The term “dumpster fire” has become part of the daily lexicon of many credit unions, but how did we get here?
Yes, there’s COVID-19, but let’s be honest. While we may like to pass the buck on the pandemic, if we put under a microscope branding, leadership development, and succession management, perhaps there were already viruses within our organizations.
When things feel chaotic or out of control, it’s important to realize how much we do influence. If we were focused and prepared instead of reactive to the current climate, how tumultuous would things be for our credit unions? And are things really as bad as they seem?
This brings me to the area of sustainability. Too often our industry points to “technology,” “mergers” and “money.” Sustainability is not about playing catchup, more credit union consolidation, or “making it rain” – tossing more dollars at problems. To be a catalyst for systemic change, we must clear away the clutter, streamline processes and not be so narrowminded by what will lead us to success.
Fundamentally, we should be asking how we are creating value for stakeholders. Unlike most other financial institutions, our members are our stakeholders. Therefore, we should be focused on improving the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance within our credit unions.
We need a deeper understanding of people – bridging purpose and profit that goes beyond a tagline. And if you don’t think your credit union is having a positive or negative social and human impact, I promise you are… even out of omission.
How do we get unstuck and find stability? Let’s focus on a different approach.
Branding – Are we simply a financial player in a crowded market, or a brand that connects and resonates with members? Are the same old branding and marketing principles and habits keep creeping back in? Are we using the right tools, materials, and channels? What should be our brand story?
Leadership Development – Does your credit union treat workers fairly? Are you having a positive impact on your people – from the board to the leadership team to the frontlines? What policies or practices make your credit union a highly ethical brand?
Succession Management – Do we only focus on the executive level? Are there organizational silos? Do we have candor with our weaknesses and have the emotional intelligence to the “why” behind our performance pitfalls? And as we witness transitions within the workplace, how is that impacting our brand authority?
If you don’t know where you are, you can’t get to where you want to go.
Sustainability for Credit Unions
From branding to strategic planning, we help credit unions uncover tangible problems and build relevant solutions. We’re here to help you find stability this year and in the future.