In July of 2013, I was asked by someone close to me if I was interested in meeting with the CEO of Beyond Bank Australia. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a new role the organisation had created that they thought I might have an interest in. At the time I was a little unsure what to make of it as I was quite enjoying my role with the Adelaide Football Club in the exciting world of professional sport. That said, I had also never worked in the financial services industry before which did make me curious so I decided to go ahead and take the meeting.
I went along fully prepared to treat the experience like an interview. I was well rehearsed and felt ready to ask a number of questions about the role and talk through the skills and knowledge I could bring to the organisation if it felt like a good fit for both parties.
The thing is, the conversation never quite took that direction. From the moment we sat down, the CEO made it very clear that he knew my work history well and what he believed I could bring to the organisation from a technical perspective. What he was more interested in went a lot deeper than that.
For the next hour, we spent quite a bit of time discussing the things that I see as important in life and what I like to do with my young family away from work. I didn’t quite know it then but he was looking to determine what type of character I was and what kind of values I held.
Knowing him a lot better now I appreciate why. He is firmly of the view that it is people that make Beyond Bank Australia successful. Not products, not processes, but people. Get it right with your people and the rest will follow.
I remember walking away from the discussion curious and intrigued. Before the meeting, I was not quite sure if I would actually leave the world of professional sport. After the meeting though, I was left in no doubt that this was the right move for me to make. I wanted to work for an organisation that lived and breathed its values each and every day.
In many subsequent discussions with the CEO and others in our business, the desire to create positive change in the community has always been evident. The common view is that business should be used as a force for good and that the business community must value and respect the key role it plays in developing better outcomes for the societies in which it operates.
Since 2013, Beyond Bank Australia has gone on to become Australia’s first and only B Corp accredited bank. B Corp is a global movement of people harnessing the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. As the B Corp community has just closed out B Corp month for 2018 I reflect upon that initial meeting with the CEO in 2013. Whilst Beyond Bank Australia was not officially certified as a B Corp then, the truth was it had been operating like one for many years.
I am extremely proud that we are a certified B Corp and encourage any business to consider doing the same.