under him will have taken his lead.”

Cotton says take nothing away from David Hisco's success at the bank, but he has undone a lot of that good work by hurting the culture of the business.

“The fact that a whistleblower did call attention to his expense account, but was ignored, makes matters worse – the perception will be that there is a cover-up and that full transparency has not been shared. You don’t walk away from millions in share options over a few thousand of incorrectly coded personal expenses.”

Cotton said that the role of the CEO is first and foremost to ensure that an organisation has a healthy culture because the trickle-down effect of their behaviour will not only impact the entire company but that of its brand.

"There will be people who are dedicated and loyal, but their reward has been a public airing of excess at senior levels. I don't take anything away from people earning good salaries because they have taken risks and made sacrifices that others haven't, but leaders have a responsibility to be mindful of their impact on other people.

"Culture is your people. It's why they come to work and why they continue to work for you, and it's the CEO who directs that. Leave the operations to other managers and get busy leading and inspiring your people. You can see how ANZ leadership failed woefully in that respect."

Cotton said that ANZ and any other organisations that were not mindful enough about the culture of their organisation need to consider implementing the following steps to achieve culture change:

1. Establish the culture's current condition

Cotton says that culture is the personality and spirit of an organisation and is defined by the people, their beliefs, behaviours, competencies, leadership and by the vision and aspiration of the organisation.

"People will tell you they're fine, and they're happy, but that isn't necessarily the reality. ANZ certainly won't be in the right place at the moment and to believe anything else is nuts.

"If management isn’t embracing transparency and enabling safe forms of listening and acting then whatever is driving their fear, is unfortunately already consuming their culture at a much greater rate.”

2. Decide what kind of culture you need to achieve your business goals

Ultimately the culture must reflect what leadership and the business is trying to achieve for their stakeholders.

“Like a company vision, the aspiration you have for your culture should be almost unachievable; the idea is that ‘there is no best, only better’ must hold true for your culture too,” Cotton says.

Simply organising workshops and or working groups to involve the staff in setting the culture and values of the business may only get you to where you are already at, versus where you need to be.

“Too many companies define their culture as ‘how’ they do things rather than ‘why’ their people do what they do.

"Leaders establish and drive the direction for the organisation based on what the shareholders and stakeholders want. Then their job is to win the hearts and minds of their people on the collective ‘why,” Cotton says.

When a company gets it right, they retain and attract the right people.

“You can only attract the right customers if you put your people, suppliers and partners first, because if they don’t believe and aren’t engaged then you will never achieve what your customers require. You can only achieve better if you’re in it together."

Cotton says the CEO has to become an evangelist for the vision and purpose of the business.

“If you believe your culture leaves the building each night and returns each morning, then you must ensure you and your leaders ignite and engage it every day. The CEO gives people a reason to believe and feel safe to act; they then must ensure they have leaders and processes to engage people right throughout the organisation every single day.”

3. Connect with your people through their personal lives

Cotton says that leaders often forget that their people spend most of their time at work away from their partners, families and friends. As a result, very few leaders try to connect with who their people are away from work let alone their families.

"You cannot separate the person at work from who they are at home. I encourage leaders to engage their people and their families. Invite partners, even the kids where appropriate, to work functions.

“When you recognise a staff member, send the recognition/gift to the home so their family can see that they are valued and appreciated by the business – the BBQ stories that are created about you, your business and brand are priceless.

"There is no such thing as work-life balance; it’s just life. Help people achieve the ‘why’ outcomes they need in their lives, and you will have an exceptional commercial business," Cotton says.

He urged organisations that find themselves in a similar predicament to ANZ to be transparent internally fast.

