The First National Bank’ Examining

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Modern organizations thrive in environments that are characterized by unending competition. This situation required them to adopt robust management and leadership styles that are aimed at realizing the accomplishment of goals. Various issues such as leadership and organizational transformation have been noted in the management of the First National Bank. This situation has directly affected the motivation of the employees among other impacts. Due to a need to embrace good leadership, transformation, and emotional intelligence, the organization has encountered both virtues and imperfections. Such processes come with several challenges that are likely to influence the banking organization shortly. The report provides a detailed evaluation of business leadership, organizational transformation, and emotional intelligence by examining the First National Bank (FNB).

Leadership, Organisational Transformation, and Emotional Intelligence

Recently, the First National Bank opted to embrace a leadership program that was based on inspirational governance skills. This practice was accomplished with a view of implementing a real transformation to satisfy the needs of the people of South Africa who have different cultural backgrounds. The bank has been implementing management practices that entail the work-family balance and management of people content. One of the plans encompassed including the African Blacks in the management teams and lower staff levels. The following are some of the management aspects that are used by the FNB.

Leadership Competencies being factored in the Management

The most evident competence of a leader is the ability to seek feasible solutions to organizational hitches that hinder the realization of the desired goals (Palmer et al. 2001). This situation requires leaders to practice emotional intelligence besides holding high job qualifications to improve their interactions with the workforce in the organization. According to Palmer (2001), they should perceive, express, analyze, and understand the moods of their employees. Through the management, the First National Bank identified various competencies that comprise relationship management, inspirational leadership, and the creation of motivational working environments (Palmer et al. 2001).

Another competence that is exhibited by leaders is self-regulation. Leaders must avoid showing emotional reactions to issues that arise from either the workforce or management. They should express themselves in ways that portray a high level of morality, control, and judgment to build strong relationships with the employees. This practice is evident in Zweli’s leadership style (Frontiera 2010).

Furthermore, motivation is a paramount competence of leadership that is related to emotional intelligence. Good leaders must be self-motivated from an inner drive and willingness to promote successful organizations through their professional skills. The enthusiasm that is brought about by offering presents, positions, or money is usually short-lived. An emotionally intelligent leader should derive optimism from disappointments that can occur due to failures of organizational systems whilst exhibiting a high degree of confidence and altruism (Bick et al. 2004).

Leaders should show empathize with their staff. However, Waterman (2011) posits that they must remain careful to avoid favoritism that many weaken their leadership qualities. They must be compassionate and understanding besides maintaining emotional connections with other employees. Empathy is a virtue that ensures an excellent provision of services to customers. It entails quick and genuine responses to employee issues of concern (Waterman 2011).

Strategies for Learning and Evaluation in Place

Managers at the First National Bank are constantly evaluated using their results, abilities, and contribution towards caring and improvement of other staff. This situation has indicated the implementation of emotional intelligence in leadership. Most leaders among the FNB branches saw emotional intelligence in leadership as a contagious process that encouraged a cycle of trust. The leaders continuously embraced reliance, love, respect, and dignity among other aspects that were deemed responsible for the success of the institution (Waterman 2011).

Engagement with other people requires emotional intelligence. Leaders who possess such attributes are highly respected by their workforce among other stakeholder groups in the organization. Leaders should create emotional alignment encouraging a common and shared vision of the future besides creating the awareness of the organizational strategies. They must also ensure a culture that is supportive, inspirational, and non-discriminatory. For instance, the FNB engaged employees in the VUKA workshop program and identified various topics such as breaking barriers, accountability, and leadership among others (Waterman 2011).

Most employees expect a lot from their leaders in terms of the transformation of the organizational systems. The transformation of an organization is a proactive process that is usually aimed at minimizing operational costs whilst getting rid of duplicated and unnecessary practices. It redefines the organizational aspects such as values, strategies, and culture (Waterman 2011). In the event of the change, there is always a need to ensure a clear understanding of organizational transformation amongst the staff to help leaders exercise their roles effectively. A given transformation in the organization can be understood differently due to the divergences in perceptions of such activities. Through the implementation of the VUKA program that highly regarded the experiences of the staff, the idea was supported with a view of realizing the success of the banking firm (Waterman 2011).

