Hey Citigroup; just give me the damn ball!
I’m NOT kidding! If nobody wants it; give it to me. I have a 100 day plan that will reinvent, recharge and reinvest in your workforce.
To say it another way; I have a plan to rebuild trust, improve morale, save a ton of money and reinvest back into the existing workforce. One other thing to add; this is an automated model that just keeps repeating itself.
Imagine that 100 days; I have the plan, the credentials, the courage and the way to fund it!
Today is Wednesday January 28th. As early as Thursday January 29th, I can be sharing this 100 day plan on a projector. We can start implementing as early as tomorrow.
Huh? I don’t even work there (anymore).
Makes you wonder why someone from the outside has the courage to step up and ask for the damn ball when there’s a talent pool of 243,000 full time Citigroup employees? Well to their credit they’re busy doing their jobs; efficiently (I might add) and don’t have the opportunity to take the time to reach the top of the house leaders.
It’s been too long waiting for a recovery, a change in behavior, something! Somebody needs to step up. Citigroup is a U.S. company with a global business model. When senior top of the house leadership was watching Citi stock go from $50 a share down to $1.00 on their watch, while they were touting their leadership… when this company was imploding, we the U.S. taxpayers (on both sides of the political fence) were there to help. We had Citigroup’s back.
So let’s not forget; Citigroup is a U.S. company.
What year did this sudden implosion occur? 2007/2008.
What year is it now? 2015. It’s 2015 and Citigroup is still shelling out “billions” in legal fees? As recent as the last quarter? Is that B as in BILLIONS?
It’s 2015 and Citigroup is talking about low risk notionals? Really? Notionals? Look it up, it means imaginary!!!!
Has anything changed?
Citigroup is still cutting heads and consolidating just to come up with the money needed to pay these fines and legal fees!
We always hear commentary about whether or not Citigroup is too big and should be broken up; this company can’t be broken up. Citigroup needs this humongous source of funds to draw from to keep paying for their rogue strategies. At least until the root cause of these fines and legal issues is identified and corrected.
It makes you wonder if anything really has changed or if any lessons were learned? Reverse split aside, the Company hasn’t really made much progress. It’s been too long! It’s time for someone to step up and MAKE SOME ADJUSTMENTS.
To be clear, I don’t want to run Citigroup. I just want the damn ball to so I can deliver results that will help Citigroup run better.
My name is Charlie Lobosco; I’m a corporate technology executive with over 40 years if corporate/IT experience of which about 14 of those came from….Citigroup!
My business model is Shared Leadership. I transform resources into partners one teammate at a time.
If you think Citigroup top of the house leadership has earned it’s keep over the last ten years then spend some time at the water cooler, or in a social setting with current and former Citigroup co-workers and you will get a different picture.
If you think Citigroup top of the house leadership has earned it’s keep over the last ten years let me know…I have an eight billion dollar hedge fund I’d like to sell you.
I worked at Citigroup three times in three different capacities. In 1981 as a consultant, from 2000 – 2003 also as a consultant and from 2003 – 2013 as a full time VP/technology manager of multiple business applications.
I was treated well at all times; very well. So this is not about sour grapes but about stepping up for my former teammates and offer up a plan of action to help deliver results that will hold up over time BUT not at the expense of others.
If there’s a question to be asked, it should be, “Where is the top of the house leadership and where is their 100 day plan?” Oh let me guess; they…. (we certainly know who they are right Vincent Vega)… they need to prioritize this with everything else on their plates. Then form a committee and have them research best practice, and so on… We can even give them the benefit of the doubt and say; they’re too busy working that’s why. I can also cut to the chase and say the real reason is….fear; of failure, insecurities and fear of what others might think. Or maybe they just don’t care? Or…maybe they’re just not good enough?
OK enough already, whatever it is; it is.
Here’s what I would do in my first 100 days to start making some real changes within this company, that I care about, chose to work for was treated well by and have many friends working there and trying their best to make a difference.
First some ground rules;
1. After almost ten years of diminishing returns, the clock is ticking and there is a real sense of urgency, so this needs to start right now.
2. My plan has to be a win/win for the company, the employees and the shareholders.
Back in 2006 there was a Citigroup visionary that said he had a plan and his plan is such a win/win it will actually improve the PE ratio of the company. Well.. that guy turned the company upside down to the point he too fell out the bottom. So I guess my benchmark is that epic fail BUT a lesson learned to me that win/win visions often times look good on paper (only).
I get it, I’m on it and I won’t make that mistake. Why not? Well ; A … I’m not in charge and B…I’ll be collaborating and utilizing my coworkers and not just making “cuts”. I’ll be reporting to and getting feedback from others. My 100 day plan will be community posted, tracked every single day. The plan lays out tasks for every single day (yes 100 days of tasks). If a task is not delivered we’ll all know the next day.
