May 9, 2018

Did CBA’s profits addiction grow from an imported ‘cult-like’ sales management strategy?

The Commonwealth Bank shifted to an increasingly profit-driven services model promoted by an eccentric US management group, that pushed all staff (risk managers, auditors, the lot) to discover new leads for sales.

Michael Sainsbury — Freelance correspondent in Asia and <em>Little Red Blog</em> Editor

Michael Sainsbury

Freelance correspondent in Asia and Little Red Blog Editor

When the Commonwealth Bank employed New Zealander Ralph Norris, they clearly weren't concerned about changing the bank's culture of focusing squarely on profit above all. Instead, Norris supercharged it and streamlined the bank's focus on sales, profit and incentive.

Norris' predecessor, David Murray, who was ironically brought in to "rescue" embattled financial services group AMP last week, had taken CBA to its initial public offering and instilled a culture of profit as its main motivation.

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