How to Lose $7.4 Billion

5% of a company's employees recently caused an institution to lose an estimated $7.4 billion in value, not to mention the tremendous lost value of goodwill caused by a scandal.  The CEO resigned. This loss occurred in the pursuit of $2.6 million in new revenue.

Wells Fargo.

These employees behaved badly, but also behaved in ways that seemed to be in their own best self interest based on the compensation plans they were offered. I do not excuse this behavior. They abused the system, they broke the law. But it does serve as a reminder that...

you always get the behaviors that you reward.

We know that the best way to find the holes in a compensation system is to give it the sales team for an hour but this maxim extends beyond compensation. The behaviors that you reward - whether openness, cooperation, results or heroic fire fighting and activity - determine what your employees will do.

Reward what you want, dis-incent what you don't. Be clear in your expectations, consistent in your response.

Don't forget to check it out with the sales team.


Karen is a thought leader whose work is grounded in strong values and a focus on results. I’ve seen the positive impact of Oneteam’s approach to organizational effectiveness with groups as diverse as world class skydivers, to start-ups, to senior teams within large corporations.
— Julie Staudenmier

This week finds me leaving Vermont's fabulous foliage for sunshine and water in the south. I'll have a quick stop in Charleston before settling in Florida.

 In November, I'll be in Boston, Atlanta and New York - let me know if you want to connect while I am in your neighborhood.

If you want to explore how I can help you and your organization grow, contact me here.

Don't forget to vote!