3 (Not So Easy) Steps To Decide To Act On Your Credit Union Strategic Plan For Growth

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What do my best practice credit union clients all have in common?

By best practice, I mean my clients who are consistently hitting their growth goals and have exceptional cultures where people WANT to work, all while being committed to a common vision that makes a difference.

They have a leader who consistently makes sound, data-backed decisions and then fearlessly implements the credit union strategic plan.

The difference between a good leader and a great leader is employing a framework that helps sort through data and mitigates emotions to choose a plan of action and decisively execute on it.

Several months ago, I was working with a credit union CEO who was not making decisions (which, in fact, is a decision). She had some big initiatives on her plate that could make the difference between success and a merger.

“Why haven’t you made a decision yet?” I asked after almost six months of these initiatives sitting with no action.

She responded, “These are big, I just don’t know where to start.”

I couldn’t argue with that. When you talk about staffing changes, branch closures, and other big decisions that have such an impact on others, they should not be taken lightly. However, with no decision made, we both knew what the outcome would be.

How to start executing your credit union strategic plan

If you find yourself in the same situation as this credit union leader, let me walk you through three steps we took and how she got unstuck to move mountains in a short amount of time.

  1. Plan. Without a deadline in place for any decision or project, it’s easy for them to linger. We set a deadline for when she would make the decision and worked backward through all of the steps that needed to happen to be ready to decide by that date.
  2. Accountability. Transparency is key, however, there are some decisions that need to stay close until you make the decision. To stay on track, find someone to hold you accountable. In this case, I worked with the board chair to support the CEO along the way and serve as a sounding board, but ultimately let the CEO know there would be accountability for missed deadlines.
  3. Do it! You worked the plan. You gained proper perspective and data to help make a sound decision. You made the decision within the time frame set, and now it’s time to execute. Deciding to do something is only the first step. Now you must plan to act on your decision, clearly communicate the decision and why it was made to gain support from your team, and then collaborate with them to make it happen so the world does not fall on your shoulders.

How about you? What decisions did you make in your last credit union strategic planning session that are lingering with no action? You’ve made some good excuses but deep down you feel overwhelmed, and that is the real reason for inaction.

Or the classic “I just haven’t had time.” I’ve been guilty of that, and so had my team. Until we implemented a new rule: Instead of saying “I didn’t have time,” we must say, “It wasn’t a priority.” Then we share what took priority over the issue at hand. A small percentage of the time there was something more important, but most times it was busy work that wasn’t an actual priority. By practicing that, I’ve become a better decision-maker, and we ensure that our strategic priorities are accomplished on time each quarter.

Need help getting unstuck? Our time-tested action plan has helped many credit union leaders find success and get their credit unions into “thrival” mode instead of just survival. I’m ready to help you, too.

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Reh Harvey

Vice President of Digital Strategy

Reh Harvey, our Vice President of Digital Strategy, leads with diligence and fervor. Having previously been a member of Team YMC, he is excited to return to such an amazing culture and even more amazing people (his words)! Through his experience in the marketing world, he’s found the key to success is to stay on the cutting edge and to always keep evolving.
 
Although originally drawn to marketing for its lack of math, Reh now finds himself doing more math than he would’ve bargained for. But his self discipline and positive attitude make it easy for him to laugh and take it in stride. Hoping to one day visit Japan and enjoy some premium Sushi, Reh lives life by his creed: Be a good human. Do good work. And above all, just keep going.

Hailey Madej

Graphic Designer

As YMC’s in-house Graphic Designer, Hailey possesses an eye for detail and a drive to innovate. It’s no surprise though since being creative runs in the family! Inspired from an early age by her mom’s work as a Graphic Designer, Hailey is a seasoned expert whose talents bring vitality and accessibility to every project. As a UX/UI designer, she expertly blends the intuitive and the creative for all to enjoy.
 
In addition to the occasional freelance project, Hailey also lends her abilities to supporting art initiatives within her community, such as the Belleville Mural Project. Her favorite aspect of joining the YMC team is the friendly, uplifting culture and breadth of design tasks. When it comes to marketing, she believes in pushing boundaries and maybe breaking some rules to capture her audience’s attention. Her advice to those just starting out? “Always seek quality over quantity.”

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche

Copywriter

Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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