Can’t believe that 2013 is nearing its end! Of course, retailers started to ring in the New Year back in August when the first holiday decorations came out (yes, I did indeed see holiday decorations out in August…so not kidding about that!)
But I digress….
Most credit unions are already looking toward 2014. Budgets are being negotiated, strategic planning sessions have been conducted, and pretty soon everyone’s focus will be on having a strong start to the New Year. I’d like to share 3 things that fall in the “must-do” category for credit unions next year:
Get a Grip – the momentum of the marketplace has shifted and will continue to do so. Stop trying to be all things to all people. Get a firm grip on your credit union’s target market and make sure that the VAST majority of your time and other precious resources are being allocated to that target market. And you can only have one target market. You can have other focus groups (or whatever you want to call them) but as for a target market – it needs to be specific and relevant to your credit union’s strategic direction and value proposition.
Get It Done – I was facilitating a planning session last month and the Board Chairman & CEO came up to me during a break and said, “here’s what frustrates us the most. We come up with all of these initiatives and ideas at these planning sessions every year. Then nothing gets accomplished.” My response took the form of a question – “what kind of project management system do you use to complete the tasks?” Their response was completely non-verbal but they didn’t actually need to say anything. When they looked at each other with blank stares, I had my answer. Moral of the story – you must use some kind of project management system or software. You need to assign responsibilities, track progress, hold people accountable, and set deadlines. An Excel spreadsheet isn’t good enough. Look into a cloud-based system that people can access easily. If you need some suggestions, feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to provide you with some.
Get Aggressive – stop waiting for business to walk in. You have to go out and get it. And that takes a strong business development function. When hiring new people, make sure they have the skill sets that they are going to need for the future – not just for the present. Be open to new ways of doing things. Make sure your technology is up to date and that your employees are on fire with enthusiasm and motivation. Manage your people better. Don’t get busy with nonsense.
At the end of 2014, you want to be able to look back and be proud of what you’ve done. You don’t want to be wondering what could have been.