Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

The Right Tools at the Right Time

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

The Right Tools at the Right Time

Article excerpt

You can drive a nail with many things (especially if you are lazy). A heavy wrench. A rock. Or just bang it in with the heel of your workboot. But there is nothing quite like the right tool for the job: a hammer.

Yet even there, variations abound.

You have all-steel hammers with rubber grips. They'll last forever, but it hurts to use one after a while. There are those fiberglass-handled affairs, which some swear by (and some swear at). And then there's a good, old wooden-handled hammer, well-balanced, shock-absorbent, and the choice of many pros as the best tool (except when they're using a nail gun).

At conferences and peer group meetings, community bankers' shop talk often centers around the tools of their trade, too. Everything they wield to meet their competitive challenges branches, technology, staff, board members--is in some fashion a tool, and no shame in the term. Though not the only determinants of success, often the choice of--and care of--tools, and the way that they are applied, are what-makes the difference between a craftsman and a duffer--or a top performer and an also-ran.

Information, of course, is also a tool. One of the goals of the annual Community Bank Competitiveness Survey is to provide the kind of usable information that banks can tap to be more competitive.

The survey, a joint project of the ABA Community Bankers Council and ABA Banking Journal, debuted in the April 1997 issue of the magazine, making this the tenth annual survey report. …

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