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, fifteen years from now that makes your heart sing! Most banks have no BHAG whatsoever, and if they do, it’s not something that’s empowering and exciting. Your BHAG should cause goosies to happen, but it should also be in complete alignment with your values, your key initiatives, your key results…everything, everything, EVERYTHING must tie together.

3. Keep It Simple

The simplicity of your plan matters. Most banks are still doing the once-a-year or even once-every-two-years strategic planning approach. That dog don’t hunt! That’s been gone for a long time.

The new world of banking shows us that everybody who is creating great results has a quarterly strategic planning process. Once a year, they buckle down and create their yearly that allows for those quarterly sprints. Reason being, they’ve proven that if you have eighteen different things to do on your plan, what’s the chance of you getting them done? Slim to none—in fact 0%, according to the research.

If instead you have three things to do—three key initiatives for the organization, and three key initiatives for each division, and everyone knows their top three—now you can do sprints to get them done quickly. All your employees need to align their activities and their results with that strategic plan. Complete transparency and complete visibility with weekly reporting is imperative for this to really work.

Rethink that tired, old strategic planning process. Don’t bother putting put a new cover on the book of last year’s strategic plan—because that’s not what needs to get done.

Whatever gets in the plan is what gets done, and building the system to make sure that happens is imperative…otherwise, why bother?

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