Scott Morgan is the Chief Executive Officer of Greater Bank, the Hunter region’s only locally headquartered bank.
He worked for advisory firm Price Waterhouse Cooper before coming to the banking sector to develop the internal audit and risk management function at the then Greater Building Society. He became Chief Risk Officer in 2010 and it was 2014 when he was elevated to the role of CEO.
Scott is innovation and process improvement focused, with a passion for challenging the status quo.
- What makes a good leader?
I think what makes a great leader really depends upon in many respects the circumstances and the challenges you’re facing in that particular business. For me personally probably some of those key characteristics really revolve around understanding the importance of culture in anything you are looking to do in any business and that you have got the right culture and capability to deliver on the strategic intent you have, because I am very firmly of the view that if you don’t, that culture will very much eat into whatever strategic intent you have to take the business forward.
I think you need to be able to be a good communicator – your ability has to sell that message, to sell that case for change is what will bring people with you and enable you to have a strong engagement and a strongly engaged business is a business that moves forward.
I think also being open to a bit of dissidence – being prepared to get out on the frontline and listen to alternative views, not necessarily thinking in all cases that you’re the smartest guy in the room and being prepared to accept that maybe there is another view that is the right view other than your own I think is really important.
Probably also trust and integrity – people will follow and support people who demonstrate trust, integrity – that will get people behind you whether that is your managers or your directors in terms of how they want to support you to go forward.
- How would you describe your leadership style?
I would very modestly cover all of the things I said before again – I am the sort of person who is very focused around the cultural aspects and I am very interested in terms of making sure that I’ve got that culture and those capabilities and making sure I have got the right people around me who are on board and supporting where we are going.
Also I think I am the sort of person who does really enjoy the debate, the discussion, understanding alternative points of view, again to make sure that everything is on the table if you are arriving in the right direction with the right answers on terms of where you want to go.
- What are some of the key issues facing you and other leaders of Hunter businesses?
I think certainly disruption is the buzz word of the moment and I think all businesses, including regional businesses, are facing disruption at the moment and are unsure exactly as to how to respond to disruption. I think it is really easy to get caught up in the technology at times and to chase some of the excitement of the different technology solution.
Again, from my perspective, I think it is really important to again come back and make sure that you’ve got the culture and the capabilities right, not only in terms of responding to the disruption and the change that you are seeing then, but to also to be able to be setup and to respond against disruption and change in the future. The only thing that I can tell you as a guarantee is that the change and the disruption is going to continue and probably going to accelerate.
The other key piece I think to understand in that space is that disruption comes from ultimately people probably better understanding the needs of your customers then you do yourself and that is what enables them to disrupt you.
If you are very much continually focused in terms of what your evolving customer needs and wants are, and you are continually evolving with those needs and wants, you are going to make it a lot less easy for people to disrupt you and you are going to be in a better position as technology changes come along and you are open to them, to decide which of those are probably the right ones to meet your customer needs.
- What’s good about doing business in the Hunter?
I think the Hunter, like a lot of regional markets, are a great place to do business because you do get that sense of community bonding with a business and I think that regional markets and the Hunter in particular there is a real willingness to work with and consider challenger brands such as ourselves, provided that challenger brands like ourselves actually deliver on the proposition that we actually make to those people.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
I think there are a lot of inspiring local businesspeople in Newcastle. I guess in what terms are probably visible to me is nib – it is a really exciting success story in terms of Newcastle, in terms of evolving what was a mutual at some point in time developing into what is actuallychallenging their entire marketplace in which they are operating.