Category Archives: Marketing

Teach Children to Save adds lesson plans and additional curriculum

TeachChildrenSaveLogoABA has released new modules to supplement its Teach Children to Save curriculum that are designed to inspire young students to pursue careers in banking. The three “Bankers and You” teaching modules target different grade levels with age-appropriate lessons that highlight how banks help the community, what it takes to be a banker and potential careers in the banking industry.

“America’s banks employ more than 2 million people with various backgrounds, skill sets and job functions,” said Corey Carlisle, the Foundation’s executive director. “These modules will introduce the next generation to the many ways banks support their communities and the breadth of career paths they offer.”

These new resources supplement ABA’s Teach Children to Save program, a national campaign that encourages banker volunteers to present savings lessons to schools or youth groups in their local communities. Now in its 20th year, the program has helped more than 245,000 bankers bring financial literacy lessons to more than 8.2 million students. Teach Children to Save Day will be observed on April 28, but bankers can hold their lessons throughout the year.

A free informational webinar on the new “Bankers and You” modules will be held on April 7 at 1 p.m. CDT. Bankers can also learn more about Teach Children to Save, ask questions and share best practices by participating in a live Twitter chat today at 1 p.m. CDT using the hashtag #TeachChildrentoSave.   Register for the webinar.  Learn more about Teach Children to Save.


ADA Website Accessibility Tools

checkmarkThe Department of Justice recently published an “ADA Best Practices Tool Kit,” which includes website accessibility guidance and a checklist that can be used to verify compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

While the tool kit is primarily geared toward state and local governments, which are governed by Title II of the ADA, it will be helpful to banks working on improving website accessibility. The DOJ has indicated that the Title II rulemaking will significantly impact the website accessibility standards ultimately promulgated under the Title III regulations, which are expected to be issued in 2018. For additional background on DOJ expectations see the February “The Disclosure” article, “Is Your Website Accessible to the Visually Impaired” here.

The guidance identifies common website accessibility problems and proposes solutions and other considerations that are useful in developing ADA compliant websites. It also includes a detailed action plan for making existing web content accessible. The checklist is intended to guide preliminary assessments of website accessibility, and policies and procedures for maintaining website accessibility.

A Culture of Service Excellence in Ten Minutes a Day

by Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional


Jeff Rendel

Remarkable results in just ten minutes a day? That’s what the infomercial gurus tell us as they sell their wares for amazing abs, real estate investing, and dogs that won’t bark. In spite of their claims, there is plenty of power in short, focused efforts performed consistently. Your bank can build its commitment to service excellence in just ten minutes a day.

For three decades, The Ritz-Carlton Hotels have held the “Daily Line-Up;” a ten-minute department huddle to prepare for the day ahead. It’s a chance for every department – around the world – to discuss and focus on one of its dozen-plus service principles and standards of service. Team members share “wow” stories of how they provided a great experience to a guest or colleague and they focus on a standard to execute through the day (like “a warm greeting,” “a fond farewell,” or creating a “guest for life.” For the Ritz Carlton’s full list of Gold Standards, visit

The Daily Line-Up is simple to execute at your bank. Before opening (or before every shift), huddle up in a small group to discuss a single aspect of service. Ideally, the feature to discuss comes from an established list of service standards unique to your bank with the discussion tailored to practical methods and examples of excellent service. If your bank’s service standards are still in the works, incorporate some service principles discovered in articles on your state association’s website.

To increase participation in the Daily Line-Up, see that leading the discussion doesn’t fall on the manager or trainer. Mix it up and choose a different leader every day. Tellers, loan officers, branch managers, call center agents, the CEO, I.T. professionals, and many more can contribute to learning and teaching what’s most important for service. In distinct ways, every professional at your bank is a leader for all customers. Each can provide valuable insight to enrich customer service.

Keep the Daily Line-Up short – ten minutes is best, long enough to elaborate on content and short enough that it doesn’t feel like a meeting. What’s most important is that everyone is hearing the same message and taking the day’s element into their duties to keep your customer service culture alive. When it comes to customer service, the greatest challenge isn’t skills, details, and the nuts and bolts of working with customers. The challenge is focus and performance during the day-to-day schedule. The Daily Line-Up provides an opportunity to align varieties of activities with a specific value at your bank.

Try the Daily Line-Up model at your bank every day for just ten minutes. You’ll discover that short sessions create dramatic and sustainable enhancements that are easy to execute and add alignment and power to your bank’s culture of service excellence.

Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with banks that want entrepreneurial results in leadership, sales, and strategy.  Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 banks and their business partners.

