A Farm Fresh Perspective

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-fresh-berries-dark-background-strawberries-raspberries-blueberries-health-diet-gardening-harvest-concept-image41423247Farmers markets are in full swing this time of year. Handmade signs beckon us to stop and browse the morning’s harvest and friendly farmers gladly chat about growing conditions and recipes. It’s a time to reap the rewards of their hard work, time, and attention to the details. Planting conditions are not always ideal and the weather can waylay even the best garden plans. But still, the farmer adjusts and adapts to the current situation by watering more, watering less, and pulling out the ever-eager weeds. So in the end, we benefit from all of their efforts and score some fresh marmalade and pints of sweet blackberries.

Believe it or not, strategic planning for financial institutions is not unlike the work that our faithful farmers dedicate themselves to year-round. We make plans, we till the soil, and we plant the seeds. We establish a vision for where we want to be in the coming months and years and we work day in and day out to make it happen. We make adjustments as the economic weather changes and we keep our eyes on the goal: growth, whether it be organic, or from the acquisition of new “farmland,” increased profits, and perhaps rotating the crops of our products and services. Like the farmer, we must mind the details. If we grow impatient and attempt to maximize yield at the expense of the land by dumping an aggressive amount of fertilizer on our seedlings, we will kill our crops and never see a healthy harvest. Because the farmer has one ultimate goal in mind -feeding people- she must manage her land, her crops, and her employees with care. We must keep our sights on our goals as well.

In the heat of the summer, however, ”garden fatigue” can set in. Home gardeners and farmers alike grow weary of the water demands of the garden in the dry, hot conditions of the peak of summer. And those ever-present weeds? Enough!

As we head into fall planning sessions, have you grown tired of last year’s strategic plan? Has it been a while since you even looked at it? It is always exciting to plant new seeds, but the day-to-day work can seem painfully unfulfilling at times. Exhausting, even. Maybe garden fatigue has drained the life out of your strategic plan and the harvest seems out of reach. It happens to the best of us. Through careful planning, mindful adjustments, and an eye on that ultimate goal: harvesting the food and feeding the people, the profits will come.

Many of our clients appreciate the new perspective we can offer in creating next year’s strategic plan. We not only help plant the seeds, but keep them watered and fertilized as well. And those darn weeds? We can help with that, too. If you’d like to have a conversation about the specific needs of your financial institution,  we can be reached at 908-368-1270. We’ve even scooped our share of, um, manure over the years.


About Beth Bumgarner

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