Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Time to Market vs. Time to "Make It"

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Time to Market vs. Time to "Make It"

Article excerpt

WILLIAM W. STREETER

Editor-in-Chief

One of the unmourned casualties of the great dot.com collapse is the phrase "internet time." It summed up the whole breathless rush to abandon the traditional way of doing things.

The point here is not to gloat. The internet is hardly going to dry up and go away. But it's not quite the instant revolution so many expected.

Which brings us to this month's cover story about community banker Dave Hickman. Midway through the story is a small but telling fact. Soon after he joined the bank Hickman gave a speech to employees in which he spelled out where he wanted the bank to go. His goal was to have United Bank Corp. become a sales and service company. Sounds familiar, right? The industry has been talking about such things for years. And that's the point. Hickman made his speech in 1984, and has been perfecting this strategy ever since.

Eighteen months ago when we all were still in the throes of "internet time," most people would have laughed at a makeover that took 17 years. Even a one-year "time to market" would have been scoffed at.

That's not to counsel lethargy. Dave Hickman didn't wait 17 years to figure out that some people couldn't sell, for example. He likely knew that within a few months, and began to take steps to address it. But the whole process of instituting a sales culture, or any new culture, takes time, commitment, and continual adjustment. And, as web proponents have discovered, the public doesn't change its habits or culture or beliefs overnight either.

In this month's special supplement presenting the results of the fifth Community Bank Competitiveness Survey, Steve Cocheo leads off the report with the headline, "A time for doing. …

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