Transformational and African Leadership Styles used in FNB

Most leaders perceive organizational transformation as a positive way of change that entails refocusing and reintroducing better approaches that lead to the improved accomplishment of goals. For the leaders, organizational transformation is viewed as the basis of aligning the objectives and agenda with the set ideologies with a view of strengthening their positions and powers (Waterman 2011).

The management’s decision to include African leadership in the organization was essential. This situation was seen as a way of ensuring the effective implementation of African culture in the management system. From an African perspective, leaders should respect their employee’s aspects such as opinions, values, beliefs, and attitudes among others (Bick et al. 2004). A principle of UBUNTU leadership was implemented in the institution in an attempt to accomplish its organizational goals based on humane and peaceful coexistence. This state of play led to an embracement of togetherness and mutual understanding amongst the employees, managers, and the stakeholder communities (Bick et al. 2004).

The leaders of FNB embraced performance indicators such as improvement and reduced costs among others in the event of organizational transformation (Waterman 2011). The leadership role in performing organizational transformation is paramount to the accomplishment of the change process. The purpose of leaders in the process includes the management of technical, psychosocial, and emotional aspects among others to ensure full support, motivation, and reduced turnovers. They should lead other people by ensuring that they copy their steps. They must be enablers who influence the direction of change to promote positive growth in the organization constantly. Most people recognized the management of FNB from the dedication and guidance of the board that aimed at implementing the company’s values (Waterman 2011).

There was a restructuring of the FNB Metro under the new leadership in 2000. Through the transformation and restructuring, the earnings of the enterprise increased through cost-cutting. Furthermore, the change involved emphasizing customer service. The managers identified that more investment in the timely delivery of quality services as needed. They also believed that higher results were realizable by motivating the employees to embrace teamwork activities (Waterman 2011).

The management of the First National Bank was mainly based on value and culture. Such values included cooperation, understanding, common vision, discussion, listen, fun, respect, and appreciation. Others encompassed honesty, praise, trust, love, integrity, forgiveness, and admission of mistakes (Waterman 2011). Bonding of the members of the community was based on the sharing of the same values that they constantly revisited. Furthermore, the management regularly used the monthly Umhlanganos (gatherings) to ensure an effective way of fostering teamwork operations and bonding. The values were mainly meant to prevent both external and external issues that arose in the organization. The implementation of the VUKA program in the transformational and inspirational leadership of the First National Bank brought about a change in staff complements, appointments, and registrations among other practices that registered increases in 2004.

Organizational Challenges that Face FNB in the Next Five Years

The expansion of the FNB enterprise to cover the vast regions of South Africa has been facing some challenges that include workplace conflicts, teamwork problems, globalization, and blurred organizational boundaries among others. The primary factors that have been noted to cause various challenges include the single-mindedness, inadequate communication channels, and ineffective organizational structures among others (Buchanan & Huczynski 2007).

Challenges related to People’s Perspectives

Problems of Teamwork

A dedicated team that works towards the achievement of a common goal is essential when implementing organizational transformation. If an employee misses the individual connection with the workmates, the team can be ineffective. This state of affairs results in underachievement or failed realization of the stipulated objectives.

Frequent communication and feedback are critical to accomplishing the organizational transformation (Ugboro & Obeng 2000). Employees are characterized by social, economic, and psychological among other needs that determine their performances. When such needs are fulfilled, they become motivated to complete duties in time. Hawthorne postulates that organizations that emphasize motivation and dynamicity promote motivation amongst employees. This situation that results in improves productivity (Amaratunga & Baldry 2002). However, financial resources alone do not lead to the motivation of employees (Watson 2006). Other factors that are directly related to employee motivation such as social factors also ensure improved productivity. Most managers embrace the concept of motivation to ensure increased production through practices such as employee training, recognition, and giving incentives among others (Watson 2006; Amaratunga & Baldry 2002).

