• Dr. Andy Schell, DBA (Ph.D.), MSML, MBA, CPA/CFF, CMB

The Culture Time Bomb

Culture is formed from the behavior and interaction among employees, as defined by strategy and enabled by leadership.

Culture is a behavioral construct that permeates based on how employees experience connections among other employees.

Once employee behavior is defined by a firm's Strategic Values and Code of Conduct, it rests with leadership to hire employees that intrinsically embrace the firm's values and to reinforce values by the leader's actions.

Hiring the right people requires a screening process to identify alignment with the firm's values. Southwest Air is the master at hiring the right people that share their values and are able to then spread the Southwest fun while safe culture.

The culture time bomb surfaces when a newly hired employee's behavior does not align with the firm's culture. Research has identified that a single misaligned employee can have a 10X disruptive and destructive impact on culture.

If an employee's interview skills mask a behavioral misalignment, it is likely that the employee's "true-self" will be revealed within 90 days. Leadership must act quickly to terminate the employee when the personality and the resulting actions are inconsistent with a healthy workplace.

It is virtually impossible to change a person's personality. And even if the behavior is addressed temporarily, the underlying pressure is likely to present badly as aggressive behavior. A person that yells at the waiter is a mean person even if they are nice to you.

The dirty secret in mortgage lending is the frequent presence of an unhealthy acceptance of bad behavior and a high tolerance for culturally disruptive activity.

The inconvenient truth is that many mortgage lenders have a poor culture. A high degree of tolerance for an employee's bad behavior creates a negative culture. A branch manager yelling at the operations staff is bad behavior. A loan originator ignoring other staff members is bad behavior. The responsibility to nurture a positive culture rests on the shoulders of leadership. It is the leadership's failure when bad behavior is ignored.

Highly successful companies have a positive culture that is aligned with strategy and leadership. A positive culture acts to increase efficiency, enhance transparency, and is more likely to result in a highly profitable operation.

See Dr. Schell's eBook of Strategy for details about strategy, leadership, and why Emotional IQ may lead to an unhealthy tolerance for bad behavior. Click HERE

Dr. Schell and his team at MBS offer services in the following areas:

  • Growth Strategy – Dr. Schell can help you plan and execute a growth strategy.

  • Executive coaching - Leadership is a learned skill. Dr. Schell can teach you to be an amazing leader, an effective manager, and an inspiring coach that can foster a vibrant culture.

  • Technology Services – MBS’ CIO, Theresa Marie, is a nationally recognized Technologist qualified to support all mortgage lender's IT infrastructure needs.

  • Accounting Services – Dr. Andy Schell, CPA, leads the accounting services team to become your outsourced accounting department at a cost less than hiring full-time staff.


Dr. Andy Schell, DBA (Ph.D.), MSML, MBA, CPA/CFF, CMB

Dr. Schell is CEO, Managing Partner, and Co-Founder of Mortgage Banking Solutions and MBS Financial Services ("MBS"), based in Austin, Texas. Dr. Schell is known for his ability to turn "vision into reality" and "chaos into order" as he finds creative solutions to the challenges his clients face addressing Revenue Stability, Technology Enhancement, Financial Management, and Workflow Efficiency.

He has 4 decades of experience as a strategist directing the activity of both small and large groups of employees including mortgage lending activity at Bank of America. His leadership knowledge extends from his hands-on experience and his doctoral academic pursuits in communication, strategy, and finance.

To find out more information on MBS' Services, please click HERE

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