"How can we best plan for future growth in a world that is unpredictable and full of change?"

This is a timely question as financial brands and fintech enter into the "strategic planning season."

And to be honest, it's my favorite time of the year. 

It's the moment we reach the summit of Mount Mutatio on our own journeys of growth.

Reaching the Summit of Your Digital Growth Journey

Mutatio is latin for change or transformation.

And when it comes to maximizing future growth, we are all climbing a mountains of change and transformation.

Now, some climbs are easier than others.

The most important thing, however, is to always keep climbing onward and upward.

Otherwise we risk fooling ourselves into thinking it's better to seek solace and comfort in the Cave of Complacency.

But when we are on the summit of Mount Mutatio, we have an opportunity to pause, review, and reflect on the progress we've made over the first six months of the year while looking towards the back half of the year with renewed hope and confidence.

➤As an individual.

➤As a team.

➤As a financial brand or fintech.

It's also a time to look ahead with renewed hope and optimism on the progress we will continue to make as we move forward on our journey of growth towards the back half of the year.

Hope is being able to see --and share-- light despite all the darkness.

And for many... the past couple of years have been pretty dark.

The good news is combined together, hope and optimism are key elements to gaining and protecting one's confidence. And confidence --like COVID-- is contagious.

But when people are lost in the dark, feeling confused and frustrated about their financial situation, when financial stress takes a toll on their health, relationships, and well being, the two things people crave most are:

  1. Help
  2. Hope

And hope, for many, must come long before one is ready to receive help. One must feel hopeful for the future, that there is even a chance for them to escape the darkness, the confusion, the frustration, and the chaos financial stress brings.

This is where putting in place a practice of optimism comes into play.

When it comes to finances and money, Frost Bank believes better finances begin with optimism.

They define optimism as a mindset rooted in determination, resilience and grit. And there’s never been a better time for it as Frost Bank has found through their research:

  • Optimists are 7X more likely to experience better financial health than pessimists.
  • Optimists experience 145 fewer days of financial stress per year than pessimists.
  • Optimists have 1/2 the number of financial setbacks as pessimists.

If we are to share hope and optimism with others --with account holders and prospects as a financial brand or fintech-- hope and optimism must start internally and then spread externally.

This begins with your mindset.

It starts with your team's mindset.

So as we look ahead towards the future and enter "strategic planning season," I understand the future can sometimes feel complex, confusing, chaotic and full of conflict.

The good news is two simple questions can can transform confusion into clarity along with transforming chaos and conflict into courage and confidence.

Instead of thinking of "strategic planning" as an annual event, consider transforming "strategic planning" into a quarterly process.

90-Day Exponential Growth Method

Why make "strategic planning" a 90-day process instead of the traditional annual event?

Through our research and direct coaching with financial brands and fintechs, we've found that it is around 90 days that "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

And we were noticing this pattern way before COVID through a wrench in everyone's annual plans a couple of years ago.

That's because technology, competition, and consumer behaviors, along with the world at large, are all transforming , and will continue to transform, at an exponential rate, which creates inherent risk in traditional annual planning.

And risk for any financial brand or fintech leader is not a good thing.

This is why I'm sharing the exact two questions we ask financial brands that we are guiding and coaching along their digital growth journeys every 90 days.

This is a framework that empowers you to break free from and escape the dangers of getting stuck doing digital to create space and time for you and your team to pause, review, learn, and think about how you can do even better over the next 90 days.

But I get it.

You might feel too busy to stop.

You might feel overwhelmed with a never ending list of to-dos.

So here's the good news.

For you and your team to gain clarity that increases your courage to commit to move forward with confidence, hope, and optimism on your own journey of growth only requires you to set aside one day every 90 days.

And this one day every 90 days is split into two parts where your strategic thinking is guided by a mix of reflective writing that is further expanded on through facilitated dialogue, discussion, and discourse with your team.

What's Going W.E.L.L.?

The morning session starts out by doing business with the past, where progress is greater than perfection, as well as exploring the present moment by asking, "What has been going WELL for us this past quarter?"

WELL is an acronym:

  • Winning
  • Exciting
  • Learning
  • Looking

Let's break each one of these four elements that make up WELL into four strategic questions you must ask yourself and your team every 90 days.

It is these four questions that will continue to build your confidence, increase your hope, and expand your optimism.

In fact, we are starting to work with financial brands to establish coaching programs built around the What's Going WELL framework to increase the confidence, hope, and optimism of their account holders every 90 days.

But you must first master these four questions internally. And you can start mastering them now.

Start with Winning. Reflect back over the past 90 days and write down and discuss the three biggest wins you've experienced on your own journey of Exponential Growth.

Then, shifty our thinking from the past into the present moment and explore what is exciting and energizing you. 

Thinking about everything happening around me right now, what am I feeling most excited and energized about right now in the present moment?

From there, reflecting back on what you have read, watched, listened to, and experienced, what are the three greatest lessons you've learned over the past 90 days and why are these lessons important to note?

And finally, look ahead to the future. What three things am you are looking forward to most over the next 90 days as you continue to move forward and make progress on you own journey of Exponential Growth?

How Do You Want to G.R.O?

In the afternoon, we shift gears and look towards creating the future as we bring the future into the present moment of the mind by asking, "How do we want to GRO most over the next quarter?"

Goals for Growth:

Leap ahead 90 days in your mind. We're having coffee or cocktails and you're in a really good place. Now, take a sip of your coffee or cocktail and look back on today's conversation in your mind. What three things must happen between now until then for you to feel good about the continued progress you're making on your journey of growth?

Roadblocks:

Come back to the present moment. What are the three biggest Roadblocks or challenges you see right now in the present moment that stand in your way and can prevent you from moving forward and making progress towards your Goals for Growth?

Opportunities:

Thinking about the Roadblocks standing in your way, what are the greatest Opportunities available for you to create or capture something new, along with the strengths you currently have to further capitalize on, to work around and overcome the Roadblocks standing in your way as you move forward towards your Goals for Growth with courage and confidence? 

Move Forward with Courage and Confidence

Set aside the time, not just annually,  but every 90 days to the space and time to pause, review, learn, and think about how you can make even more progress over the next 90 days. Create the habit and you will create exponential growth for yourself, for your team, and for your organization.