A conscious bank is a bank where the employees make conscious actions and conscious decisions. They have goals and work practices and communication that come from a place beyond fear and ego and thus create a culture of consciousness.
The first challenge is that, given we are humans and part of the human condition is to drop into fear on a regular basis, the perfectly conscious bank is impossible. There will always be moments when fear or ego tries to take over. That is not because the ego is bad but because its role is to keep you safe and in doing so it over-exaggerates fear everywhere. That may have worked in prehistoric societies but in modern society that is not relevant – we will not die if we can’t have that holiday, or even if we miss a meal.
A way out of this may be to have a system where a person recognizes that he is being driven by fear or ego. A value of truth and the right of all employees to call out bs or truth, such as Bridgewater, may be but that aggressive culture may not be the only way to consciousness.
Another factor is culture setting. The top person or people need to be especially committed to coming from a conscious place. The word top is probably wrong as a conscious bank would need fewer reward/incentive structures but the people charged with setting the bank’s strategic direction. They, like in all institutions, set the direction for the culture of the bank and will naturally hire those with a similar culture.
The second challenge is that people will try to fraud their way into the bank. Perhaps they see it as easy to get into because the people are “nice”, that is they see them as weak. Or they get a junior position that has a low barrier to entry and then they do dirty politicking to raise through the organization.
Culture is key
Once again culture is key. When I work with leaders in my finance executive coaching in London we discuss that people should be hired on culture and potential not just current ability. Even juniors need to be culturally driven. And if a person still sneaks in, they should be coached to be conscious driven or mechanisms to allow them to leave, with dignity, should be in place.
I think that if there are enough conscious staff, they will quickly sense if someone is ego driven and gaming the system. The aim is not to punish such people but rather to either let them know which parts of their character are welcome or that perhaps they are not the right fit.