It’s strategic planning season for many banks – a time for fresh ideas about your future. Why not add a new variation to this year’s planning session by combining these considerations into your format and agenda?
Gain a sense of your board’s vision for your bank. Ask your board a straightforward set of questions: “In five years, what can our bank be for our customers? In five years, how would you define strategic success? In five years, what is unique about our bank and business model?” Watch for themes that reveal your board’s aspiration for your bank. Chances are your board’s vision is focused on positioning your bank as Number 1 in the marketplace of your customers’ loyalty.
Focus your planning session on ideas rather than numbers. Leave your strategic updates for your monthly board meetings and work from the vision your board has established. Rather than focusing on a set of financial targets, frame your conversations around concepts that can lead to greater significance in your customers’ lives. If the initiatives you agree upon and create plans to execute lead to a deeper business commitment from your customers, your exceptional financial results will be a product of your brainstorms.
Aim for new ways to grow your top line. For all intents and purposes, the greater part of your bank’s strategies should concentrate on the top line – new customers, new income sources, expanded reach, increased capacities, new products, growing your loan portfolio, and more. With an emphasis on optimizing the benefit your bank can deliver to your customers, your bank is able to increase its base of revenue in this exchange of value. When the customer wins first, your bank wins with new and expanded sources of revenue.
At its simplest, strategy is about where your bank will compete and how you will win. As your executive and governance teams meet to design and plan for your future, ensure your conversations remain dedicated to what your bank can be for its customers and why your customers should choose your bank in the future. In the end, your customers will drive your bank’s success. Create worthwhile strategies to secure their loyalty for your shared successes.
Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with financial institutions that want elite results in leadership, sales, and strategy. Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 financial institutions and their business partners.