Midland States Bank first partnered with The Pacific Institute® in early 2008, with the introduction of a Culture Survey. Led by a TPI Senior Consultant, the company then crafted a new Vision & Values and completed Leadership Alignment® assessments on 15 key leaders of the business. All bank employees also received The Pacific Institute’s Investment In Excellence® training.
During this process, three major solution initiatives were implemented: Corporate
Culture & Leadership Initiative: The bank’s current culture was identified and compared to highly constructive cultures. Then, they discovered blind spots and limited thinking that held the organization back. Using the latest research in neuroscience, skills were developed for more expansive and creative thinking, and for more constructive leadership and sales practices.
Personal Development Initiative: This segment focused on personal accountability and developing individual skill sets to improve job performance and life satisfaction.
Strategy Initiative: Here a new strategic plan was developed and implemented to enhance the bank’s growth and strength for the future.
Pleased with the progress of all three initiatives, Holschbach felt the team was ready to begin executing the transformation of the bank. The problem was the market wasn’t cooperating. “We were ready” said Holschbach. ”Our minds had been opened. We had developed our skills, and we had a precise strategy. But we had no reputation as an acquirer. I couldn’t get anyone to return my calls. So, we got readier and readier and readier. Then the financial crisis hit. The banking industry was in trouble.”
“Our salvation was that we were ‘ready.’ We were prepared to leverage our people and assets to execute an acquisition strategy. The financial crisis provided us a platform to do that. We hadn’t planned it that way, but given the new flexibility in our thinking, we were able to see the opportunities that existed within the chaos that erupted.”
Not only was Midland States Bank able to discern the opportunities that existed; they could raise almost $40 million in capital in 30 days, at a time when virtually no other community banks were raising money.
They raised the money for two acquisitions. One, Strategic Capital Bank, was a very complex transaction that required Midland to educate themselves, and their regulators, on multiple facets of operations, in order to complete their due diligence and assess value. “Given the complexity, two years ago, we wouldn’t have even considered that acquisition,” said CFO, Jeffrey G. Ludwig.
Ludwig continues, “We simply wouldn’t have had the mental agility or the stomach for it. We weren’t ready. That’s the position many of our competitors found themselves in. Other banks had the opportunity but they were too fearful to step up to the plate. They weren’t ready. Thanks to the investments we made in our culture, our people and our strategy, we were.”