Bank Of America

Adizes worked years with the top-level management at the Bank of America. According to Richard Morrison, Senior Vice President in the North American Division of the bank, what is taking place at the bank, as a result of this association, is "somewhat revolutionary. " At one point several senior officials at the Bank of America talked about the process they went through. The following is a composite of the explanations and comments made by Le Prussia, Chairman of the Board; MaxHopper, Executive Vice President of Retail Information Processing Service: Richard Morrison, Senior Vice President, North American Division and Leonard Linden, Vice President and Administrator of the Corporate POC. Bank of America's headquarters are located in San Francisco.

Q: How did the Bank of America start working with Adizes?

A: R. Morrison: About once a year, Sam Armacost (President of the Bank of America) takes a group of people into a retreat for four or five days to talk about the management of the Bank. In 1983, Ichak Adizes came to the retreat to give us a short seminar. The experience was so successful that it was decided to try the Adizes methodology at one of the divisions.

Q: Which one?

A: R. Morrison: The first chosen was NAD, the North American Division, in Los Angeles. We met and formed a POC (Participative Organizational Conduit), and then for three days we listed our PIPs (Potential Improvement Points). But the great revelation that came out of that first phase, during which we listed all of our PIPs, was that about half the things that were wrong with NAD were not within its ability to correct. It had to be resolved either at some other part of the bank or at an even higher corporate level. So with Dr. Adizes as the facilitator, a delegation of us went to the managing committee of the bank to present our situation.

Q: Who was a part of the managing committee?

A: R. Morrison: Sam Armacost, President of the Bank, Lee Prussia, Chairman of the Board, and all the heads of the major divisions.

Q: What was the result of that meeting?

A: R. Morrison: By the time we decided which PIPs belonged to which division, it became evident that it wasn't just a matter of people not doing their jobs well, but that there was a structural problem at the bank.

Q: What was the next step?

A: .L Linden: A Corporate POC was created and I was named as its administrator. The Corporate POC consisted of sixteen senior people from across the whole organization with responsibility for different areas of the bank. And what we did, starting at the top, was to look at large segments of our organization.

Then as each part was identified, a sub-group, or Synerteam, would be formed to deal with that particular area. The Synerteam would usually consist of one or two people from the Corporate POC and others who were responsible for that part of the bank.

Q: Then each Synerteam just went ahead to work on the PIPs of their division?

A: L. Linden: Yes. But in looking at the corporation it became clear that before any of the subdivisions