Most of us hate planning. So why would I want to start now, when I could wait until the usual time next year?
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.
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.
Our budgeting process gives us an idea of where we think we are headed in the next year. Many times, what we think will happen, is not what happens in reality. After all, if we all had a crystal ball at our disposal, you would not be reading this blog right now (I know I would not be writing it!).
Virtually every business prepares a budget and calls it planning. Some actually develop strategic plans every couple of years to go through an exercise in search of new ideas and approaches. Very few, if any, reap or even appreciate the benefits of planning outside of the financial benefit they hope to realize. While the intentional outcome of these efforts is profit-based, the other powerful benefits are often overlooked. This includes building the necessary buy-in and trust within the organization to achieve the financial goals. For many organizations, this is the missing key that’s needed to support effective execution of the plan. It’s the lack of genuine buy-in that confines the plan to the top shelf of a bookcase somewhere.
When I made the leap to marketing after years of sales, I immediately rewound the last 25 years and watched a virtual VHS tape (yes, that old - click this if you don't remember) in search of what I learned. You see, I didn't have the luxury of learning on the job this time, I had to apply what I already knew and apply it fast.
Backtesting can be a painful topic for bankers. In this post, I'll answer the top 5 most common questions I hear about backtesting. I'll reference my first post, Independent Review, Model Validation, and Backtesting: Same Thing, Only Different, so you might want to revisit it before reading on. In that blog, we looked at the interrelationship of these three items and brought up a few questions on backtesting.
Specifically, we questioned 5 things: who should do it, how often should it be done, what period should be covered, do you need to backtest model results and assumptions, and why even bother if market rates really aren’t changing.