For most progressive-thinking banks and credit unions, strategic planning is a critical season of the year. A big investment in time, resources, bandwidth and money is made in this critical process. The decisions made (and not made) at your strategic planning session can lead to new heights of success or serious challenges.
An increasing number of banks and credit unions recognize the importance and relevance of partnering with an outside facilitator to assist with their strategic planning process. This facilitator, while obviously offering industry expertise and experience, should also help in a myriad of other ways. Three key attributes a strategic planning facilitator offers should include:
- He or she pushes your group to deeper levels of thinking. One thing you are definitely not looking for in a strategic planning facilitator is a “yes” person. Anyone can sit at the head of the table and nod their head when you say something that sounds wise. A good strategic planning facilitator will pose open-ended questions that force your leadership team to think at a deeper level. The answers to these questions, while perhaps more difficult to attain, are invariably more valuable than a simple “yes” or “no.”
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