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January 4, 2016 by Emily Waite Emily Waite

Collaboration: The New Competitive Weapon

151217aIn an industry where the top five institutions control more than half the market share, it amazes me how few of the 6,000 other banks are taking advantage of shared insights and resources to compete. There is strength in numbers, and there’s absolutely no reason for community bankers to try to compete against players a hundred times bigger on their own.

Today, bank executives are struggling to stay current in an industry growing ever-more complex with increased regulation, changing customer expectations and digital disruption. Threats to the banking business model are coming from new, unanticipated competitors. Unfortunately, amidst all the chaos, many bankers are failing to leverage their most effective competitive weapon: collaboration.

As consultants, we haunt the halls of industry conferences. We see the types of content being shared through social media. For the most part, these channels are flooding executives with high-level “what” observations and doing nothing to help them make strategic “how” decisions or adopt new operating tactics.

Creative collaboration among bankers can be turned into collective intelligence. As bankers build bonds with peers through collaboration, they open up new opportunities to jointly invest capital in new ventures and strategies. They share insights as to what works and what failed miserably. They find new opportunities to accelerate development and drive stronger performance in areas like mobile technology, business intelligence, shared back-office services and cybersecurity.

In our business, we’ve seen what can happen when executives get together and share challenges, identify opportunities and develop strategies to enhance their performance and improve their bottom lines. At recent GonzoBanker Roundtables, numerous examples emerged of bankers collectively working to strengthen their competitive position:

  • 151217bCEOs identified board risk appetite statements and risk indicator dashboards as a key priority. They shared the content and format of their policies to identify best practices.
  • Tackling the topic of digital signatures, CIOs developed a specific action plan for incorporating Docusign technology into the commercial lending process.
  • Chief retail officers explored new strategies for acquiring small business relationships to effectively grow core deposits.
  • Retail executives collectively evaluated their Retail organizational structures to determine the most productive distribution of departmental ownership and experience management.
  • Bankers shared tactics around e-marketing and social media that resulted in new ideas for marketing campaigns to help with payment growth initiatives.

By committing to a discipline of peer collaboration, bankers are able to create a trusted network that can be tapped into on a regular basis. This network means dozens of sharp and experienced peers can act as real-world consultants in a way that more bureaucratic large banks cannot emulate.

When bankers can get together and share first-hand experiences, when they can be brutally honest with each other and build mutual trust – remarkable things happen. Your peers just may have the answer to this year’s growth and earnings challenges.


Let’s shake things up!

Looking for a great way to share information, insights and ideas with peers? GonzoBanker Roundtables are the place for like-minded bank and credit union executives to hone their collaboration strategies. Check out our 2016 schedule below. Email Emily Waite for more information.

GonzoBanker Bank CIO RoundtableScottsdale, Ariz.Mar 20-22
GonzoBanker Bank Chief Risk Officer RoundtablePhoenixApr 3-5
GonzoBanker Bank CFO RoundtablePhoenixMay 15-17
GonzoBanker Bank Chief Retail Officer RoundtableSan DiegoMay 22-24
GonzoBanker Bank CEO RoundtableSan DiegoJune 5-7
GonzoBanker Bank HR Executive RoundtableMiddleburg, Va.June 12-14
GonzoBanker Bank CIO RoundtableNew OrleansSep 25-27
GonzoBanker Bank Head of Payments RoundtableScottsdale, Ariz.Nov 2-4
GonzoBanker Credit Union Consumer Lending Officer RoundtablePhoenixMar 13-15
GonzoBanker Credit Union Retail Executive RoundtablePhoenixMar 23-25
GonzoBanker Credit Union CEO RoundtablePhoenixApr 17-19
GonzoBanker Credit Union CIO RoundtableChicagoMay 1-3
GonzoBanker Credit Union CFO RoundtableSan DiegoSep 11-13
GonzoBanker Credit Union HR Executive RoundtableScottsdale, Ariz.Sep 18-20
GonzoBanker Credit Union Marketing Director RoundtablePhoenixOct 2-4
GonzoBanker Credit Union CIO RoundtableScottsdale, Ariz.Oct 9-11
GonzoBanker Credit Union ERM Executive RoundtablePhoenixOct 16-18
GonzoBanker Credit Union Head of Payments RoundtableScottsdale, Ariz.Nov 13-15


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