3. NO FTE’s are to be impacted in any way, shape or form. Nobody is downsized on my watch! That was the work of that other visionary. In fact if anyone takes one thing away from this call to action, I want it to be this, “If top of the house leadership of ANY company needs a 911 strategy to save money for a company that continues to pay billions in fines and legal fee and that strategy has a negative impact on their employees in any way shape or form; outsourcing, downsizing even outright layoffs; they need a different strategy. If top of the house leadership of ANY company want to be called top of the house leaders, they need to do better than outsourcing, downsizing and consolidating when it comes to offering strategies for reducing expenses and increasing income”.
Blah, blah blah…OK so let’s hear it; lets hear at least 10 components of this 100 day plan…
1. I will set new criteria for top of the house leadership. At first I was thinking to outsource the CEO position outright. That alone would be a huge save to the bottom line! But I was just being spiteful. We can’t do that; the outsourced vender is not deserving of that responsibility. I would require at least (7) years tenure with the company and I’m thinking about including at least (3) recommendations from co workers within the company before anyone can be considered for that role. No; the candidate does NOT have to be in a leadership role already to be considered. That strategy hasn’t proven to be successful in the past. YES, the role can be vacant if someone leaves until a replacement is found. We’ll have a plan for that too (see below Shared Leadership training). One more thing; there will be exit rules; when you leave, you leave just like any other employee. No more buyouts or whatever it’s called that pays exiting CEO’s lots of money on their way out. We’re not working for the CEO’s company, the CEO is hired to work in (to lead) our company.
2. I will make it clear (especially to all supporting vendors)that Citigroup is a U.S. Company with a global model and not a global company doing business (also in the U.S.).
3. I will get to the bottom of all this one time charge for never ending fines nonsense AND deliver my findings publicly. Never again will we hear about a one time charge right before reporting earnings and right after a recent stock price climb. This reeks of distrust. If you don’t think this reeks of distrust, let me know I have an eight billion dollar hedge fund to sell you.
4. I will establish and maintain (myself) a risk and compliance assessment across all lines of business. I will own this and therefore take responsibility should there be any fines incurred on my watch. If any business plan, strategy or income proposal doesn’t appear GREEN on this (community) board; it’s not happening. What’s a derivative? If you can’t explain it, we’re not selling it! Remember Enron?….Notionals; give me a break!
5. I will reverse downsize; I will “prune” non essential off shore contractors (working offshore) by 25 %, while experiencing NO (zero) project delays as a result. I have the experience and the plan to do this; in fact I did? AT CITIGROUP! A much smaller scale but the model worked to perfection. IT/Offshore technology contractors support our efforts but they don’t drive them. The term was coined “outsourcing” not “hostage sourcing”. Anyway, this will end. The money saved ( and there will be a lot of it) will be reinvested back into the FTE workforce!
6. I will make sure every contractor (on and offshore) responsible for delivering working software for Citigroup projects is held to the same standards as Citigroup employees.
7. I will make sure ALL work is defined as either NEEDED or NICE TO HAVE. If the need can’t be proven by the proper stakeholder , it becomes a nice to have and drops on the priority list accordingly.
8. Talent acquisition will be renamed talent nurturing with a 180 degree change in focus to employees already on the payroll. There’s enough FTE talent on board already. It’s time to nurture and grow organically.
9. I will start having community retrospectives; what’s working, what’s not and what needs to change. Not these current (what they refer to as) round table sessions BUT “Community retrospectives”.
10. I will make sure we start rolling out my C.A.R.E. Certification; shared leadership training program across the organization. Shared leadership is a faster, smarter, more efficient way to deliver results that will hold up over time; AND with less risk.
OK that’s 10 components but why 100 days?
Well Rome wasn’t built in a day but on day 1 there was some construction. Let’s reconstruct for 100 days then come back to the table and share the work in progress.
Implementing this plan WILL make a difference. As a taxpayer, shareholder and employee I had the back of Citigroup when it needed help. Now as a taxpayer, shareholder and always a teammate I still have your back.
Too idealistic? Maybe. Taking on too much? Probably. Confident in my abilities? Yes. Proven track record? Yes.
The only thing that matters in the workplace are the results delivered; scalable, efficient results that hold up over time BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF OTHERS.
I understand that and will work on a short leash. Now either give me the damn ball today or talk me down and come up with an immediate plan of your own (hopefully) before the world ends.
Charles A. Lobosco; CSM, CSL, C.A.R.E. Certified
Agile Consultant, speaker/trainer and radio host
C.A.R.E., Scrum and seminar leader certified
Member ASLA, NADP