Your Institution is an Organism

Sean Galli
Your Institution is an Organism

That’s right – your community bank or credit union is a living, breathing entity. It’s complex, it can be sick, it can be healthy and every part depends on the other parts to succeed.

What does this interconnectedness mean?

It means that one failing system impacts the entirety of your community bank or credit union growth strategy. Let’s take a look at how each portion of your institution affects the other parts.


1. Your Leadership (The Nervous System)


Your institution’s leaders ensure everything runs smoothly. They make high-level decisions and transmit those decisions throughout the organization in an understandable way. Just like a brain and the body’s nerves, leaders make sure the other systems are on the right track.

But what if this system isn’t functioning correctly? Then nothing gets done at a higher level. The other parts of your institution continue taking care of day-to-day tasks, but your community bank or credit union growth strategy is effectively dead.

Takeaway: Conduct leadership training and take time to focus on strategy to avoid an inactive organizational nervous system.


2. Your Organizational Alignment (The Skeletal System)


Your culture creates a structure for how work gets done at your institution. It’s a framework that either protects all the other systems or compromises them. In the unhealthiest scenarios, a culture’s toxicity actively works against the function of the other systems.

Give your community bank or credit union growth strategy a healthy skeleton.

Takeaway: Encourage respectful conflict, nurture teamwork and throw out silo mentalities. When you align your organization’s culture, you create a space for the other systems to work well.


3. Your Brand (The Cardiovascular System)


Your brand is more than a logo. It’s what you stand for, it’s who you are and it’s the blood pumping through your veins. A solid brand gives life and color to the rest of the institution.

And a bad brand? Well, that just leaves your community bank or credit union growth strategy without the lifeblood it needs to keep working. The other systems don’t have a clear identity to express, and consumers don’t understand you.

Takeaway: Instead, refine your niches and strategically target certain demographics. Then, create a name and logo suited to your target audience. Lastly, establish staff buy-in to the brand. Lead, live and love the brand every day to keep everything else moving.


4. Your Consumer Experience (The Muscular System)


Your consumer experience is your community bank or credit union growth strategy in action. In short - it’s your operationalized brand. Like the muscular system, you’re translating high-level thoughts and created energy to perform the actions you want.

Don’t let those actions be spastic or disorganized. Consumers have an excellent memory when it comes to bad experiences, and negative word-of-mouth spreads fast.

Takeaway: Base your consumer experience on a coherent journey map and passionate mission. Train those service muscles to leave members or customers with valuable experiences.


5. Your Marketing (The Respiratory System)


New consumers, loans or deposits are necessary for your institution’s long-term success. And you won’t acquire new business without marketing…or in other words, telling people about yourself.

Implementing a community bank or credit union growth strategy without marketing is like denying yourself oxygen. There’s nothing to bring in new business, so your institution begins to flounder.

Your body needs air coming into the lungs to oxygenate the blood. And you need a marketing system that draws in new members or customers if you want to power your brand’s survival.

Takeaway: Start by assessing where you could improve your marketing. Do you have too much copy? Are your images consistent? Is your budget large enough? Answering these questions (and several others) will put you on the path to better institutional health.

If your community bank or credit union growth strategy needs a head-to-toe checkup, then On The Mark Strategies’ Growth AcceleratorTM Program can help. Book a free consultation now and solve your most pressing problems.

Sean Galli
Marketing Coordinator