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The value of agile strategic planning for financial institutions

Mar 26, 2023
By: Robert H. Zondag

Amid rapid changes in technology and customer expectations, financial institutions need strategic planning more than ever to future-proof themselves and remain relevant. And in a rapidly changing environment, traditional set-it-and-forget-it strategic planning approaches often fail leadership teams. Today, more agile planning methods are needed.

Agile strategic planning is an ongoing process that requires regular plan review and revision. By engaging in agile planning, organizations can ensure that they are focused on the most important priorities, are making efficient use of their finite resources and are well-positioned to adapt to changing technology and talent circumstances to achieve long-term goals.

How does agile strategic planning positively impact a financial institution?

  1. Clarity of direction: A more agile approach helps a financial institution to continue to evolve and define its long-term direction, quickly adjusting its goals and objectives. This clarity of direction can help to align the financial institution's resources and efforts towards achieving its goals, which can lead to improved performance and drive down efficiency ratios.
  2. Risk management: A living strategic plan involves assessing risks and developing plans to mitigate them. This can help a financial institution to identify potential challenges and opportunities and to take proactive steps to manage risks effectively.
  3. Competitive advantage: By identifying the financial institution's strengths and weaknesses, strategic planning can help a financial institution to further curate strategies that leverage its unique strengths and address its weaknesses. This can help the financial institution to differentiate itself from competitors to create a brand promise that resonates in its markets.
  4. Resource allocation: A more agile approach involves identifying the resources required to achieve the financial institution's goals and objectives and allocating them effectively. This can help to ensure that the financial institution is making efficient use of its resources, especially amid the current talent crunch and drive to maximize technology.
  5. Accountability: Strategic planning involves establishing metrics and systems to measure progress towards achieving the financial institution's goals and objectives. This can help the financial institution create a culture of accountability.

Overall, committing to a living strategic plan can help a financial institution to better understand its market, customers and competitors, and to develop effective strategies to achieve its long-term goals. By aligning its resources and efforts towards these goals, a financial institution can improve its performance, manage risks and create a sustainable competitive advantage.

How Wipfli can help

We bring an objective perspective and decades of industry experience to the table, helping financial institutions identify emerging trends, risks and opportunities, and develop effective strategies to achieve their long-term goals. With our strategic planning services, financial institutions can make informed decisions, allocate resources efficiently and differentiate themselves from competitors, positioning themselves for long-term success in an evolving industry. Contact us to learn more.

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Robert H. Zondag, CTP
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