Every year Bank Leaders and Business Owners reflect upon their financial results and consider their strategy to improve upon these results the following year. This consideration is more important than ever as we emerge from the most challenging business conditions we have ever experienced.
In developing your Bank or Business’ strategic growth plan for next year, which of the following two scenarios typically represents your process:
- Growth targets and strategy are determined by Senior Management.
- Business development officers are assigned growth targets and asked to individually outline plan for achievement.
- Pipeline reviews are conducted periodically.
- Results and performance are formally reviewed annually.
- Senior management gather with their teams to workshop / discuss growth strategies.
- Strategic and personal goals and activities are collectively analyzed and agreed.
- Business development officers PLANs (results, activities and pipeline) are reviewed monthly and coaching provided.
Now let me ask which scenario sounds more appealing when seeking greater commitment from your staff?
As a Bank Leader for over 25 years, my annual strategic planning process always started with my team. Rather than relying on a select few to be responsible for developing the growth strategy for the business, I preferred to engage everyone to create a G.R.E.A.T. growth strategy.
Every year (or perhaps even twice a year) gather your team, your branch, your department (or perhaps even ALL your staff) for a GREAT Growth Strategy Review.
Invert your strategic planning process from “Senior Management Down” to “Team Up”.
Step 1. S.W.O.T. Analysis
The key to developing a robust view of your Bank’s SWOT is to create / discuss it with a group.
Asking individual business development officers to develop their own SWOT is absolutely pointless. It is simply one person’s perspective and is generally infused with one person’s bias and limiting beliefs.
Facilitate an environment that enables your team to confidently and honestly share their views. This is a GREAT opportunity for your team to share their thoughts, concerns and ideas. Ask questions. Challenge ideas. Get specific. Park disagreements.
The healthier the discussion, the more dynamic and engaging your strategy will be.
Step 2. Your WHY, WHAT & HOW
All the great intel from your SWOT analysis should now flow into your WHY, WHAT & HOW. Continue the collaboration and leverage the SWOT to collectively answer these questions:
- WHY will our Bank grow next year?
- WHY will our team be committed to execute the strategic activities (Personal Motivation)?
- WHY won’t our team achieve their goals?
- WHAT are our business and personal goals for next year?
- WHAT is our point of differentiation and value proposition?
- WHAT are our specific Target Markets and what are their needs / challenges that we can solve?
- HOW will we engage and persuade more Targets?
- HOW will we retain and expand existing customer relationships?
- HOW will we overcome our weaknesses, threats and limiting beliefs?
Step 3. Monthly Activity PLAN
I strongly recommend that this step is completed and agreed in collaboration between the Leader and Team Member.
Once agreed, the PLAN will be updated each month with actual performance and activity results, then reviewed in a formal monthly meeting with your Leader.
The purpose of the monthly PLAN review is for the Leader to provide encouragement and guidance to help each staff member achieve their Bank AND personal goals.
GREATer strategic commitment can ONLY be achieved when Senior Management / Leaders collaborate with their teams to review their goals, opportunities and challenges. Stop wasting your time only discussing and negotiating your strategic priorities with your Senior Management (and Board) colleagues
This “Team Up” approach (as opposed to the “Senior Management Down” approach) will make everyone at your Bank feel like they were heard and not “dictated” too. It will make everyone feel like they had a say in the strategic direction of the Bank. It will make everyone feel like the Leaders truly care about them and their personal goals.
Invest time to collaborate with the people who will actually execute the strategy and achieve the results. Invest time with your team on these three simple steps. It can be done in one half/full day session or three separate sessions.
The time invested to collaborate with your team on these three simple steps will clearly generate greater motivation, confidence and commitment. Now that sounds like time well spent to me.