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How to Champion Your Team’s Strategic Planning Initiatives

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By Jared Jones, VP of Growth, DBSI
August 25, 2023

Did you know 95% of employees don’t understand their company’s strategy? (Harvard Business Review)

If you haven’t already, now is the time to take action and lead a team that’s a part of the 5%.

As we roll into the last quarter of the year and prepare for 2024, everyone, CEOs included, is racing to come up with a strong and actionable strategic plan to stay relevant in today’s ever-evolving industry.

Chances are you're currently outlining next year's initiatives with your executive team and preparing for the big presentation to the board.

Between managing daily tasks, running meetings or making phone calls, you feel your foot on the gas pedal, because just brainstorming the idea of what you want to implement isn’t enough – as a CEO, you know that a successful plan must be well-prepared before it can be put into place.

If you want to get your strategic plans in front of your board with the real chance of making them a reality, you need to have a clear vision of the future of your business. Even with your overloaded schedule, it’s critical to outline your top priorities, align your executive team and put a plan in place to reach your businesses’ short and long-term milestones.

According to Palladium, 75% of successful companies have a formal and pre-established system to inform on and manage their strategy (Palladium).

Keep a clear vision in mind. Remember, if your strategic planning is done right, it’s not easy.

Here are five strategies you can put in place to kickstart your journey in creating a board-approved strategic plan.

1.    Look Back and Analyze Performance

Before you can strategically build priorities for the year(s) ahead, you must take the time to learn from the past by looking at the previous year’s planning initiatives and outcomes. Some areas you can begin to evaluate include ‘monitoring of progress,’ ‘quarterly updates or revisions to plan,’ ‘ownership of objectives’ and ‘development of action plans.’

When meeting with your executive team, discuss the successes of your implementation process and what you can improve upon in the year ahead.

2.    Write Down Your Goals and Revisit Them Every Quarter

Companies with written down business plans grow 30% faster (Journal of Management Studies).

In fact, the old saying goes, “If it isn't written, it doesn't exist.” By writing down your goals you can remind yourself to check in on what progress has been made and share status updates with your team. Pro tip: Display your goals in a prominent place in your office to act as a motivational tool and keep yourself on track.

3.    Assess the Environment

If there’s anything we learned in recent years and coming out of the pandemic, it's that the world can change quickly. While credit unions have always been an essential service, it’s important to be prepared for anything so your business can stay on your target growth trajectory.

A great exercise to start with is to conduct a PESTEL analysis with your executive team so you can identify the political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal environments that can impact your business in 2024 and beyond.

4.    Keep a Pulse on the Industry

In the ever-changing banking world, market conditions are always on the move. As the leader of your company, it’s essential to constantly stay up to date with trends, industry news and what other financial institutions have planned for the coming year.

Alliance provider DBSI, a design-build firm with 25 years’ experience, went inside 150 boardrooms to uncover more than 20 pages of insider data. Kickstart your plans and dive into current industry trends by requesting instant access to this year’s Strategic Planning Report for Bankers.

5.    Hold a Strategic Planning Session Offsite

Holding your strategic planning session with your team offsite can help minimize distractions, increase engagement, strengthen relationships and confirm buy-in.

Moreover, it promotes team collaboration, allows team members to change their environment, and fosters creativity. If you are looking for a place to feel inspired, consider holding this year’s strategic planning sessions at DBSI’s Ideation Center in Chandler, Arizona. By getting started at the “Banker’s Playground” you can follow the footsteps of hundreds of industry leaders while seeing the latest in design-build, digital signage, experiential services, and banking technologies.

Learn more and schedule your visit with DBSI.

About DBSI

DBSI is a design-build firm that’s out of this world. Think of them like rocket scientists — but instead of rockets, they launch exceptional credit union environments by fusing design-build, technology and delivery together.

They are completely focused on the credit union industry and have the latest trends and the basics down, so you don’t have to waste time explaining compliance or other nuances. They get you to your desired state faster. 

Think incredible ease and convenience with a partner that connects all the dots for your project to eliminate any finger-pointing. The question isn’t what can DBSI do, but rather, “What experience are you trying to deliver in your branches and HQ?”