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Should Organizations be Production-Focused or Compliance Focused?

David Lykken
Aug 21, 2015

In most mortgage organizations, there is a constant tug-of-war between compliance-focused workers and production-focused workers. The financial crisis and its aftermath, with the rise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the continued emphasis on compliance, has made this division even more pronounced. On the one hand, there is part of the organization whose purpose is to initiate loans. And, on the other hand, there is part of the organization whose purpose is to deny them.

As I consult and coach leaders in the mortgage industry, I've noticed that this division of purposes often drives the culture of organizations. Should organizations be production-focused or compliance-focused? The manner in which different employees in organizations answer this question provides a constant state of tension that leads to workplace hostility and delays organizational progress.

My answer to this question is one that is simple to say, but can be difficult to live out in practice. Organizations should be neither production-focused, nor compliance-focused. Organizations should be values-focused. That is, each member of the team needs to know why the organization exists, what it stands for and how it serves its customers. People in compliance need to understand the need for revenue. And people in origination need to understand the need for regulatory caution. But the way for this to happen is for everyone to have a shared purpose. We need collaboration. We need synergy. We need unity.

Have you mapped out your organization's values? Doing so may just lead your team away from a struggle for power and toward a struggle for shared success.


David Lykken is 40-year mortgage industry veteran who has been an owner operator in three mortgage banking companies and a software company. As a former business owner/operator, today David loves helping C-Level executives and business owners achieve extraordinary results via consulting, coaching and communications, with the objective of eliminating corporate dysfunction, establishing and communicating a clear corporate strategy while focusing on process improvement and operational efficiencies resulting in increased profitability. David has been a regular contributor on CNBC and Fox Business News and currently hosts a successful weekly radio program, “Lykken on Lending,” that is heard each Monday at noon (Central Standard Time) by thousands of mortgage professionals. He produces a daily one-minute video called “Today’s Mortgage Minute” that appears on hundreds of television, radio and newspaper Web sites across America. He may be reached by phone at (512) 501-2810 or by e-mail at [email protected]


Aug 21, 2015