His positive attitude was probably critical to the employees at Bank One. It is important to keep in mind that Bank One, while it was one large organization at the time that Dimon came in, had been consolidated from a number of smaller organizations. As a result, one would imagine that all of the employees had experienced the loss of coworkers and changes in management in prior reorganizations and mergers. As a result, I believe that, had I been an employee at Bank One when Dimon came in to try to save the company, I would have been apprehensive. I would have worried that my job was in jeopardy. As a result, I believe that I would have been defensive if Dimon approached me to ask my opinion about how to improve processes. I would be worried that if I suggested improvements that might eventually improve productivity and increase profit, I might actually help work myself out of a job. Moreover, because Dimon was an outsider to the organization and did not come from any of the smaller banks that had previously been merged with Bank One, if I were a member of upper management, I think I would have felt resentful that Dimon had been hired to handle the turn-around.
The feelings that I would have had seem to be what the feelings of the Bank One employees were when Dimon arrived. The case study describes a much fractured organization, with people committed to the ways that they had operated while employed at the smaller banks that eventually formed part of Bank One. As a result, they were not working as a cohesive unit. This led not only to a loss of productivity, but also to people in the organization working against one another's interests. In other words, the entire corporate culture was dysfunctional at the time that Dimon arrived.
In order to create and maintain an entrepreneurial culture at Bank One, it would be critical to get the employees all committed to the idea of Bank One as a new organization. Rather than trying to preserve the distinct elements of the organization that were vestiges of its prior incarnations, I would recommend starting from scratch and determining the optimal technological systems, accounting systems, and ways of determining credit-worthiness, and then implementing them across the entire organization. I would also suggest a significant change in management, perhaps moving even successful managers to different branches, in order to convey the idea that the organization was basically a new one. I would also encourage innovation in the employees by maintaining an active presence in local branches, as well as among the executives.
Without knowing the results of Dimon's takeover at Bank One, it is difficult to assess whom the innovation impacted the most, in either a positive or negative manner. The case study merely describes what Dimon did; it did not describe how people were impacted. However, one cannot help but imagine that the executives and higher-level managers that came from the banks that had become part of Bank One felt the strongest impact of Dimon's actions, and that it was a negative impact for them. His whole approach threatened the way that they operated their organizations. Furthermore, he was being called in because they were not being profitable.
Dimon knew that he faced substantial challenges when he came into his position at Bank One, but he was very optimistic that he would be able to make the company successful. He wanted to identify the company's strengths and weaknesses and capitalize on the first and mitigate the second. However, as an outside coming in to the organization, he first had to convince the existing employees that he was committed to the organization and that he had the skills to make the bank successful. All of his efforts as he transitioned into the company displayed his understanding that he had to establish himself as a successful leader before he could be a successful leader.
Baldoni, J. (2012, October 1). Three traits every great leader must demonstrate. Retrieved December 13, 2012 from Forbes website: http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2012/10/01/three-traits-every-great-leader-must-demonstrate/
Marshall, P. & Thedinga, T. (2006, February 27). Jamie Dimon and Bank One (a). Harvard
Business School Cases. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.