Money Smart Small Businesses

moneysmartThe Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) have released enhancements to Money Smart for Small Business, a resource that provides practical guidance for starting and managing a small business.

Money Smart for Small Business, a free curriculum available on the FDIC website, was jointly developed by the FDIC and SBA in 2012. Three new modules have been added, focusing on managing cash flow, planning for a healthy business and helping learners to determine if owning a business is a good fit. The curriculum, which now includes 13 modules, is available for download in both English and Spanish. In addition, a Train-the-Trainer curriculum was created to help organizations train instructors to deliver the modules. Training modules can be taught in any order or independently and typically run 60–90 minutes. Each module, and the Train-the-Trainer curriculum, includes a fully scripted instructor guide, participant workbook and PowerPoint slides that can be edited to meet the needs of any audience. These features and flexibility make Money Smart for Small Business a valuable resource for entrepreneurs.

Review FDIC Money Small Businesses here.

Review SBA Money Small Businesses here.

FDIC Newsletter Offers Tips for ‘Money Smart’ Users

moneysmartThe latest issue of the FDIC’s Money Smart News publication provides tips and information for bankers who use the FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum for financial education. Updates include enhancements to Money Smart for small businesses, how to join the Money Smart Alliance, consumer tips on cybersecurity and more. Read Money Smart News.

ABA Releases New Toolkit to Help Bankers Plan for Special Events

toolkitABA has developed an anniversary and special events toolkit to assist you when planning and executing special events for your bank.

The toolkit — based on ABA’s recent 140th anniversary celebration campaign — includes checklists, event messaging, marketing collateral and social media campaigns, to help you coordinate your bank’s own celebrations for organizational milestones.

Click here to download ABA’s Anniversary and Special Events Toolkit.

So Many Shiny Objects, So Little Time

by Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional


Jeff Rendel

If the Shiny Object Syndrome is influencing your bank, executive team, and board, here’s a surefire way to whip it: embrace the Shiny Object Syndrome, but only for a little while.

The late Steve Jobs was known to bring together his top 100 executives for a retreat each year in order to flesh out new and refined ideas for Apple’s future. During one session, he would give his executives an assignment: draw up a list of ten strategic ideas that Apple should be doing next. Jobs would take to the white board and write down all of his executives’ thoughts. After much jockeying and lots of ideas crossed off this list, the group would finalize a list of 10. As Jobs looked over the list, he would insist that Apple could only focus on three.

When asked if he was proud of what Apple chose to do, Jobs would reply in the affirmative, but further emphasize that he was equally, if not more, proud of what Apple chose not to do. Focus was key in the midst of great ideas. Perhaps saying “no” was more accommodating than saying “yes.”

Odds are, it’s near planning season for your bank. With so many ideas for growth, how might your bank gain more strategic clarity? How might your bank keep its focus on its true drivers of growth and success and eliminate the shiny distractions? Consider using this exercise to add some strategic order to the chaos of shiny objects.

First, draw up your list of potential drivers for revenue and growth. List every idea of what your bank should be doing next. Make the list as long as it needs to be; get it out of your system.

Second, score every idea in each of three categories: contribution to revenue, strategic fit, and ease of execution. You can add more categories to concentrate on building even further bank-wide success. Below is an edited example from a mid-sized bank. Its original list contained about 30 very shiny ideas.


Third, determine which ideas carry a high aggregate score (add the rows) and have little variations among the three scores. This bank discovered that additional branches were key to growth, fit with an expanded community, and utilized a business model that could be replicated. It also discovered that expanding its financial advisory capacity would fit its model and plans for growth. Of most interest, it learned that while a merger may add to the top line, a successful and sustainable execution was more difficult that perceived. For this bank, growth would come via deeper relationships, new branches, and financial services beyond deposits and loans.

In your upcoming executive and board planning sessions, incorporate all the potential ideas (even the distractions disguised in ideas’ clothing) that might work at your bank. Then, focus on eliminating the diversions by determining the ideas that generate significant revenue AND have a tight strategic fit AND are easy to execute. Your 100 ideas will whittle down to a list of 10, eventually becoming a few areas of focus. Your single-mindedness on the simplicity of a few prevailing ideas will help your bank be exceptional in the execution of your strategic intents, assisting you in remaining focused in the midst of many great ideas.

© 2015 by Jeff Rendel. All rights reserved.

Jeff Rendel, Certified Speaking Professional, and President of Rising Above Enterprises works with banks that want entrepreneurial results in leadership, sales, and strategy.  Each year, he addresses and facilitates for more than 100 banks and their business partners.