Russell Goldsmith of City National, on Storytelling’s Power in a Powerful, Positive Culture | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

The power of a story to teach, reinforce culture, and reward behavior, is central for how this bank executive leads at City National Bank in Los Angeles.


This reminds me of the power of the story by consulting colleague, Dr. Rick Fenwick, of Fenwick-Koller Associates.  We recently completed another round of Team Concept training for the UAW workers at GM Powertrain.  Our 4 day session is nuanced by story, Rick's colorful examples as well as stories shared by team members, learning about managing team experiences, including tools to help.


Goldsmith's example below embeds recognition and reward of the story into the culture of City National Bank.



Excerpt:

Russell Goldsmith is chairman and chief executive of City National Bank in Los Angeles. In its “Story Idol” competition, he says, employees talk about “what they did that promoted teamwork or helped a client by going the extra mile.”


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We [taught] people how to share stories [including] something called “Story Idol,” and every quarter there’s a competition...

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...we have a lot of great stories to tell. If you look up City National, one of the stories you will see is the story of Frank Sinatra’s son who was kidnapped. The first C.E.O., Al Hart, was a real friend of Frank Sinatra’s and famously opened the vault on a Saturday and got the ransom money. That happened in the early ’60s, but people are still telling that story. It’s a source of pride.


We brought in consultants to teach people how to share stories in a more organized way that underscored the culture. We do something called “Story Idol,” and every quarter there’s a competition among our 79 offices.


It’s a way to give colleagues a pat on the back and a moment in the sun for doing the right thing, and it democratizes and decentralizes positive reinforcement.


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...what matters most is the recognition, and the respect from your peers as you stand on the stage in front of 300 people.

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The people who submit the winning stories [Story Idol competition] all get iPads. The winners themselves ...get significant cash awards. But what matters most is the recognition, and the respect from your peers as you stand on the stage in front of 300 people.


Read the full post via the New York Times by author ADAM BRYANT here.


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Thanks to my change colleague, Liz Guthridge, @LizGuthridge, for the heads up. If you have a change leader that merits a look via this curation stream, let me know via DebNystrom@Reveln.com or suggest it as a curation post in ScoopIt.


More about us, on the Fenwick Koller Associates team with Reveln Consulting is here.