Management Lessons To Learn From "The Old GTBank".

In my last post where I mentioned GTBank's failure to delight me as a customer, I got zero feedback from the bank even though their services are now back online.

I am still a customer of the bank because I loved the bank and to a certain degree still do. A lot of the reasons why I stuck with the bank from the very beginning are rooted in the culture the founders of the bank put in place to ensure a that the bank remained a sustainable institution reflecting their legacy. As a founder of a number of enterprises myself, I have nothing but respect for these values and copied a lot of them shamelessly.

1. Ethics. 

GTbank remains the most ethical institution in Nigeria today and they did not sell their souls for money when others did. This is reiterated by a lot of the alumni of the institution who still go back to work there after leaving to work elsewhere.

2. Training

GTBank remains the hunting ground for talent by other institutions because they really invest in building their manpower. The training starts before you join and continues throughout your lifetime of employment. I have heard of surprise tests being carried out bank wide to ascertain knowledge of standard operating procedure. The average employee is a banker and not a "bank worker"

3. Teamwork and team size.

I gather that a team leader there never leads a team of more than 5 people. Once a function gets too big they break it down into smaller more manageable teams and it allows more intimacy and focus. The span of control is 5 subordinates to one leader and there is real coordination and complementary effort. I never see two GTBank marketers trying to outdo each other when trying to get my account the same way employees of other cutthroat banks do. We copied this team structure shamelessly.

4. Technology

They were early adopters of modern banking technology and for the longest time their portal was based on an award winning open-source content management platform. They don't follow the herd, they create their own path and make the technology work for their customers. Because of their ethics their selection process for any technology is based on the merits of the technology and not on favors. It is this technology savvy that made them one of the first institutions to accept social media and use it very effectively for feedback.

5. Respect

My first account manager was Herbert Wigwe the current DMD of Access Bank. He was a deputy manager then but I frequently saw him taking his turns to do teller duty. My biggest shock however was when I was personally served by Fola Adeola the then CEO and founder. He was so polite when I insisted on having mint condition notes. Nobody was beyond doing any task and they made sure that you went through every function to have a better understanding of the issues of your colleagues and the customers.

That last one struck a chord with me and for any new initiative, I try to attend training with my team so that I have better understanding of the technology and also ensured that I sometimes personally intervene to interface with the customer.

I don't know what is happening but this current GTBank is not the old bank I used to love. I want my old bank back.