Credit union strategic planning season is upon us, and now is the time to step back from all the noise, review the terrain and hear from your stakeholders about what’s next. Some important questions you want to ask your critical stakeholders are:
- Where are we going?
- What direction will we go?
- When will we get there?
- Who is coming along?
- What does success look like?
- How will we win?
But credit union strategic planning is more than a questionnaire. And it’s more than a date on the calendar – it’s a process. Let’s discuss why it’s both challenging and vitally important to plan correctly.
Getting Stuck in the Weeds
It’s easy, and tempting, to keep your head down and focus on the day-to-day operations of your institution. You’re also working on strategic initiatives still in process. And all of that is good stuff…and absolutely necessary.
But sometimes, this “good stuff” means getting so stuck in the weeds you neglect long-term credit union strategic planning.
You might work well on monthly and quarterly timeframes, which help ensure you’re accomplishing your objectives on a steady, cyclical pace. However, you can’t forget about the starting point of the workflow. You can’t let implementation conquer strategy.
Start with the Big Questions
Credit union strategic planning brings everyone to the table to ask and consider those big questions mentioned at the beginning of this article. There needs to be time and space for questions like: Are we on the right track? Should we stay the course? What should we stop doing? The industry is moving…are we? What products provide the most impact and value?
Until you cuss and discuss these types of questions, you may not be working on the correct initiatives and action plans. At a minimum, it is difficult to ensure you are heading the right direction.
You may feel accomplished because you complete many tactical items. You may also feel accomplished when you complete strategic initiatives from the prior year’s plan. Successful completion of any priority is fantastic, and you should celebrate wins.
But protecting time to think strategically each year will ensure there is a clear throughline from your strategic vision to your annual strategic initiatives to your quarterly objectives to your monthly goals.
Take the First Step
Credit union strategic planning is the first step toward success. The industry, economic environment and other institutions all change quickly. You must keep up. You must commit to high-level strategic planning with the same intentional cadence you bring to the implementation phases of the workflow.
The best way to get everyone in the same boat rowing in the same direction to the same point on the horizon is to discuss strategy regularly, build a plan, set a heading and start rowing. Prevent drifting by performing credit union strategic planning. Stay the course.
Need help with your credit union strategic planning? On The Mark Strategies’ facilitators will help you make a focused plan you won’t relegate to the nearest shelf once the session is over. Book a free consultation now.