“No matter what our role is, every LPL employee is responsible for just one thing: and that’s to serve and support you,” Arnold told the group of approximately 3,600 financial advisors attending the firm’s signature conference in Boston.
When Arnold became CEO in January 2017, he set out to develop a strategic framework to guide how the firm operates. After conducting a comprehensive assessment internally and gathering feedback from advisors, Arnold recognized that the company’s culture was not aligned to its strategy. “In order to execute our strategy, we’ve got to change how we work,” he said. “We are transforming our culture to one that puts you and your needs at the center.”
Arnold shared four principles to guide a culture change at LPL:
- Make it Easier to do Business with LPL: The firm’s No. 1 priority is to make it easier for advisors to do business with LPL. This means every LPL employee must understand and be accountable for how actions and decisions impact advisors, Arnold said, and it’s important for employees to build an emotional connection to the work advisors do on behalf of their clients. It’s about creating “wow” opportunities, providing more personalized service and making things simpler.
- Listening Culture: “Feedback is a gift,” Arnold said. “We are challenging every part of the organization to establish a discipline of seeking and listening to your feedback, prioritizing it, and dedicating the resources to act on it.” To ignite a cycle of continuous improvement, Arnold mentioned the company’s “100 wins in 100 days” initiative, which was focused on “delivering what you need better and faster.”
- Innovation: “We’re building a culture that will be deliberate about being good at innovation,” Arnold said. He mentioned that the journey to be better began two years ago, with the firm introducing new techniques and practices to build innovation muscle and momentum across the firm. Those efforts began to pay off last year with several new enhancements, and will continue moving forward. “We’re backing up this drive for innovation with investment. This year, we’ll spend roughly $125 million on new technology and innovation meant to contribute to new services and solutions.”
- Great Partnership: “There’s a bond connecting all of us that’s built on collaboration, shared experiences and a shared mission,” Arnold said, promising to stay accountable for each step of the journey by providing advisors with regular updates and reports. In the spirit of transparency and open dialogue, Arnold is also hosting a series of town hall question and answer sessions for advisors during Focus.
“This cultural transformation isn’t easy and it won’t happen overnight, but we will make steady progress. And it’s going to create new organizational capabilities that will set the foundation for our success for the next 20 years,” Arnold said. “At LPL, we are all one team on one mission.”