Justina Lai, Chief Impact Officer of Laird Norton Wealth Management & Wetherby Asset Management, on integrating culture and technology.
Merging success: Importance of culture
My name is Justina Lai, and I'm the Chief Impact Officer of Laird Norton Wealth Management & Wetherby Asset Management.
Ultimately, everything flows from culture, and we really do need to start with shared vision and values. Bringing everybody together around that common vision and understanding of our shared values really leads to change in culture, change in norms, and change in behavior. And there's a constant reinforcement of that message that is required in terms of behaviors and actions and the decisions that we make as senior leaders.
From a technological standpoint, we recognize this is really a marathon, versus a sprint. We don't want to start with technology. We really believe technology is a tool that's meant to enable all of the work that we're trying to achieve, and ultimately our focus on serving our clients better over time. And so we're going to take a step back and really think about how we do that in the right way and what kind of technology we need in order to support all of that. We know our employees have day jobs and we want them to focus on that, and so we want to provide them with technology that supports their efforts, but also provide them with bite-size changes over time that are easily absorbed and easily managed in their day-to-day work.
When bringing two companies together, I think it's really critical to ensure that we have a true sort of understanding of what our common goals and objectives are. A common vision that everybody can work towards together. It's really critical for leaders to be authentic and transparent, and also to communicate really clearly. We recognize some of this work can be really challenging, but if we remind folks of ultimately what we're all trying to achieve together, we hope that that is one way to really bring these companies together and unify our vision and mission.