Strategic-PlanningStrategic planning at most financial institutions is a yearly event. Normally during the third or fourth quarter executives and board members at credit unions and banks gather to discuss the upcoming year’s plans. Goals, budgets and action steps are outlined.

Once those are set maybe your team reviews updates on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Real strategic planning is not just a date on the calendar. True strategic planning takes place every single day. As I noted in a post a few years ago, How Resolved Are You to Implement Your Strategic Plan, there are four areas at your financial institution that might need more resolve.

The reality is that strategic planning resolve is a daily process. It is the day-to-day steps that ensure your plan’s success. Not monthly or quarterly reviews. Daily actions. Daily resolves. For example, one of your strategic initiatives may be to improve technology at your bank or credit union. But if you don’t take steps every day to improve your website, offer an enhanced mobile experience, or hire tech help then you are not really resolved.

Daily resolution takes time, money and effort. Is one of your strategic objectives to “improve your brand?” Then what are you doing today to improve it?

Strategic planning is just like running a marathon—you can’t just go to the starting line and run 26.2 miles. You have to complete daily runs months before the race. Tempo runs, hill repeats, long runs. Every day you are resolved to run. And every day you must resolve to implement your financial institution’s strategic plan.

Here are a few examples of daily resolutions you must take to complete your strategy:

  • Resolve to keep the plan on the forefront of your employees’ minds
  • Resolve to not take on projects that don’t have anything to do with your strategy
  • Resolve to make hard decisions
  • Resolve to spend money
  • Resolve to review your plan’s status more than once a quarter
  • Resolve to challenge your staff about their goals
  • Resolve to hold your team accountable
  • Resolve to not make excuses
  • Resolve to over communicate your plan
  • Resolve to tie connect your plan with your values and your brand

Big picture strategies are important. But it’s the daily execution of those strategies that ensure your success.