Go where the grass is taller: lawn care for the banking business

Photo © Jon Helgason | Dreamstime Stock Photos

The grass may always be greener somewhere else, but we really should tend to the tall grass in our own backyard first.
Photo © Jon Helgason | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I know. That’s not what we typically hear. “Go where the grass is greener,” tends to be the norm. Or, something like, “sort out your life and the grass will always be greener for you, miss,” tends to emblazon the pages of self-help books and fly from the hallowed talk-show pulpits. Organizations don’t need us because the grass is greener. They need our help and our acumen because they are typically in the tall weeds, in the uncut grass.

The weeds occur in several different areas. Where we see them the most are in the following areas:

Markets

  • Markets are poorly defined; therefore, everything from messaging to products is not clear for each market.
  • Messaging is more about us, and less about them, the customer.
  • There is tons of data, Big Data if you will, but most of it is chaff. We need get to the grain.

Operations

  • Simple is better sometimes. Start there with the design, and see where it takes you.
  • Check that. Start with the customer and work backwards.
  • Operations is a means and not an end.

Financial

  • Start with the customer and work backwards. That is, do what you ought to do to serve while ensuring you can pay for it.
  • Work toward streamlining performance management, both financial and non-financial.
  • Let finance be a tool to drive initiative.

These are just some of the items that crop up where the grass is taller. Another big issue is the disconnect between these three essential functional silos. You must do everything you can not to let that lack of collaboration be the overarching, life-killing weed.

So, don’t always opt for where the grass is greener. That’s not a life worth living. Go where the grass is taller, the challenge is greater, and see if you can make a difference. Also, go because it’s what you know, inside and out, that’s what you want to do. There’s no need to starting cutting with a dull blade.

Cue the lawnmower.

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