Nous’ framework to understand and improve culture in financial services

Nous’ framework to understand and improve culture in financial services


The culture in Australia’s financial services sector is under the microscope. Serious questions have been raised about conflict of interest management, ethical behaviour, and the role of regulation and remuneration in influencing workplace conduct. This has generated considerable public discussion about corporate culture – what it is, why it matters and how to change it.

Improving culture is a priority for ASIC. In recent remarks to the AFA 2016 National Adviser Conference, Deputy Chairman Peter Kell noted the need for financial advisers to improve their culture. In considering why challenges arise, Mr Kell commented: “Is it your remuneration structure, the ways that you measure the performance of yourself and your staff, the ways that you deal with staff members who raise problems? Do those things support a good culture or do they actually undermine a good culture”?

The comments point to the levers to understand an organisation’s current culture – and drive needed change. Over the last 15 years, Nous has partnered with some of Australia’s leading private and public sector businesses to achieve cultural transformation. Through this work we have developed, tested and refined our cultural transformation framework and verified our seven essential change levers.

The veracity of our framework is reinforced by the March 2016 ASIC report Culture, conduct and conflicts of interest in vertically integrated businesses in the funds-management industry. This document provides an outline.