Second National Bank
Every organization starts its year by formulating a strategic plan for itself which includes it mission, vision, short-term and long-term objectives, and how it plans in order to achieve those objectives. The top management and middle level management are the key players in the preparation of a strategic plan. The more clear and organized the strategic plan is, the fewer obstacles the organization will face in achieving its short-term and long-term goals. This case study is basically based on the strategic plan of Second National Bank who is currently faced with problems in formulating a strategic plan for the next year (Fogg, 2006).
The major problem faced by the organization is lack of orientation and seriousness in formulating an extensive strategic plan by the top management. This can be attributed to the fact that they are not clear about the goals and even if they are, they are not directed towards achieving them. When the top management is not oriented in forming a strategic plan for the next entire year then little can be expected of the middle level managers and lower employees. Forming a strategic plan is essential for planning the entire year and achieving the goals planned for.
It seems the bank has no new goals for the next year with the changing environment therefore; they plan to stick to the previous year strategic plan with slight modifications. While evaluating the entire meeting between the top management and their employees, it seems that the people at the senior most positions are not even aware of the key goals of the previous year though these are on the mind of every person working in the organization. This shows their lack of commitment to the organization and its progress.
Also, the top management decided to keep the same strategic plan because they hadn’t been able to achieve last year’s goals therefore, they decided to stick to it again for the coming year. There might have been some shortcomings with the strategic plan that it proved to be inefficient for the organization in achieving their planned goals and objectives. Instead, of developing an entirely new strategic plan overcoming the shortcomings, they took the easy alternative of implementing the previous year’s strategic with slight modifications. There are certain recommendations which I would like to make for the Second National Bank.
Firstly, they should properly review the previous year’s strategic plan and identify any shortcomings in it in order to overcome them in the coming year. Secondly, the key goals of the organization should be continuously enforced by the top management so that they are in the mind and heart of each and every employee, only then they will be more directed towards achieving them. Thirdly, the management does not seems to be clear about its goals and objectives, therefore, first they should meet with each other in figuring out the exact purpose and goals of the bank.
Fourthly, the strategic plan should be based on the changing business needs and environment therefore; the previous year’s plan cannot work in another year with its entirety. Thus, a new extensive strategic plan should be formulated highlighting the key goals and how to achieve them. Finally, in order to make Second National Bank the friendliest one, only smiling will not work. The bank must work on providing quality customer service to its depositors and borrowers so that they can become satisfied and they actually feel the friendly atmosphere of the bank (Bryson, 2004).
The right time for the implementation of the strategic plan is after acquiring all the resources for the implementation. Inadequate resources will become a hurdle on the way to perfect implementation. The bank should go about implementing its strategic plan by informing every low-level to high level employee about the goals and objectives of the organization so that they can work keeping in mind those objectives. Following are the answers to the specific questions: The idea of having an annual off-site retreat for developing the strategic can be considered both a good one as well as bad one.
It is a good one because informal meetings allow the managers and employees to come up with new and innovative ideas. Moreover, they can discuss the issues better in an informal way rather in a formal way. An informal meeting would lead to more generation of informal ideas which can help the organization. But at the same time, there is a risk that an off-site annual retreat might lack seriousness from the management and everyone can be involved in enjoying their time in the club as is seen in the Second National Bank’s meeting where two breaks have already been taken.
While analyzing the planning process of Second National Bank, the first thing that we see is that the President and CEO both don’t remember anything of what they included in the strategic plan and they were thinking to put forward the same plan this year. Though last year, they had been able to develop an extensive strategic plan through the informal meeting but this year, none of them seemed serious. Though they developed an extensive business strategic plan but they did not work enough on working out the plan. Many of the goals were still unachieved due to which the plan was to be repeated.
The planning process lacked clear definition of the problem and the objectives accompanied by lack of implementation. In order to make Second National Bank friendliest bank of the city, nothing concrete was done and the employees were only asked to smile while dealing with the customers which did not prove anything. Nothing definitive was achieved from the strategic plan of the previous year which shows that the planning process of the bank was inefficient. If I was invited, then I would definitely shed some light on their planning process which was not up to the mark.
As a bank, they should be more serious with their work and do not develop a strategic plan just for the sake of doing it. I would recommend them that first they should form a clear picture of their future and then discuss the goals in the light of their vision. Secondly, I would suggest the President that continuing with the previous year’s strategic plan is not the way out. Instead, they should work on the issues that are causing them hindrance in achieving their goals in the new year’s strategic plan (Jr. Hargrave, 1999).