Improvement of activities during organizational transformation requires the involvement of employees in the system. This objective can be embraced through the proper implementation of motivational employees. Employee empowerment improves their loyalty and attachment to the work environment thereby enabling them to feel a sense of belonging. According to Moe, Dingsøyr, and Dybå (2010), motivated employees perform assigned duties diligently. Informed leaders strive to maintain their motivation by recommending and training them in relevant skills. On the other hand, low morale amongst workers arises from improper or lack of motivation. This set of circumstances results in high employee turnover rates (Moe, Dingsøyr, & Dybå 2010). Some managers who were running the VUKA and Umhlanganos needed constant training to take part in the activities and share ideas with others. The accomplishment of the plan was challenging; hence, most of them were not motivated (Moe, Dingsøyr, & Dybå 2010).

Accommodation of the Y Generation in the Employee Mix

An examination of people and procedures in modern organizations shows that employees play a critical role in organizational transformation. This idea was coined by Follett through the internationalist concept of organizational leadership (Solnet & Hood 2008). In this viewpoint, the organization is regarded as an integrative unit in which contribution by all the personnel is required. In this manner, employees must recognize their interdependence, collective responsibility, and common interest. Therefore, a clear understanding of different personalities is required by the leaders of the firm (Haynes 2011).

Employees in the modern business community are mostly composed of the Y generation. The recruitment and training of this kind of generation is a challenge to most organizations including the First National Bank. The Y generation can multitask in various careers due to the advancement in digital technology. Therefore, a proper understanding of the generation can be beneficial to a company (Gursoy, Maier, & Chi 2008). Most of the recruitment processes are accomplished on a digital platform; hence, most companies must ensure that they keep abreast of the ever-changing processes and operations to suit both the current and coming generations (Gursoy, Maier, & Chi 2008).

Communication Challenges

The contemporary business environment is changing rapidly due to factors such as the technological landscape and globalization. As a result, most organizations are currently switching to digital platforms. However, most of them are not well prepared to implement such changes (Huczynski & Buchanan 2013). Communication plays a major role in relaying information to the employees and departments in the organization. Poor communication channels lead to information misinterpretation or overload; hence, they can lead to inappropriate decision-making (Huczynski & Buchanan 2013).

The First National Bank is likely to face organizational transformation at the global interface. Communication plays a critical role in the efficient management of such changes. The establishment of effective channels of communication concerning the company’s culture is also paramount to the transformation process. The employees should also be trained thoroughly in the current communication techniques to promote healthy interactions amongst them. Due to the poor channels of communication, work complexity arises. This situation can run the company into losses in the end (Ober 2007).

The organization can also experience inefficiency due to poor communication that results from vague emails, which require explanations and/or non-informative presentations. Such circumstances hinder the progression of work in the organization. The successful completion of projects in a company requires edifying communication (Guffey, Mary, & Dana 2012).

Communication also boosts the personalities of the employees by improving their motivation. A company that embraces fluent communication and team spirit realizes value-added production, innovation, and inspiration as compared to that company where employees are not enthusiastic about their performances (Ober 2007). Irrespective of the size of a company, communication serves as an essential tool in enabling good outcomes. Therefore, in companies where the managers encounter challenges in communication, poor results are realized due to the mistakes that are committed by the staff (Guffey, Mary, & Dana 2012).

According to Ober (2007), proper communication brings about trust among employees and employers. Facial expressions and gestures that are ineffective or misunderstood result in mistrust. This state of affairs can lead to the development of poor work relations. The misunderstanding and misinterpretation of communication techniques can lead to the frustration of employees. Most of the employees who do not understand or who are not properly trained in communication skills do not pay attention; hence, they miss important concepts being unsure of their duties and/or criteria to be used in performing particular tasks (Ober 2007).

Another problem associated with poor communication is employee safety about privacy matters such as leakage of information thereby enabling the company vulnerable to its competitors. Poor communication can arise due to communication barriers due to the wrong conveyance of information. In such cases, the receiver is likely to interpret the content differently. As a result, the productivity is significantly deteriorated (Ting-Toomey & Chung 2012).

