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Schwyzer Kantonalbank (SZKB) is the leading bank in the canton of Schwyz and has a dense network of 23 branches in the region. With the goal of working together to successfully shape the bank's future, the newly formed Bank Council and the bank's Executive Board, accompanied by Hotz Brand Consultants, began developing the overall bank strategy "2023ff" in February 2021. This not only involved finding answers to the changing circumstances in the areas of customer expectations, digitalization and sustainability, but also clarifying the bank's own appetite for risk, its cantonal performance mandate and its identity.
The consulting approach of Hotz Brand Consultants centers on the belief that the values of a company and the desired appreciation by its target groups set the framework for strategic value creation. They shape the way new products and customer experiences are created, mold internal processes and form the basis for the organizational culture. Applying this approach, the purpose of Schwyzer Cantonal Bank was developed based on the shared values within the Bank Council and Executive Board. Together with four guiding principles, the purpose provided the framework and the guideline for the development of the overall bank strategy.
Once the purpose was defined, the actual strategy work began. Together with around 30 selected employees, the central fields of action were defined. These are areas in which SZKB intends to secure and/or expand the appreciation of the target groups in the upcoming strategy period. During this process, it was important not to think in terms of internal departmental structures, but rather to identify around 30 holistic fields of action in interdisciplinary working groups that addressed issues such as the investment offering, SZKB as an employer and the further development of the sales and advisory approach. The Hotz Transformation + Metrics team developed concrete strategic initiatives derived from the identified fields of action along with ambitious "lighthouse projects" (initiatives with a high internal and external impact). Together, these are intended to transform SZKB's strategic objectives into appreciation among the target groups in a particularly meaningful and measurable way.
Within SZKB, purpose and principles act as central guiding tools for the strategic, conceptual and operational work of all employees. Exemplified by the CEO and her Executive Board and coordinated with the Bank Council, they form a common consensus of values and provide long-term orientation.
The overall bank strategy weighs up opportunities and risks and ensures that the bank's purpose and basic convictions are translated into new services and solutions in a concrete way.
The joint process for developing the company’s purpose and strategy also shaped a change in corporate culture, as it was conducted in a participatory manner across a wide range of departmental and seniority levels.