Succession Planning: How smart banks are securing future growth

Have you thought about the future leadership of your bank? With current bank executives averaging over 55 years of age, succession issues will be the biggest tsunami to hit community banks starting in just a few years.

In fact, a recent survey across all industries showed that leadership succession planning, or the lack thereof, was the most pressing area of concern among CEOs.

Almost every executive on almost every exec team I work with in the banking industry is over 55, and many of those are over 60. These are usually very capable folks doing a great job running the bank of the present. But it’s hard to argue any of them are being groomed to run the bank of the future.

That’s an enormous shoe that is destined to drop—and you need to be sure your bank isn’t under it when it does. It’s a disaster in the making.

Smart bankers understand that NOW is the time to get a succession plan in place for your younger executives. But even those banks that have a plan in place often have an inadequate one—one that focuses on the nuts and bolts of management and strategy but overlooks the real wisdom that ensures a bank’s long-term success.

Smart bankers understand that NOW is the time to get a succession plan in place for your younger executives. But even those banks that have a plan in place often have an inadequate one—one that focuses on the nuts and bolts of management and strategy but overlooks the real wisdom that ensures a bank’s long-term success.

For example, do they have the tools in their tool kits to make the strategy happen? Here’s just one skill that I witness is missing—the ability to execute to make the strategy happen.

One of the more important elements is getting your future leaders to eat, sleep, and breathe Jack Zenger’s legendary Implementation Formula:

I = M x A x V x F

or

Implementation Success= Motivation x Accountability x Visibility x Follow-Through

For every rollout of every initiative, every leader must be certain that each of these elements is present and strong—a 5 out of 5. How will you Motivate your people during the rollout? How will you ensure Accountability to the goals? How Visible is the relevant information for the initiative? And how will you Follow Through at every step to make sure it isn’t another “this too shall pass” initiative? If any of these four is weak or God forbid MISSING, it’s a problem.

Don’t believe me? Turn any one of those four variables into a zero in the equation above and see what it does to your implementation.

So as you’re building your plan for passing the torch, don’t forget to include the field-tested wisdom that will keep the flame burning for many years to come.

In your service,

Roxanne Emmerich
President and CEO

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