Plansmith Blog

Compass 2-Day Event: September 2018

Posted by Jennifer Mello on 10/1/18 10:59 AM

"It was a very informative two days. It was also helpful to learn different ways to navigate through the tabs and fields in the Compass program."
 

We had nine bankers in our office last Thursday and Friday attending our first 2-day event, and what a success it was! We had a great group ranging from new clients, new users, and more established veterans, banks from $240 MM to $1.6 B in assets, men and women from diverse backgrounds, traveling in from near and far. The group was excited to share thoughts and ideas, and interested in ways we can help them enhance their understanding of the planning concepts and models.

Read More

Planning for Change: A Lesson from Charles Darwin

Posted by Bill Peck on 9/14/18 12:33 PM

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

- (Not) Charles Darwin

It’s true.

Although this is a pretty great quote, Darwin never actually said it. It was an attempt by Dr. Leon C. Megginson, Louisiana State University Professor of Management and Marketing, to capture the essence of Darwin’s seminal “On the Origin of Species” for a 1963 speech to the Southwestern Social Science Association. The text of the speech was subsequently published in the Association’s quarterly journal, and the rest is quote-misattribution history.

Read More

15 Ways an Outside Facilitator Can Save Your Next Strategic Planning Session

Posted by Kevin Stang on 7/24/18 3:01 PM

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
Read More

5 Simple Tweaks to Build a Better Strategic Plan

Posted by Megan Plis Knapp on 7/20/18 3:23 PM

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.

Read More

The Most Important Variance – Where You Will Be

Posted by Craig Hartman on 6/25/18 2:58 PM

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.

Read More

How We Improved Strategic Planning at Plansmith

Posted by Craig Hartman & Christine Lake on 6/12/18 11:19 AM

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.

Read More

Your budget is NOT your Strategic Plan

Posted by Mike Bilyeu on 6/12/18 9:40 AM

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?

Read More

Bankers: Are You Considering a New Branch Location?

Posted by Kevin Stang on 4/18/18 2:42 PM

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?  

Read More

Change Isn't What It Used To Be

Posted by Craig Hartman on 3/7/18 2:15 PM

Since the mid-1960s change has been a constant. The only real change is the rate of change. For years there have been predictions of shrinkage in the number of banks – the prediction is finally coming true. There has been a big change in the number of institutions (over 16,000 in 1972 to about 5,000 today). The environments they serve and the ways in which they serve has changed. Competition, consumer attitudes, market demographics, regulations, products, and technology have all had their impact.

Read More

5 Things Your Strategic Plan is Probably Missing

Posted by Megan Plis Knapp on 2/23/18 3:17 PM

The saddest thing I see with banks and credit unions is probably not what you'd think.

It's not a lack of passion for people, or even a disparate set of products that fail to match up with customer needs. In fact, banks and credit unions excel at both of these and they play a big role in creating a unique customer experience.

I could continue to list things, but you still wouldn't guess. Why? Because it's something we don't even think about it's so foreign to us.

Read More