l e a d i n g
a d v o c a t e
f o r
t h e
b a n k i n g
i n d u s t r y
k a n s a s
N TODAY’S CHALLENGING ENVIRONMENT,
strategic planning is an important ingredient in the
success of a financial institution. Economic, financial,
regulatory, technological and operational challenges
require a more in-depth and comprehensive planning
process. The current risk environment in the financial industry
also has led regulators to ask for a more comprehensive plan
that addresses all of these concerns.
Historically, many financial institutions have viewed strategic
planning as an exercise to meet regulatory requirements
or better engage the board of directors and management in
planning the institution’s future. While these planning meetings
had the potential to truly impact the future performance of the
institution, many times they were not successful. The following
tips and ideas can help you develop a more comprehensive plan
with a better chance for success.
In the past, strategic plans have traditionally included goals and
objectives to address some of the following areas:
• Financial performance
• Employee development
• Growth & expansion
• Credit quality
• Succession issues
However, to increase the potential success of the plan, financial
institutions should consider also establishing goals and
strategies for the following new emerging risks:
• Asset liability management
• Interest rate risk
• Capital planning
• Debt repayment, including trust-preferred, TARP & SBLF
• New regulations & the impact on the bank’s business
• Succession issues related to officers, directors &
• Creating liquidity for owners & shareholders
The goal is to not only provide strategies for addressing these
new risks in the industry today but also to provide value to the
organization and put it on a path to success.
To further increase the effectiveness and value of the strategic
planning, here are some tips that can increase the opportunity
to create a successful value-added strategic plan:
1. Engage a trained facilitator with experience in creative
problem solving and strategic planning in the financial
institution industry; using a formal process with an
experienced facilitator will dramatically improve the
2. Commit to spend as much or more time in planning the
session as executing the session; a trained facilitator can
assist in this area. Planning is an essential ingredient to a
3. Make the process action-oriented. Leave the strategic
planning session with an effective action list, including
specific responsibilities and timelines.
4. Keep it simple. Consider limiting the number of action
items to a realistic and manageable number. Overreaching
in this process leads to inaction. Think quality over
quantity—do not try to pass the weight test!
5. Keep the meeting short. Be fair with the time
commitment; while strategic planning is important,
spending too much time in the actual session can be
draining and inefficient.
6. Choose the team carefully. Selecting planning retreat
attendees is important. While implementation of the ideas
likely will involve a wider audience, the leadership team
should set the strategy.
7. Consider inviting a trusted business advisor to the
session; the right advisor can add value.
8. Stick to the agenda. Often, the group will veer off on
tangents. A trained facilitator can help keep the team on
9. Carefully choose the location. Offsite locations can
decrease distractions, but the room needs to be properly
sized and have appropriate logistics.
10. Don’t let it get stale! The strategic plan needs to be part of
future team meetings and should be a working document
to help guide your organization to successful outcomes.
Overall, a well-planned strategic planning session can add
value by setting the institution on a course for improved
and sustainable performance that will not only allow you to
address your challenges but also help you survive in today’s
This information was written by qualified, experienced BKD professionals, but
applying specific information to your situation requires careful consideration
of facts and circumstances. Consult your BKD advisor before acting on any
matter covered here.
Article reprinted with permission from BKD, LLP,bkd.com
. All rights reserved.
STRATEGIC PLANNING –
KEYS TO SUCCESS
By Donald Hutson, Jr., CPA
BKDNational Financial Service Industry Partner