“To use a Kevin Roberts quote, ‘fail fast, learn fast and fix fast’. Hisco appears to have been very successful at an operational level for ANZ but, at a leadership level, he failed. So don’t dwell on it simply be transparent, learn fast and fix fast.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Employment
Tech job moves - Forcepoint, Malwarebytes, SolarWinds & VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 13-20, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
CFOs using digital workers and AI to prevent unnecessary loss
New technology is now allowing CFOs to use digital workers to automate their accounting processes, making it easier for them to avoid unnecessary losses.
Story image
Talend
Talend introduces new data health solutions for businesses
Talend has announced its latest version of Talend Data Fabric, with the release of Talend Trust Score enabling data teams to establish a foundation for data health.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Trading up: It's time to swap core systems for flexible digital applications
This year will see more oranisations planning and commencing high tech renovations that will shake up the way they operate.
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft backing Māori and Pacific wāhine in tech industry
A new initiative focused on getting Māori and Pacific wāhine into the tech industry and backed by Microsoft, NZTech and the government is calling for tech companies to get involved.
Story image
Digital Transformation
The Huawei APAC conference kicks off with digital transformation
More than 1500 people from across APAC have gathered for the Huawei APAC Digital Innovation Congress to explore the future of digital innovation.
Story image
Digital Transformation
Why enterprise records management should be part of any digital transformation strategy
Modern organisations create and rely upon an enormous volume of content, and digital records make up a significant proportion of that content.
Story image
Microsoft
SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure to deliver 204% return - study
The Forrester Total Economic Impact study finds SAS Viya on Microsoft Azure brings a 204% return on investment over three years.
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS unveils AI experience to improve kids' batting abilities
SAS has created The Batting Lab, an interactive experience using AI, computer vision and IoT analytics to help kids improve their baseball and softball swings.
Story image
SaaS
Cloudflare launches instant serverless database for dev teams
"Today we’re announcing our first serverless database which we expect will quickly become one of the largest databases in the world."
Story image
Digital Transformation
Unlocking the next digital frontier for educational institutions
Understanding where to invest in technology can be challenging for education institutions, especially after the COVID-19 disruptions.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS launches human-focused responsible innovation initiative
SAS has launched a responsible innovation initiative, furthering its commitment to equity and putting people first.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Clear Dynamics closes $35M funding round, invests in global growth
The funding is a major milestone and speaks to Clear Dynamics’ vision for AI-enabled ‘composable’ enterprise software, the company states.
Story image
IT budget
$20m boost for digital technologies announced
The government is spending an extra $20m over four years on its plan to transform the digital technologies industry.
Story image
Excel
Could your Excel practices be harming your business?
While Excel has been the de-facto standard for budgeting, planning, and forecasting, is it alone, enough to support organisations in the global marketplace that’s facing rapid changes due to digital transformation?
Story image
Attain
Revenue operations is taking centre stage
As the business world continues to evolve, new demands need to be met to keep up with the ever-changing landscape. 
Story image
Microsoft
Microsoft unveils adaptive accessories for disability access
Microsoft is introducing an expansive Inclusive Tech Lab to give people with disabilities greater access to technology through new software features and adaptive accessories.
Story image
Microsoft
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.
Story image
Commerce Commission
ComCom appeals $2.25 million fine in Vodafone FibreX case
The Commerce Commission has filed an appeal in the High Court against a $2.25 million fine imposed on Vodafone NZ for its offending under the Fair Trading Act.
Story image
Sisense
Data and analytics could be key to higher selling prices in APAC
Sisense's latest report has found that almost half of data professionals in APAC think customised data and analytics can create better selling prices for their products.
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
Remote Working
IT teams deploy powerful technologies to enable remote work
"We found that IT teams mastered the challenges of remote work last year in large part by employing powerful yet easy-to-use technologies."
Story image
Infrastructure
Nutanix study reveals financial services sector lagging with multicloud adoption
Nutanix has released new research that reveals the financial services sector is lagging behind when it comes to multicloud adoption.
Story image
Fonterra
Fonterra to use automated guided vehicles by Dematic
New Zealand's dairy giant Fonterra is upgrading its manufacturing facility in Edendale with new automated guided vehicles (AGVs) from Dematic.
Story image
Public Cloud
Cloud adoption still a work in progress, NetApp finds
NetApp has announced the results of the annual Cloud Infrastructure Report based on a survey of public cloud business and IT decision makers.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Updates from Google Workspace set to ease hybrid working troubles
Google Workspace has announced a variety of new features which will utilise Google AI capabilities to help make hybrid working situations more efficient and effective.
Exabeam
Find out how a behavioural analytics-driven approach can transform security operations with the new Exabeam commissioned Forrester study.
Link image
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
SAS announces new products amid cloud portfolio success
Analytics and AI company SAS is deepening its broad industry portfolio with offerings that support life sciences, energy, and martech.
Story image
SAS
New SAS service overcomes subscription fatigue for media companies
SAS has launched SAS 360 Match which helps media companies move towards a AVOD model to generate revenue as subscribers cancel.
Story image
Adyen
Adyen expands partnership with Afterpay as BNPL payments increase
Adyen has expanded its partnership with AfterPay allowing more of Adyen’s merchants in more countries worldwide to use the BNPL provider.
Story image
Customer experience
Research unveils precarious customer loyalty for retailers
New research has found customers are reassessing established brand loyalties as their priorities and behaviours shift.
Story image
Remote Working
How organisations can meet employees' changing expectations
The global employment market has shifted dramatically in favour of employees, sparking the so-called great resignation, in which people are leaving unsatisfying roles in search of greener pastures.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
Cryptocurrency
Prominent cryptocurrency trader hit by 'perfect storm'
A leading local crypto currency trading platform, BitPrime, says a "perfect storm" has hit its finances, forcing it to put a halt on operations.
Story image
Kodari Securities (KOSEC)
NFT trends and opportunities: expert reveals all
The NFT market is growing at an exponential rate, with unprecedented liquidity. Here we explore how businesses can profit.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Vodafone
Vodafone NZ buys remaining stake in retail joint venture
Vodafone New Zealand has purchased the remaining 50% stake in the specialist joint venture (JV) with private equity company Millennium Corp.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.