Feeling Buried? A Lesson From the Legendary St. Bernard

Long before these high-spirited, drool-coated canines found a place in our hearts (and next to us on the sofa), St. Bernard dogs made a name for themselves during the late 1700s by saving lives. Monks used the burly dogs to help them on rescue missions during treacherous snow storms in the St. Bernard Pass, a path that led travelers through the Alps between Italy and Switzerland.


The dogs, working in pairs, continually made rescues for 150 years – saving buried, tired, and injured travelers. One dog would lay on the stranded traveler to provide warmth while the other alerted the monks for help. The dogs became so reliable, that when Napoleon and his 250,000 soldiers crossed the St. Bernard Pass between 1790 and 1810, there were zero casualties.

What does this have to do with your marketing strategy?

While we sincerely hope your corporate hallways are not as treacherous as the St. Bernard Pass, come April every year they may be susceptible to an avalanche of their own - the one that comes with first-quarter strategy stall.

In our 20+ years consulting with community financial institutions, we’ve seen organizations' enthusiasm for strategic execution fade as people get buried by their day-to-day workloads. ‘I’ll start that tomorrow’ turns into ‘Let’s push that to next quarter’, and good initiatives die on the vine.

While you may feel it’s only your organization experiencing this, think again. Two out of every three organizations will fail at carrying out their strategic plans this year. Lack of execution is top-of-mind for every exec. In fact, when Harvard Business Review surveyed CEOs about their biggest concerns, strategy execution topped the list – right along with the economy, innovation, and topline growth.

Many organizations buckle down on strategy with antiquated methods to get back on track that end up further stalling progress – see HBR’s ‘Why Strategy Execution Unravels – and What to Do About It’ video -- but sometimes, it's the simple fact of being buried that stalls progress and points to, if not a brandy cask, then a strategic partner to help dig out and get your agenda back on track.

That’s where Galapagos comes in.

Community banking is our focus. We understand the organizational and market challenges you face in executing effective strategy. We’ve purposely built our team to complement yours, providing specialized help in the areas of planning, market insight, project management, and marketing communications – precisely when and where you need it. 

To get a better idea of how we help, take a look at some of the projects we're working on for other community FIs.

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