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Aug 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

How to Pursue the Long-Term Strategy and Avoid The Big Short

Business and economics are at an inflection point. Hard trends like technology, globalization, and access to information have continued to evolve at such an accelerating rate that decisions about increasingly complex scenarios are being made faster than ever.

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Topics: Strategy

Feb 25, 2016 10:30:00 AM

2016 ABA Conference Recap: Your Most Important Priorities

My HORNE Cyber Solutions colleagues and I just spent two wonderful days at the annual Alabama Banker’s Association (ABA) Bank Operations and Management Summit. Talks and discussions during the event centered on three overlying themes. We have discussed some of them previously in this blog, and all are pertinent to your banking organization.  

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Topics: Strategy, Community Banking, Cybersecurity

Jul 22, 2015 10:30:00 AM

How to Manage Millennial Disruption in Your Bank's Strategy

Disruption is to cause (something) to be unable to continue in the normal way: to interrupt the normal progress or activity of (something).[1]

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Topics: Strategy, Millennials, Disruption

Jul 15, 2015 1:00:00 PM

Impact of the FFIEC Cybersecurity Assessment Tool

On the front page of American Banker, there’s a July 14 article titled “Is It Almost Time to Put Core Processing in the Cloud? If there was any doubt about the fact that technology is a one-directional, hard trend banks absolutely must be integrating into strategy, articles like this are putting it to rest. 

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Topics: Strategy, Cybersecurity, Hard Trend

Jul 1, 2015 8:56:00 AM

Transformation is Coming, Is Your Bank Ready?

You’ve likely heard the phrase “awash in a sea of change.” During times of great advancement, companies often are distinguished by their ability to manage change or by the degree to which they’re overtaken by it. In the current Knowledge Economy, consumers have almost limitless access to information. That means they’re putting less value on a menu of products and services, and more on useful, actionable intelligence. It’s not surprising that banks are starting to recognize a greater need for shifting to being a source of customized solutions that meet real-time consumer needs.

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Topics: Strategy, Bank Growth

Jun 24, 2015 9:53:00 AM

How Banks Can Anticipate to Stay Relevant

On my way home from work, I pass by an abandoned Blockbuster video store. A crumbling blue and yellow landmark, it is a constant reminder of how important it is to stay relevant in your market and in tune with your customers. Blockbuster opened in 1985, put a store on almost every corner, and went public within a year. They were a strong, dominant brand with a solid revenue model. But then everything changed.

Innovative newcomers, namely Netflix, began to eat into their market share by noticing and responding to customer demands. Netflix went public in 2002, mailing movies to customers on demand and promising no late fees. Blockbuster didn’t see this as a good business plan, considering their current customer base. Yet between 2003 and 2005, Blockbuster lost 75% of its market share. September 2010, Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy.

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Topics: Strategy, Growth

May 13, 2015 10:32:38 AM

Strategy Unlocks the Window of Opportunity

Jim Mabry, the Managing Director of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, recently shared with a HORNE audience his view of the current window of opportunity that exists for banks looking to go public. He highlighted that there is broad interest within the investment community for high growth community banks. The catch to this window of opportunity (as outlined in the historical graph on bank initial public offerings) is that it is unpredictable. In fact, it could be gone within the next year. 

Mr. Mabry’s point is a good reminder that a well-defined corporate strategy is vital for capturing competitive market advantage. In general, it’s not enough to host an annual strategic planning meeting. To succeed in this shifting market, banks require an active strategy that is regularly evaluated for buy-in across the organization to keep everyone focused on the common goal.

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Topics: Strategy

May 6, 2015 9:30:00 AM

Staying 4 Steps Ahead in Corporate Strategy

Strategy, by definition, is a plan of action. As any military general will assert, strategy requires methodically working toward a vision. I recently took up chess and was faced with the reality that strategy can be the difference between a win and a loss – and I’ve found it to be equally true for the work I do with banks.

Like most kids, I grew up playing games like Yahtzee, Life and Sorry – games that are more about chance. When I decided to take up chess, the first step was learning the pieces. I got the hang of it but quickly was frustrated by ending up in check before ever advancing to my opponent’s King. I lost my patience, telling my opponent that I always play defensively and don’t know how to progress. His simple response? “When it’s my turn, I’m not thinking about moving my piece to the next square; I am thinking four steps ahead.”

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Topics: Strategy

Apr 22, 2015 9:58:15 AM

Decision Making Pitfalls to Avoid

A family is sitting together on their porch on a hot Texas summer day when somebody says, “I’m bored. Why don’t we go to Abilene?” With no other ideas on the table, they decide to go. When they get to Abilene, somebody says, “You know, I didn’t really want to come to Abilene.”

The next person says, “I didn’t want to come here either – I just thought you wanted to go.” And on and on it goes.[1]

It’s happened to us all. At one time or another, you’ve probably found yourself wondering, “How did I get here?” You may have been so confidently optimistic about a position that you did not initially see the value in listening to or pursuing what others had to say. You may have thought you were the only one with a differing opinion, hesitant to rock the boat. Whatever the reason, the lesson is evident – it’s wiser to think, discuss, plan and then act – rather than act and then wonder.

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Topics: Strategy

Mar 12, 2014 9:41:00 AM

What are…Three Best Practices for Building Representative Leadership

In Part One of our look at bank board leadership, we examined the merits and criticisms of the “Jeopardy Jerk,” Arthur Chu. He bucked the traditional game show system by board hopping with no apparent process logic. Chu deployed a perfectly allowable and extremely effective technique, yet it was criticized as a system hack because it was different, and (more to the point) other players were nearly defenseless against the strategy. 

As we think about the banking industry, “hacking the system” is a very relevant leadership strategy. 

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Topics: Leadership, Strategy, Board

Mar 5, 2014 11:16:00 AM

Is There Something to Learn from the Jeopardy Jerk?

Have you heard of Arthur Chu? Perhaps you know him better by his nickname, The Jeopardy Jerk. Debating Chu as hero or villain is currently trending on news outlets and social media. He “hacked” the Jeopardy! game show with a unique strategy of bouncing from category to category, using no apparent process logic. It keeps his opponents a step behind and uncovers coveted Daily Doubles

Judge as you will. To date, Chu has amassed $261,000 over the course of nine matches, and he isn’t finished yet. One reporter noted, “The game was never close.” What is certain is that the game will never be the same. 

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Topics: Leadership, Strategy