Plansmith Blog

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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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How is Your Bank Planning for the Millennial Takeover?

Posted by Megan Plis Knapp on 5/2/17 9:31 AM

By 2020, millennials will account for 50% of the global workforce (PWC). And according to Gallup, only 29% of millennials are currently engaged at work.

That puts employers in a tough spot, considering this generation will eventually be charged with leading these organizations. And banks are not immune!

What is your bank doing now to prepare for the inevitable millennial takeover?

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3 Ways to Build an Engaged Strategic Planning Team

Posted by Megan Plis Knapp on 3/8/17 3:35 PM

Don't let your bank fall victim to outdated preconceptions of strategy. Traditionally, strategy has been made out to be a big, scary word. It sounds daunting, dark, and almost threatening. Or, at the very least, kind of boring. But what you're thinking of is the strategic planning of the past.

Make strategic planning a priority that your team will take ownership of in a positive way. Here's how to put a fresh twist on your bank's strategy.

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Planning to Build Trust in Your Bank

Posted by Craig Hartman on 3/1/17 8:02 AM

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.

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