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Behaviour is the key to



Leonie Arkesteijn




min read

Holistic leadership

Arkesteijn: “When embarking on a leadership development trajectory, it is wiser to first consider what you want to achieve as an organisation, then assess how the current behaviour and culture align with that, and finally: what does that mean for leadership? You tailor your leadership development accordingly; otherwise, you won’t break the existing behaviour.

“A manager who does not pay attention to behaviour sees only a part.”

For example, think of leaders learning to address each other and others more. If the organisation is strongly focused on harmony, those leaders will quickly be corrected by the prevailing social norm and revert to old behaviour. If you want people to collaborate, you’ll have to look at the goals you give them. Often, these goals are unintentionally contradictory between departments.

Anti-money laundering process

De Vries: “Employees in organisations make conscious and unconscious choices at all levels. Well-intentioned processes do not necessarily lead to a good outcome. The executive and (risk) manager who wants to understand how an organisation truly functions must delve into human behaviour.

There are psychological pitfalls that can come into play. The impact of behaviour on the anti-money laundering process, for example, is consistently underestimated. To increase its effectiveness, one must look at the process through the eyes of the employee and with knowledge of human behaviour.”

Behavioural lens

Arkesteijn: “The key to the success of organisations lies in the behaviour of people. The value of looking through the behavioural lens extends beyond banks, of course. Any executive who does not pay attention to human behaviour sees only a part of reality. You will need to ask questions: what obstacles are there to making the right choices, where has the process been made too complex?