Executing your strategy: 2014 communications plan – all hands

In this final installment of our communication series, we want to stress three components when communicating to the entire team, to all hands. Managers and supervisors are responsible. Objectives are tied to goals. Initiative first, incentive to follow. Frontline communication should follow on the heels of a general message to all employees from the CEO and/or senior management team. This video introduction explains it in just 33 seconds. Go.

Managers and supervisors are responsible

After the general message is released, it is up to managers and supervisors to deliver the message to the next layer in the organization. It is important that they understand the art and science of communication. As we discussed in our post last week, there should be special care given to training and mentoring this middle tier of your organization when it comes to the business plan. You can find that post here.

Tie objectives to goals

Goals and objectives are confusing. I always like to imagine the goal as the target and the objectives as the air between the target and the shooter. It’s just air, right? Well, not really. It’s the distance, the drag coefficient, and the humidity that we have to overcome to reach our target. This needs to be made clear to all hands in the organization. As we have discussed during this series, the project management office (PMO) elements that relate directly to a certain group of employees should be described if not shared. More on PMO philosophy and culture here. Additional information on PMO tools and talent here.

Initiative then incentive

Work precedes reward. Focus on the former and not the latter. We have said this time and time again. This recent Forbes article drives home the point of the lack of engagement. Money is certainly a part of it, but the work must be at the center – the heart – of our commitment to fulfilling mission and purpose.

This is the last article of nine in a series on executing your strategy. We welcome your feedback, so drop us a line or give us a call. Operators are waiting and we’ll even throw in a set of Ginsu knives. Well, not really. However, we are ready to listen.

Digitization drives me to drink

Well, not really.  However, the almost one-sided debate over where banks and credit unions should head, whether they want to or not, just doesn’t seem to want to slow down. I get it.  I do.  The industry is facing a daunting task of providing a high-fixed-cost, commoditized service to an audience that wants customization and lives on, seemingly, narcissism alone.  Furthermore, this task is based on the premise that individual industry players provide unique approaches to client service, service delivery, and pricing.  It’s a sublime thought, but it’s a bit farfetched, don’t you think?

So, enter digitization.  It’s a wonderful thing, the digital world.  I’ve long given up on fighting it.  With my smartphone at my side, I, too, have succumbed to the marketing:  It’s lure of efficiency and scale economics and it’s sleek, sexy sounds and sights.  Is life really better?  I don’t know. Define better.  Is the gauntlet run through life’s trials and tribulations any easier?  I think we could make an argument that it is the exact opposite (making my payment online versus mailing it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, portray a run without the gauntlet).  Is the financial services industry ready for the tumult yet to come? There is the widely-held belief that more consolidation and consecration are in our future.

If we were working in a commoditized industry before, then we will certainly be more steeped in the same going forward.  If at the end of all this we are seeking a world where we are free from work and swimming in riches, then my guess is we will all be shocked.  Whereas digitization was just the silent paramour in days gone by, today it is the front-and-center fascination of our financial lives.  But it’s not the purpose of our lives, financial or otherwise.  This, my friends, is the real journey:  fulfilling purpose.

Cheers. <clink>