Recently I was speaking to someone who works as a back-office advisor in one of the big global banks. We were talking about the challenge the back-office often has in getting their point across to the “producers” in organisations. He said the nickname for his team members is BPOs which is an acronym for Business Prevention Officer. Oh, why do they dislike us so?

He then went on to say that the bank was fined last year for doing deals remarkably similar to the deals they were previously fined for that were attributed as key causes of the financial crisis.

Then he told me that the fines were so big all bonuses were cancelled!

While I don’t know the full facts, the story resonates as one of many where the back-office and producers have not been able to work effectively together. Maybe the advice of the back-office was ignored, maybe it was not understood, maybe it was not asked for, maybe it was poor advice. What I know for certain is that there continues to be a major challenge in many organisations for the back-office to appropriately influence the business to get the right balance of considered risk taking.

For my regular readers, you will know I have been writing about this challenge for some time and been providing tips along the way. Here is a collection of blogs from 2016 that grabbed the attention of my readers the most:

The role of strategic advisors

The 21st century is a terrible time to be a control freak

Don’t blame them – they are not the problem

Stop Pushing and Start Pulling – It’s more satisfying

And my personal favourite: Don’t just be a colour-ineror

 

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