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Every day, a community financial institution closes its doors. Statistics cite mergers, losses on investments and plunging asset values as major reasons for these closures. The common root of these failures, ignoring criminal actions, cannot be found on the institution’s balance sheet but instead in its culture.

Community financial institutions fail because of a lack of innovation. Innovation begats technology and solutions that allow a financial institution to compete with national competitors. Innovation allows institutions to prosper by improving efficiencies, preventing losses, delivering better products and even creating more opportunities to provide better service. In short, institutions that survive are those that are not satisfied with the status quo, as noted by Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter who said: “Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.”

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