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Mining the Most Valuable Commodity in the World

Posted by Kevin Moland

May 24, 2017 11:45:00 AM

During the week leading up to New Year’s Day of 2016, I was a domestic all-star. On New Year’s morning, after I had nailed everything on her “honey do” list, my wife showed her appreciation by sending me off to spend the day “doing something I wanted to do.” The combination of her generosity and my lack of previously developed hobbies led to the discovery of a new love in my life: hiking.

I now spend at least a couple Saturday mornings each month at a local state park that happens to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. What I’ve learned over the last 18 months is that this state park also has rich deposits of the most valuable commodity in the world, and it’s easily accessible to those who stroll along its paths.

Make no mistake, this commodity is priceless. Without it, art, innovation, and excellence are impossible. Without it, persistence, durability, and consistency lose a good deal of their value. From a business perspective, this commodity is responsible for the success of companies as large and diverse as Apple, IBM, and Tesla. And yet, it’s a commodity that far too many businesses have no plan to develop or acquire.

The commodity is insight. And even though mining it is extremely cost effective, many companies just don’t take the time.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

Four Things Product Teams Can Learn from Archery

Posted by Nick Wellner

Mar 22, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Growing up, I dabbled in archery. My dad bought a cheap fiberglass bow and showed me how to shoot a target on to of a stack of hay bales. When I started bow hunting again in my twenties, archery became a renewed passion. I attempt to shoot my bow every day; and slowly but surely, I’m hitting the center more and more consistently.

This is no easy task. A perfect shot requires your bow’s sight to be properly tuned and exactly aligned when you release. Your bow must be drawn back to the same spot each time, and released in the same exact motion. Most of the time, one of these variables is off, and your arrow doesn’t hit the center of the target. If you want to improve your next shot, you have to figure out what to adjust.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Information Technology

How to Email an Executive: Six Tips from Senior Management

Posted by Shane Purnell

Feb 22, 2017 11:30:00 AM

It’s not unusual for Russ Bernthal, President of ProfitStars, to check email from his phone when he’s on the road. But scrolling through long threads looking for the point of an email is a fate he doesn’t suffer well.

“Long threads drive me nuts,” he shares with me. “They’re particularly annoying when I’m traveling and looking at emails on my phone.”

Stacey Zengel, President of Jack Henry Banking, is no different. Each day, he receives anywhere from 150-250 emails of which approximately 100 require responses. Lengthy, rambling texts are the source of his email pain.

“I like to get straight to the point unless foundational information is required to make a decision  .... most of the emails I get are usually lengthy and require reading time.”

Dealing with hundreds of emails is part of every executive’s job, but that doesn’t mean they understand why they have to be included in so many.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

The Value in FinTech Conferences

Posted by Danny Payne

Jan 18, 2017 11:15:00 AM

At most FinTech companies, banks, and credit unions, the start of a new year means planning for conferences. And for some odd reason, there seem to be two groups of people when it comes to conferences and trade shows. It’s a love/hate relationship – you either fall on the side of seeing all the good in conferences or you think they’re complete wastes of time and resources.

I for one fall into the “love” category, and I’ve been this way since I started working in FinTech almost 15 years ago. The company I worked for was a small startup and we just started selling payments in the utilities marketplace. I was a new account rep and it was my first tradeshow. It was magical! I stood in a booth; people came up to me and asked questions about my product; and I talked to them about it. In 10 minutes I could present the value proposition and product differentiation, show a demo, and set a follow-up meeting. It was like speed dating for sales … and I loved it.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Customer Experience

Do You Make These PowerPoint Mistakes in Your Presentations?

Posted by Shane Purnell

Jan 11, 2017 11:15:00 AM

If you took a speech class before Microsoft® PowerPoint existed, you likely know what a “visual aid” is. Before PowerPoint, a visual aid was a drawing on a flip chart or a product you held. What made visual aids effective was you had to decide what to say about them and how to use them in your presentation before you presented.

Today, slide decks have replaced visual aids. Unfortunately, many presenters think step one of a presentation is to fire up PowerPoint and start creating slides. They don’t think about how they’ll use them or how they’ll impact the audience. Instead of using PowerPoint to create visual aids, they write their whole presentation in it.

If you want to create a great presentation, don’t start in PowerPoint. Starting in PowerPoint encourages two common presentation mistakes.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

People, Process, Product: What if “the Profit” Paid a Visit to Your Bank?

Posted by Clarke Farmer

Dec 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

One of my favorite TV shows is CNBC’s The Profit. In the show, Marcus Lemonis (aka “the Profit”) invests and partners with small businesses that typically need dramatic changes to their business model in order to improve performance and profitability.

The Profit’s method focuses on three primary elements: people, process, and product. It is quite entertaining. The people he gets involved with are usually even more interesting than the business challenges faced in each project. I suspect that any banker who has seen the show can nod their head and chuckle in agreement that many of their commercial loan customers fit a similar profile.

That said, do you wonder what the Profit would say if he paid a visit to a community bank? We may never know, but here are a few thoughts specific to the commercial lending side of the shop.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Lending

The Top 5 Strategically Speaking Posts of 2016

Posted by Strategically Speaking

Dec 21, 2016 11:15:00 AM

Whether you're traveling this weekend to visit family or staying in with your loved ones, take a moment to view some of the most popular Strategically Speaking posts of 2016.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

Work Smarter - Not Harder

Posted by Brynn Ammon

Dec 14, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Systems are smarter today than ever before. Yet, at financial institutions everywhere, there are still employees working from paper reports daily. Technology has the ability to provide snapshot data at a moment’s notice for review, but your users still use processes that create work for themselves and others in the institution. Efficiency is not always about shiny new tools and robust software solutions. Very often, you already own the shiny, robust tools needed to operate efficiently… you just need someone in the organization to point them out. 

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Processes & Procedures

Recap: 3 Core Blog Posts for Your Thanksgiving Holiday

Posted by Strategically Speaking

Nov 23, 2016 11:30:00 AM

We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Strategically Speaking and everyone at Jack Henry & Associates wishes to thank our readers for years of support. It is our mission to bring readers informative and educational topics to help expand their knowledge on subjects within the industry. 

We also wish to thank all of our authors for contributing such interesting and informative blog posts over the years. Their expertise have given us an insight into everything happening behind the fintech scenes - helping to break down complicated topics and provide useful tips for preforming at the highest level.

This week, Strategically Speaking will be taking a break to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. As there will be no new blog posts this week, here are several core-related posts from earlier this year that we believe deserve another read-through, including one from contributing author Trent Fleming (http://trentfleming.com/), Stacey Zengel, President of Jack Henry Banking, and Susan Griffin, Industry Analyst of Jack Henry's Strategic Initiatives Group.

Have a happy Thanksgiving and we'll see you all next week! 

 

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

Healthcare Law – An Introduction for Financial Institutions

Posted by Robert Hudecek

Nov 2, 2016 11:00:00 AM

The healthcare industry, like any profession, is not without its own set of acronyms and laws. In truth, healthcare has often followed the financial sector closely in regards to privacy law and regulations, albeit several years in arrears. With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, the gap is quickly closing and may bring your institution along for the ride.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

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