Given all of the responsibilities bank boards have, regular board meetings rarely leave time to address the really important questions regarding the bank's strategy, the board's risk appetite and the bank's ability to withstand risks from the perspective of its earnings and capital. Both executive management and the directorate can find themselves spending most of their time together focused on last month's or last quarter's financial results and the myriad of reports required to be reviewed, many of which are for regulatory compliance purposes. That can easily cause most of us to lose sight of the "bigger picture" questions such as: Have we achieved what we set out to achieve? What do we want to accomplish over the next three years? Are the goals we have set to achieve in the best interest of our shareholders and other constituents?
To answer the aforementioned questions, it is important that management together with the board take a day or two (in some cases even one half of one day can suffice) to reach board and management consensus on the bank's future strategy, why it is the right strategy and how it will be accomplished. Summer is the ideal time to start thinking about what the strategic planning meeting agenda topics should look like to make the meeting a success. So you might start by considering the following questions in developing your meeting agenda: