If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there1. Setting course requires a destination and, even with one, the going can be rough at times. The same is true with strategy. You create a vision for the kind of company you want to build, the consumers and businesses you want to serve, how you will be different and better in some way from your competition. You chart a course with consideration of the changing environment in which you compete. While your vision must stay focused, strategies need to change in relation to the realities of doing business today. Regulatory, technological, competitive and consumer behavioral trends constantly impact your business.
As management teams and directors look forward to 2019, CPG believes the following factors must be considered within strategic plans and will have great influence on which companies outperform others in a very crowded financial services industry.
TOP STRATEGY QUESTIONS FOR 2019
- Where will we win? Top performing banks are clear on the segments of the market and the lines of business in which they will dominate the competition and which will drive market share growth and profitability. Many high-performing banks are exiting those business lines that are not a part of this equation for them. Focus is a key strategy for 2019.
- Why should you bank with us? Having a clear reason for why you are a better choice than your competition (for targeted segments) remains critical. If this cannot be easily answered (e.g., your value proposition(s) are not clear or strong enough), make this job #1 for 2019. Assuming you have addressed #1 above first.
- What strategies will enable us to win? Insights into consumer/business behavior, technology developments, and the competitive strategies that will be required for success going forward will enable you to create a roadmap to ensure you win and keep winning the business of targeted segments.
- How do we make every day “day 1”? If you haven’t read Jeff Bezos’ letter to his shareholders about “Day 1”, you should. There’s a great synopsis of his Day 1 philosophy here. The point is: if you aren’t changing and moving quickly, you’re becoming obsolete. It may be happening slowly, but it is definitely happening. Every financial institution needs to adopt management approaches that drive faster and continuous improvement (in delivery, processes, etc.).
- What is our story? A great strategy is a great story – easy to tell and easy to appreciate. It makes people want to do business with your company – buy from it, invest in it, work for it. And it’s a story that is uniquely yours; no other financial institution could put its name on the it. Do you have a great story?
CPG has well-tested and proven methodologies to help your team define a vision that is uniquely yours and build the strategies to execute effectively.
- Credit for this quote goes to Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat, The Beatles’ George Harrison, and the Talmud, all with variations on this quote.
For more information regarding our Strategic Planning services, please contact Mary Beth Sullivan at 202-337-7872 or via email .