It is refreshing to hear Antony Jenkins, a high-profile CEO, talk about defining and embedding a refreshed set of values and behaviours at Barclays. What’s even more impressive is that he has moved swiftly to change the way Barclays operates to ensure this happens. We’ve all seen what happens when big financial institutions focus entirely on making money and lose sight of their values. At its most extreme, we have seen in recent history how this can corrupt an organisation’s culture which can result in financial meltdown and a massive erosion of trust.


Barclays has announced that in future they will reward people not only on the revenue they generate, but how they actually behave and do business. This is quite a shift away from a typical banking culture. Barclays is encouraging people to be role models for a new set of values and holding them accountable. Barclays have said they want to be a ‘force for good’. To achieve this, they need to increase levels of trust both between leaders and employees, and also between the organisation, its stakeholders, and the wider public.


Embedding a new set of values and behaviours in reality is a challenging activity. Barclays is seeking to do more than just examine its values. It is hoping to change the way it does business to support a refreshed set of values. For this to succeed, Barclays needs to ensure its culture will support this new way of working. Leaders need to be role models for values-based decision making and the culture needs to be a supportive one rather than a culture of blame. It’s important that individuals have the freedom and responsibility to make values-based decisions. It’s also important to banish fear by encouraging individuals to speak up and do the right thing without worrying about being criticised. Barclays’ journey will be challenging. However, it is clear that there is a real appetite for change, and the skills and experience to make it happen. I wish them every success along the way

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