Getting Strategies Into Your Strategic Plan



It’s strategic planning time…all over again. This year, you have the unique opportunity to change the way you’re doing things to change your results.

The best way to do that?

Make sure you have strategies in your strategic plan.

Now hold on—you’re thinking you have them. I’m going to challenge you by telling you that in twenty-five years of looking at banks’ strategic plans, I have only seen a small handful that even had one strategy in their strategic plan! That’s a problem.

Today we’re going to talk about how to build strategies in your strategic plan, and how to create a phenomenal breakthrough.

We know from research that the #1 way to transform your bank’s performance is a culture transformation. The second, right behind it, is strategy. But having no strategies in your strategic plan? That is an issue.

And it is a reality for almost every bank.

Now, you’re thinking, “That’s those other banks,” and that you’re the exception…I think not.

A strategy is a way of going to market that is completely different than others that transforms results. Most banks […]

The Three Can’t–Miss Pieces of a Functional Strategic Plan



It’s that time of year again…it’s time to create a strategic plan to have a profound impact on next year’s financials—your growth, your profitability, and the safety of your organization.
Now, to do that, you really need to think about the fact that most strategic plans are…pretty darn dysfunctional, in that they’re missing a few key pieces.
Let’s talk about what’s missed the most.

1. Focus On What Works

Most strategic plans are not focused on the top 13% best customers and next-best customers. That’s a problem! Since only those 13% make money for your bank—and the 87% don’t—don’t you think it would really work well to have a plan designed to get all of the next best customers and get all of the business of your current most profitable customers?

Everything, everything, EVERYTHING should align with the psychographics and the firmographics and the key target markets, based upon who your next best customers are.

2. The BHAG: Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal

Everything also has to align with your BHAG, that big, hairy audacious goal—that place you’re going to be […]

Ten No-Fail Strategies to Create Profit-Rich Growth For 2016-Part 2



Last week I discussed the first five strategies to help transform your bank to be stronger and more profitable than ever before.

Now let’s dive into the next group of strategies that will impact the bottom line.

6. Free the vigilantes. Ray Kroc used to say that until every bathroom in every McDonald’s was clean, they would not add to the menu. You must be equally dedicated to getting your people committed to extraordinary customer service. Spending money on a “sales culture” when your customer service isn’t consistently scoring over 90% is like building a mansion on quicksand.

7. Get wise. Preparing your troops to go out and get premium pricing every time requires a combination of emotional intelligence, mindsets, and skillsets that are substantially elevated. A moderately-skilled sales person will get trapped into a “matching rates” scenario. A master of a profit-oriented sales process, on the other hand, will not get themselves into that position. Being able to create the optimal differentiating value strategies—and helping the prospect quantify the economic impact of those differences—is profoundly important when going after premium pricing. It requires that your people […]

Ten No-Fail Strategies to Create Profit-Rich Growth For 2016-Part 1



Major consolidation will continue to be the norm in the banking industry over the next 18 months. In fact, next year is destined to be a major “shake out” year where weak banks will be acquired or closed—and banks that are in a position to capture the best customers in town will become stronger and more profitable.

With careful strategic planning, YOUR bank can become one of these stronger banks—more pro-active and more profitable than ever before.

Here are 10 proven strategies to create profit-rich growth:

1. Overhaul your strategy. Southwest Airlines has been a top-performing stock for the last 30 years. Southwest’s outstanding performance, despite huge losses by most other airlines, is proof that it doesn’t matter how badly things are going in the industry IF you have a winning strategy that separates you from the competition. Almost every bank has NO strategy in its strategic plan. You are at risk if you don’t move immediately from a tactical marketing position to a super strategic marketing mindset.

2. Package your products for “no-brainer” cross-sales. Bundle products and services to encourage buyers to start with six or […]

What You Must Ask About Your Strategic Planning Process



Imagine a strategic planning process that allows for the right strategies proven to lower risk, improve profit, and build a sustainable system that creates predictable organic growth that actually was implemented and exceeded.

You don’t have to imagine.

That system exists, and it works. It’s used by the highest performing banks in the country—the ones with ROAs over 2 and net interest margins over 5.

Of course, while other bank executives are busy talking about margin compression as a reality in the “threat” section of their SWOT analysis, you need to create strategies to make sure it never becomes your reality.

Here’s the problem…

Almost every bank is dead wrong with their strategic planning approach. While they continue with the barely-breathing strategic planning model of “mission, values, SWOT, and goals”—the model in the 1970s—savvy banks are utilizing a highly effective accountable think-tank strategic planning process. It’s like the difference between going to war with a flimsy stick or a stealth bomber.

Here are 9 questions you must ask before you develop your next strategic plan:

1)    Is everything in your plan […]