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Strategic planning today — more critical (and more advantageous) than ever

By: Jim Swanson, Bank Strategies LLC

October 2018


One challenge most of us face in our personal and business lives is managing our day-to-day workload. Out of necessity, we often find our- selves in head-down mode trying to get through the tasks at hand. It’s easy to get stuck in this pattern day after day, month after month.

Yet given the dynamic world we live in, it’s more important than ever to periodically pull yourself out of the weeds and climb to a higher vantage point where you can evaluate where you are and where you’re heading as an organization.

Most of us know this but allow the detail of our lives to take control and displace higher priorities. As John F. Kennedy once aptly observed, “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”

The fourth quarter of the year, when you’re already thinking to the future and creating a budget for the next year, is an ideal time to sit down with the key players in your organization and go through a strategic planning exercise.

Whether your bank’s goals are ambitious and growth-oriented, focused on maintaining your existing success, or simply aimed at doing what you’re are already doing (only better), a full commitment to strategic planning can help tip the scales in favor of long-term organizational success, and away from failure.

An effective strategic planning process—one that incorporates both ongoing monitoring and follow-up—can produce a multitude of benefits.
Common outcomes include, among other things:

READINESS. Strategic planning gives your team an opportunity to react to the threats and capitalize on the opportunities emerging on the evolving landscape—changes in social and economic behaviors, demo- graphics, technology, and delivery platforms.

CONCENTRATED EFFORT. It is an ideal forum for getting everyone in the organization apprised of, committed to, and doing their part to achieve initiatives and objec- tives that are critical to the bank’s success.

STEWARDSHIP. The process is a means of ensuring the leadership is fulfilling its fiduciary duties and meeting expectations and needs of stakeholders — shareholders, employees, customers, and regulators.

COHESIVE COMMUNICATION. A long-lasting byproduct of sound strategic planning is the assurance that all key contributors, including the board, will be kept regularly informed of the progress on goal achieve- ment, the plan’s strategic initiatives, and its action steps.

Bank Strategies, a division of Bankers’ Bank of the West, has been assisting community banks with strategic planning for many years. Reach us at jim@bankstrategiesllc.com or 303-903-9369 to discuss how we can help facilitate or provide consultation to further the success of your next strategic planning session.  To be added to our email list, email Jim@bankstrategiesllc.com with your name and email information.

Contact Information

Phone: 303-903-9369

Mail: 75 S. Joyce Street, Golden CO 80401

EMail: Jim@bankstrategiesllc.com

Recent Media Coverage of Bank Strategies, LLC

Bank Strategies, LLC is quoted frequently as a bank industry expert in the following publications:

  • American Banker Newspaper
  • Denver Business Journal
  • Colorado Springs Business Journal
  • Denver Post Newspaper
  • Colorado Springs Gazette Newspaper