Challenges related to Strategic Management

Challenge in the Management of People

Embracing the culture of an organization is an important factor that should be considered when hiring employees. Staff can have the relevant skills that are required in an organization but they can fail to suit its culture (Maklan, Knox, & Ryals 2008). Employees who fit in the organization’s culture help in improving work relations. Taylor’s theory of scientific management emphasizes a concept of organizational transformation and improvement through employee training to suit the requirements of different jobs. There is an aspect of specialization and collaboration among employees and leaders to achieve the company’s objectives (Bratton & Gold 2007). As a result, the First National Bank has the challenge of expanding its operations to suit the global market. New methods of employee evaluations must be adopted besides the performance measurements that have been implemented in the organization. The training of the relevant staff is required for proper operations of digital equipment to ensure efficiency in areas such as quick delivery of quality services (Bratton & Gold 2007; Moe, Dingsøyr, & Dybå 2010).

Ineffective Strategies for Learning

The First National Bank’s management uses the VUKA and Umhlanganos campaigns to ensure that a leader decides after collective consultations. Some employees from different cultural backgrounds might perceive this strategy as a weakness due to the different cultures that are embraced in the decision-making processes (Garavan & McGuire 2010). The management must ensure proper appreciation of different cultures that are exhibited at the global scenario by embracing the company values strongly. The enterprise’s ethics should be reinforced to foster cohesion among the employees (Brown & Mitchell 2010).

Globalization Challenge of Business Value, Cultural Diversity, and Ethics

Globalization requires that entities operate at the global level. The institutions must embrace cultural diversity to ensure the inclusion of all employees regardless of their backgrounds. Sometimes, the understanding of the organizational culture and behaviors of international employees becomes hectic (Prahalad & Ramaswamy 2004). Embracing the culture of an organization entails a combination of leadership centrality and authority. Such practices bring culturally diverse employees together through the recruitment, training, and engagement of employees in proper communication whilst ensuring equity and fairness to bring about harmony. This idea was supported by a goal-oriented management theory that was advanced by Fayol, who stipulated the 14 principles of organizational leadership and management (Senior & Fleming 2006).

An organizational transformation that suits the global scenario requires the implementation of a social software system to establish collaborations for easier opening of branches worldwide. The case study revealed that most of the South African residents, especially in the rural levels, were not familiar with the new culture that was introduced through the VUKA program. Such challenges can be experienced at the global level where diverse cultures are exhibited (Pies, Beckmann, & Hielscher 2010). Improper implementation of ethics can lead to scandals among leaders or employees in the organization. Employees should prioritize on the company’s objectives and interests but not their interests (Pies, Beckmann & Hielscher 2010).

According to Pies, Beckmann, and Hielscher (2010), many managers face the challenge of embracing ethical behaviors and instilling the required culture in the employees. Another problem is the effective management of group interest rather than personal interest. Such practices should be done in a way to preserve the required ethical values in the organization (Pies, Beckmann, & Hielscher 2010). This situation is evidenced in the case study where employees in the First National Bank come from different cultures and geographical locations. Harmonization of the differences among employees should be embraced. In the global scenario, the operation of First National Bank will face a myriad of challenges if proper diversity training in culture is not effectively handled (Pies, Beckmann, & Hielscher 2010).

Most of the managers in South Africa were unwilling to share their experiences in transformation with others as mentioned by Zweli. This situation was due to the Apartheid issues that the country experienced several decades ago. As a result, conforming to the cultures of different people from different backgrounds will be cumbersome in the five-year duration (Duh, Belak, & Milfelner 2010; Pies, Beckmann, & Hielscher 2010).

Collaborative work at the global level requires employees from different cultural backgrounds to share ideas, values, beliefs, and skills among other elements that are useful in the workplace. The cultural barrier is an issue that exists in many transactional systems worldwide. For this reason, the company ought to go beyond the South African culture to engage more communities in its business operations (Garavan & McGuire 2010; Pies, Beckmann, & Hielscher 2010). For that reason, the banking firm should ensure that the employees are picked from diverse cultural backgrounds (Ober 2007). There is a need to invest more in time and resources to foster the understanding, designing, and development of a social software platform for effective communication. The middle management should be encouraged to increase its sensitivity to cultural issues with a view of ensuring collaboration amongst the employees since it interacts with them frequently. This state of play should be ensured through proper employee training to meet the needs of experienced and knowledgeable customers (Kirton & Greene 2000).

