For almost 50 years, Plansmith has helped financial institutions become better organizations through improved planning. In that time, we've heard a lot of industry chatter - much of it a load of, dare we say, bologna.
For most banks and credit unions the annual budgeting process is just that, a “process” that is far from looked forward to.
The CFO gathers data and input from market managers and department heads. The President and CEO then hand down more information as well as targets and objectives that rarely align with the other information. It's then the CFO's and finance team's job to cobble it all together, make it balance, and deliver results to the Board for approval.
As anyone who has been through it knows, the process itself is not cut and dry. To be honest, it can be downright exhausting.
As you grow, your organization has more and more things to manage.
- Strategically, you’re working to find the right markets to penetrate with the ideal products and services.
- Financially, you’re making sure your earnings are meeting or exceeding targets.
- And organizationally, you’re looking for the right talent to expand and grow.
One thing you can’t ignore is the role Interest Rate Risk plays in the banking industry today.
The purchase of an asset liability management (ALM) system presents a problem to many bankers. Often the process begins with the creation of a checklist of features and functions then progresses to comparing vendors. The vendor with the highest "score" wins. While this may be a good start, there are dimensions to the problem that this ignores, specifically the quality and significance of the features identified.
"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.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”
- (Not) Charles Darwin
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.
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…
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.