I think that unnecessary bureaucracy does enormous damage to the company. Honestly, have you ever worked in a company that has a bigger problem with unnecessary bureaucracy than is the case here?
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Worked at a global bank with more than 4 times the number of employees (including contractors at USAA) and never experienced the difficulties in gaining consensus and reaching objectives as at USAA.
I never imagined a business that was in such chaos as the bank. False deadlines, useless systems, incomplete and inaccurate data. It’s heartbreaking that so many work so hard for check the box solutions that don’t solve problems or mitigate risks.
Having been in a Wall Street Boiler room in the 1990’s and what was deemed as predatory lending before the housing crisis, I’m shocked and saddened by the ineffective programs and strategies.
I worked for General Motors for 23 years. So yeah, I can safely say I’ve worked for a larger company with unnecessary bureaucracy. A company where staff managers are looking at the next job and use the middle managers as a springboard. I’m much happier in my retirement job in a family owned food industry.
Over recent years USAA has been able to overcome the continual parade of job hopping senior executives who were supposedly shooting stars but who were little more than talking heads adding little to the table. So yes on the dense bureaucracy and lack of agility in what has historically been a paternalistic organization. The company managed to stay on course and grew under the mentorship of a cadre of experienced, loyal mid-level managers. Most recently it seems like everyone in middle management and his or her brother and sister is fleeing a sinking ship. So yes, I am concerned about the company's ability to meet the challenges it will face over the next 10 years.
It’s stunning how inefficient and slow to respond this company is. It’s sad because there are some really good people here but hands are tied. Then there are also some really unqualified people on positions of power and influence that drown everyone else out. People confuse getting something done quickly with doing it right.
The EXTREMELY dense bureaucracy and the MANY layers of management (executive) make USAA a very un-innovative company. Few to nothing gets done quickly. Time to market is excruciatingly slow. This is NOT how a modern 21st-century company functions or is run. If USAA were not so fat with cash from better economic times, it would be in dire straits trying to compete with nimble innovative companies. The dense bureaucracy costs $$$$ of money to sustain, and the slowness in getting things done also has high costs $$$$. Reaching the first 100 years was "easy", getting to the next 10 years is likely going to be near impossible for USAA in the way it is structured today given the rapid change in the economy and insurance/banking industry. The speed of change and innovation is so rapid today and companies that are so obsolete in their management and operating model will suffer. Unfortunately, as an employee, you will suffer along and get dinged because of economic pressures as the company is challenged heavily by punishing market forces.