Implementation of International Practices in Organisational Transformation

The modern world is characterized by fast and efficient business operations. To ensure effective management of the performance of an enterprise, managers are required to hire the most competent personnel. This strategy promotes the growth of the organization in both the industry and personal levels. Inefficiency in an organization results in reduced performance (Luthans & Youssef 2007). Therefore, managers in the First National Bank require apt knowledge in the implementation of organizational skills. The firm faces a challenge of meeting the global operation standards due to the inadequacy of skills that it exhibits. Issues that are related to the transitional economy and organizational transformation among others need the interventions of highly skilled personnel (Luthans & Youssef 2007).

Blurred Boundaries of the Organisation

The current advances in technology and the digital age have bridged the time and distance gaps that existed a few decades ago. Modern management is currently conducted through video conferencing, live streaming, and calls that ensure the availability of employees around the clock (Sánchez et al. 2012). The First National Bank is one of the expanding organizations that have captured the global market. For this reason, it is likely to face the challenges of adopting new technologies and shifting business landscapes due to the absence of physical boundaries at the global level (Suddaby 2010). Coping with the flattering organizational structure at the international level is also a problem that results from the absence of physical boundaries and structures. The FNB management ought to develop a better way of creating a reputable business language and culture that fosters transparency, collaboration, equity, and fulfillment of expectations with a view of promoting successful operations (Ellis & Ybema 2010).

Globalization together with flattened management systems causes blurred boundaries in organizations. This view contradicts the Weber’s Bureaucratic theoretical concept that focuses on legal and rational concepts of management. This theory is based on the hierarchically structured bureaucracy that is permanent in the modern society. Due to technological advancement, a breakup of the hierarchical system is noted (King, Felin, & Whetten 2010). The First National Bank must get rid of the usual hierarchical system of management. It should embrace equitable decision-making panels to alter the perceptions of authority in the firm. The digital technology provides a platform where everybody’s opinion is brought on board for evaluation and appraisal (Ellis & Ybema 2010). Although physical structures and hierarchical systems are currently seen as less important in management, irrational human behaviors can still be monitored through the enactment of robust rules in the financial firm (King, Felin, & Whetten 2010).

Politics in Management

A challenge of politics in FNB management is evident in terms of the leadership aspect. The First National Bank was tremendously losing its market shares in 2000 due to the unawareness of diversity inclusion and proper leadership styles. Zweli Manyathi (2010) attests that inspirational leadership is paramount to the realization of organizational objectives. In this sense, the FNB implemented a program of leadership that embraced employee relationships (Frontiera 2010).

Even though programs such as VUKA were used to train people on leadership skills, other staffs see it as a hectic and less enthusiastic process. Some can also feel that the organization has inadequate personnel to execute such changes. In the global scenario, such challenges must be prepared to ensure successful leadership. In response to politics, visionary leaders remain at the forefront to ensure that everybody is contented with the transformation process. In the report, Zweli passionately likes the idea of new leadership that was transformational. This situation makes the program sustainable as support is lobbied from both the staff and outside the FNB organization. This situation ensures collaborations and teamwork that are advantageous at the global level.


Contemporary organizations are faced with ever-increasing challenges in a rapidly transforming business world that is influenced by information, technology, socio-political, and economic changes among others. Most of the problems that are currently faced by the management of the First National Bank are related to technology, knowledge advancement, and emotional intelligence in areas such as workplace relationships, collaborations, teamwork enhancement, and appreciation of different cultures among others.

The leaders of the financial firm are required to have a strong passion in the pursuit of its mission. Such values should also be passed to the employees. This practice is an art of emotional intelligence in management. The FNB leaders must also be prepared to change the firm’s processes by ensuring that the attitudes of the employees are transformed from the aspect of avoidance to the perception of acceptance. Furthermore, the management must ensure that the current technological trends are implemented in the organization to advance communication processes and the provision of quality services to the consumers who are available globally. Most of the opportunities in the global scenario are well grasped due to the progressive technology that provides quick consumer delivery of service.


The report has elaborated on various findings about the First National Bank in South Africa. The inspirational leadership program that the bank introduced to the residents aimed at integrating the African leadership aspect into the organization. The VUKA program was established to promote emotional intelligence in organizational leadership and transformation. The First National Bank needs to prepare for the aforementioned challenges that can face the financial firm in the next five years by taking into account the aforementioned recommendations.


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