I spent the 4th of July Holiday as many Americans do. That’s right, cleaning out the garage. As I engaged in this long overdue spring cleaning, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of pine needles in the corner. It brought back a bad memory from last December, that I could at least laugh about now. Sort of…
We’ve all been in meetings that weren’t exactly productive. You know how it goes…
- The meeting begins with little to no agenda
- You waste most of the time discussing off-topic subjects
- Debates over seemingly meaningless items end up derailing progress
- Someone ends up creating more questions than solutions
- The meeting takes an hour longer than it was scheduled for
- The team walks away with no clue what to do next
Only part of a successful strategic plan lies in the plan itself. A good plan, just like a recipe, is important. But any good chef will tell you, choosing the right ingredients is only half the challenge. The rest lies in executing the recipe properly.
So, how can your bank or credit union make a better strategic plan?
Here are some simple tweaks to the ingredients and execution of your strategic planning recipe.
“E-Learning” is rapidly expanding here at Plansmith and client comments have been very positive. Right now there are more than 50 different sessions available and many more sessions are in development.
Why has the “E-Learning” approach been so popular, especially since Plansmith has always provided such a high level of live, personal support and is committed to continuing that?
I was playing golf the other day and, of course, while I’m playing I’m thinking about work, which is a bad idea since I should be concentrating on my game. But I’m always thinking about ways to make planning more effective. My thoughts today were on variance analysis. Everyone uses variance analyses in their board reports to check progress against plan and it is certainly a good check. At board meetings we review our current position relative to last month, year-to-date and last year-to-date, etc.
As a company passionate about the value of planning, we have our own strategic plan. Like most, we would gather for a few days every year to review our mission and vision, discuss our market opportunities, develop objectives, determine action plans, and assign responsibilities. But, I am ashamed to admit, just like many companies we never really executed as well as we should for a number of reasons.
We’ve heard these questions hundreds of times. “Why do we need a strategic plan? We already have a budget.”
Instead of developing a plan for their organization, many banks and credit unions operate using their budget. The budgeting process is already in place, line items are easily moved from one year to the next with minor changes based on anticipated revenues and initiatives.
So why isn’t this a good idea?
So why do we keep hearing about “surge” deposits and how important it is to know if you’re holding any? Well, it might be because in the past 10 years, CD balances in FDIC insured institutions have fallen by $880 Billion; yes, that’s Billion with a capital “B.” And while that may be the bad news, the good news is that over the same time period, non-maturity deposits (DDAs, NOWs, Savings, and MMDAs) have grown by $5.9 Trillion (with a capital “T”).
I have been in the banking industry since 1979, and on March 22, 2018 I received a copy of something that I never thought I would see that made me say out loud, “It’s about time!”
It was a letter to Members of the Illinois Congressional Delegation. The content of that letter was to express strong support for bill S. 2155, the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act. What surprised me was that it was signed by the presidents and CEOs of 4 financial trade associations, comprised of both banks and credit unions.
So, you decided to open a new branch? This comes after you’ve spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new electronic delivery technologies. It also comes after we just hit a record for financial institution branch closures. And let’s also add the fact that lobby traffic has reduced by 10 times the rate of those branch closures. Given these facts, how can you know if you’re making the right decision?