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What if you were sitting on a goldmine of untapped potential for organic growth and increased profits? What if you could get far more predictable profit and growth impact from your strategic planning process?


After reviewing over 500 strategic plans, I find that most banks lack effective strategies, intentional congruence, and essentially have a list of goals but no effective way to achieve them.

If you’re the kind of leader who hires a brilliant facilitator and comes out with a well-written plan that sounds good, but never really shakes the ground from under your feet for a transformative profit surge, you’re going to love this.

Or maybe you were happy with your plan and doing well, but you wonder if you could enjoy even better results.

Or perhaps you are the kind of leader who was frustrated that you spend a pot load of money on the off-site facilitator who never gives you the breakthrough strategies that can power up your trajectory for decades.

If any of this sounds like you keep listening. Here are the typical challenges that keep you from an even better year.

Most banks have a strategic planning book with a plethora of goals.  The missing components are at least 25 different actual strategies that will bring earthmoving changes that get you paid more for doing business with the most desirable prospects in your market.  That’s the point.

In looking at hundreds of plans over the years, I can honestly say that I’m not seeing more than five total strategies, combined on banks that were happy with their strategic planning process, yikes. That’s right in hundreds of plans only a total of five strategies. Imagine if they had a plan that actually made a difference.

Also, most plans lack intentional congruence. The BHAG or the Big Hairy Audacious Goal is not congruent with the psychographics and demographics of the top two to three target markets. And the key initiatives are a disjointed list of to-dos, there is no alignment. Additionally, the plan doesn’t account for an extremely relevant fact. If you are a normal bank, only 13% of your customers are profitable, let that sink in. The problem is your plan doesn’t have solid and proven strategies to get more profitable customers like the 13% nor does it get all their business at premium pricing. So even if the plan is executed well, it still puts the franchise value at risk.

Every bank faces these problems. 1000s of strategic plans are lackluster and ineffective without exception.

Let’s talk about strategic plans that actually work to bring you the most profitable prospects and convert them into your best customers. That’s the point.

There are four simple steps you need to take to get positive results:

Step One: Unlike so many strategic planning processes, you must start with an understanding of the psychographic and firmographic similarities of your top 100 most profitable customers, to make sure your plan is about profit and not busy work.  Ensure that you base the entire thing over no more than three integrated psychographic and demographic intersections of that group.

Step Two: Forget everything you learned about strategic planning from school. That old model mission statement, swots, and goals is ridiculously antiquated. We live in a world of disruption, where non-bank competitors are vultures ready to eat the lunch of banks who still think a yearly strategic planning process is enough to drive growth and profitability; heaven forbid if you are a bank that’s still doing the “we do this strategic planning process every two years approach.”

Have you ever seen a top 10% performing bank do that? Exactly.

Step Three: Move to a one-page strategic planning process. Don’t think because it’s brief that it’s easy or quick. If you do it right, it will be 10 times harder, but then you’ll work 100 times smarter all year. You’re packing a lot of punch in that one page with an extreme focus on the few things that matter. Make sure there is intentional congruence so that all the elements of the plan are working together for an immediate profit boost. The build-out from the one page is where the magic happens, but you have to get the one page right first.

Step Four: Get everything and everyone in a visible accountability system so that every team member in your organization knows what they need to do every week to align with profit.

To emphasize here are the four steps again:

Step One: Align the plan to the most profitable customers and prospects.
Step Two: Forget the old models.
Step Three: Create intentional congruence in the one-page plan.
Step Four: Create visible alignment of every person to profit.

Put a strategic plan into place using those elements and you can relax and know that your plan will be implemented.  You will get people away from being busy to being profit-oriented, which dramatically contributes to your bank’s bottom line, doesn’t it?

To your continued success,

Roxanne Emmerich

Please watch the video above and share it with your exec team and board.

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