Increasing complexity and specialization in banking requires effective teamwork and collaboration to deliver solutions to clients, manage risk and accomplish the bank’s objectives. Yet, in many institutions, teamwork and collaboration is sub-optimal at best. By working to clarify expectations, business practices, roles and metrics, SPP assists its clients in building an environment of mutual respect and trust among functions that intersect and enhancing client service and performance. In some cases, alignment is further developed by implementing techniques for enhancing collaboration on an ongoing basis and installing appropriate metrics for measuring progress and performance.
Many of SPP’s activities to improve performance fit within one of four broad categories described below.
Building Commitment to the Business Strategy
Working with executive leaders, SPP actively engages the management team to articulate and implement a clear vision of the future. Gaining a high level of commitment to the strategic direction among all managers and professional staff is often a core objective. After ensuring a ‘shared vision’ among management, SPP frequently designs and assists in implementing a plan to clarify this vision among all associates. Typically, this phase is based on ‘action planning,’ in which local teams develop their plans (within defined parameters) for executing the strategy. This approach ensures a high degree of clarity, engagement and commitment to both the strategy and tactical plans.
SPP designs and facilitates the process that clarifies strategic objectives, priorities, action plans, business practices, the desired operating style and measures of progress.
Clarity of Roles and Functions
As business strategies become more focused and competition intensifies, it is critically important that all professionals understand and fulfill their intended roles. To fully assimilate evolving roles, clarity must exist around many issues, including: desired behavior, internal and external expectations, skills and knowledge required and the associated metrics. Critical business processes (e.g. sales and/or sales management processes, credit process, referrals, etc.) must be embedded and clarified among affected roles. Using its proprietary Performance Mapping methodology, SPP works with front-line teams to resolve these issues, model them and implement actions to ensure that roles are clearly understood and acted upon. Progress is routinely measured, with feedback providing further clarity.
In order to ensure the successful introduction of new or refined business practices, emphasis must be on results rather than ‘process.’ By actively involving those affected by the changes during the design phase and working through carefully planned and coordinated design, testing and implementation phases, SPP ensures that business practices achieve their desired results while avoiding unintended consequences. When appropriate, measurement techniques are used to regularly assess and accelerate progress.
SPP’s Action-Planning Approach
SPP uses techniques that build long term, sustainable organizational excellence. Common elements include:
- Direct involvement of line management and professional staff, to foster clarity and a shared commitment;
- Broader participation throughout the organization, as initiatives progress from strategic to tactical;
- An emphasis on 'action planning' by affected team members, to stimulate implemenation and ownership;
- A balanced focus on clients, staff and shareholders; and
- Use of measurement tools and feedback - quantitative and qualitative - to assess and stimulate progress.