Blog   Tagged ‘partnership’

Community Partnerships: The key to your diversity and inclusion plan

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So your company has created and implemented a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan. Now what? A key component of your company’s plan is choosing community partners. These partners provide an expertise and insight on how your company can succeed from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

Diversity Partners

At UMB, we choose organizations and groups that have been identified through our diversity council as major contributors to our strategy. Our goal is to have these organizations enhance our diversity and inclusion strategy in four ways:

  1. Talent acquisition and development – We build a stronger company by hiring and retaining talented, high-performing associates with diverse backgrounds.
  1. Associate engagement – We demonstrate inclusiveness by ensuring each of our associates has a voice and opportunities to share ideas.
  1. Corporate community involvement and volunteerism – Our associates regularly volunteer at the organizations who are our collaborative partners.
  1. Regional cohesiveness – We try to find organizations that have outreach in multiple cities across our footprint (Black MBA Association in Kansas City and St. Louis, Urban Financial Services Coalition in Kansas City, St. Louis and Omaha). But we also will work with independent organizations (The Regional Business Council of St. Louis).

So how do both the company and the community organization benefit from these partnerships?

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Within the company, community partnerships help make associates aware of diversity. Additionally, they help associates stay educated about their community. Some organizations even offer training programs for associates, like a Lunch and Learn, so they can get a better understanding about the community organization and the work they do. For example, UMB works with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Greater Kansas City and they provide our associates with training about how to work with Hispanic businesses.

The company benefits externally from these partnerships by helping us connect with our community. They help us connect with people, resources and other businesses. They help share our vision, mission and values in the diverse communities that we serve.

Community organizations benefit from these partnerships depending on the company. At UMB, we provide them with financial education programs. We also have company officers who serve on boards for the organizations. And we encourage our associates to volunteer for their various programs.

Ultimately it’s important for both the company and the organization to feel like the partnership is bringing some value to them. Both parties should be involved, creating mutually agreed upon activities and goals. Representatives from both organizations should meet regularly to discuss whether or not the partnership is on track. In fact, at UMB we require our collaborative partners to submit an annual report, as well as a scorecard that gives information about their website traffic, how many scholarships they gave out and the amount (if applicable), how many programs they organized during the year, etc.

With the help of these community partners, your company’s comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan will be complete. With your unique combined perspectives, you can be more competitive and create stronger connections within your markets.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Dr. Hendricks serves as senior vice president of Diversity and Inclusion at UMB. She is responsible for the corporate-wide diversity and inclusion strategy. She joined UMB in 2006. Dr. Hendricks earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Development Psychology and Mass Communications and a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan. She also earned a Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia.



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Connecting the Dots: Commercial client forum

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You’ve probably attended industry or community events with time set aside for networking. But, have you ever met at your company’s bank for an event dedicated solely to networking and sharing ideas? Earlier this year, UMB’s commercial banking team brought together a group of our clients to share ideas and perspectives about everything from succession planning to product evolution and other leadership topics. We sat down with Brian Beaird, senior vice president in UMB’s Commercial Banking department, to discuss this informative client forum.

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What was your goal with the forum?

We wanted to bring in a handful of our clients so they could discuss leadership topics and expand their business networks. The goal was to create meaningful opportunities to develop relationships beyond traditional commercial banking interactions. We wanted to connect our clients to others like them so they could discuss real-life challenges and take away tangible ideas to consider for their businesses.

Who did you invite to this event?

We invited senior leadership from ten middle market clients across our eight-state footprint. The clients represented various industries, from construction to non-profits. They also represented various types of leadership within the company. Three of the businesses are family run, ranging from first to third generation leadership.

Specifically, what did the attendees discuss?

In addition to the general leadership topics, we utilized articles from the Harvard Business Review to guide our discussion. The articles created a framework for facilitated discussion that created unique perspectives based on the various styles of leadership in the room and industry-specific scenarios that enabled group members to think differently about their business.

What surprised you about their conversations?

The clients who attended provided a unique perspective that helps us to better understand how various industries are performing and how they are projected to perform. Additionally, it was interesting to watch the attendees make connections to similar issues they’ve experienced, even if they were in different industries. For example, one attendee was concerned with an aspect of his company’s succession plan. Another attendee had a very similar experience in his company and the two were able to talk after the forum and exchange ideas on how to help solve the problem.

What was the outcome of these meetings?

The companies we bring in for these forums are geographically separated, but they have begun to do business together and leverage the experiences of the group as an information source for decision-making. Two attendees have actually developed a business partnership as a direct result of this meeting.

Having done two of these forums since last fall, we continue to follow up with the attendees to ensure the conversation continues. In fact, one member requested that we help lead a strategic off-site meeting for their company.

The most important takeaway we’ve seen from these meetings is the company leaders have realized it’s important for them to branch outside of their networks like this on a regular basis. Communicating with other companies outside the standard, day-to-day business interactions can help you create partnerships you may never have developed otherwise. You may even be able to learn from the experiences of other companies and apply them to your own.

 

When you click links marked with the “‡” symbol, you will leave UMB’s website and go to websites that are not controlled by or affiliated with UMB. We have provided these links for your convenience. However, we do not endorse or guarantee any products or services you may view on other sites. Other websites may not follow the same privacy policies and security procedures that UMB does, so please review their policies and procedures carefully.


Mr. Beaird is a senior vice president in UMB’s Commercial Banking department. He is responsible for commercial banking strategy, which focuses on the development of growth through our people and various markets. He joined UMB in 2009 and has 14 years of experience in the financial services industry. He earned an MBA and a master’s degree in human resources from Webster University in Kansas City, MO. Mr. Beaird is also the co-founder of the Kids to Kings youth basketball organization.



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Partnering for what’s ahead: A conversation with Will and Bart of AmeriFlex

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Take a look at this video highlighting one of our many fantastic clients, or should I say business partners.

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Mr. Fee serves as president of UMB’s Texas region and is responsible for designing and executing a strategy to establish UMB Bank in the Texas market, initially by way of Dallas. He joined UMB in 2002 and has also served as the community bank president of the UMB South Kansas City region. Fee earned Bachelor of Science with a major in Business Administration and Accounting from the University of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan.



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