Magazine article Independent Banker

Innovation Meets Strategic Planning

Magazine article Independent Banker

Innovation Meets Strategic Planning

Article excerpt

With Labor Day just around the corner, many community banks are getting ready for their strategic planning this fall. As you begin to gather your thoughts in advance of these critical planning days, I'd like to talk about innovation and its importance in the strategic planning process, as well as address a few practical considerations.

Let me first say, as community banks, our goal is not to go out and compete directly with digital-only banks. Relationships remain central to community banking. Innovation is about leveraging new technology and ideas to create better solutions for our customers. So, innovating in community banking is about improving the customer experience without losing sight of the relationship. How do we do that?

Weaving innovation into strategic planning

Community banks must weave innovation throughout the fabric of their overall strategic planning. To achieve successful outcomes, innovation must permeate the entire strategy planning process.

Because innovation often involves higher risk, leaders from the C-suite need to lead the charge, positioning themselves to help the organization navigate the inevitable bumps in the road, which will come. The organization should also designate an individual solely devoted to innovation, who reports to one of these top leaders.

Innovation is an enterprise exercise

Once appropriate C-suite leaders and organizational influencers are in place at the top of the innovation funnel, it's time to position the other players. …

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