Planning sessions are quite often viewed as a necessary evil to satisfy the NCUA or FDIC. Mission and vision statements are reviewed. SWOT diagrams on financial and non-financial performance decorate the board room. What emerges is a blueprint for management by objectives instead of a roadmap for moving closer toward our top priorities. (Get our free Beyond the SWOT download now)
For 2018, let’s align culture and strategy in your strategic planning session. We’ve all heard the saying “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” The truth is a vibrant culture actually delivers a strategic advantage. If your strategic planning session is missing the mark, you may have a team that is not focused on collective results.
Deep dive discussions should not be held in isolation with the facilitator and the C-suite. Consider bringing people from the front line into the fold. After all, these are the people who execute strategy and see your members every single day. This is an opportunity to listen and build better relationships with others.
Stick to truly critical decisions where you need to develop a strategy. Consider a confidential survey to gauge organizational effectiveness before your meeting. Doing some basic prep work can lead to a more effective planning session.
Too often credit unions and community banks concentrate on everyday issues or an area where there is already a strategy in place. Push only the agenda items that need to be challenged.
Great credit unions and community banks realize the link between culture and strategy. Teams must be disciplined and persistent in the discovery of insightful and rich ideas. The two greatest causes of lack of commitment is lack of clarity and buy-in. This year, turn your strategic planning session into a lively, engaged meeting.