Ditch Your SWOT and Replace it With This

Share
Share
Share

Tradition says that strategy starts with your SWOT analysis. What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to your credit union strategy? The longer you have used the SWOT analysis as the basis for your credit union strategic plan, the less helpful it will be to building your strategy as most SWOT analyses don’t change much from year to year.

A little history before I share my recommendation. SWOT dates back to the late 1960’s and was developed by Albert Humphrey of the Stanford Research Institute. It usually consists of a long list of items without a hierarchy of import, and, worse, without validation from external data. Some observations and opinions may very well be valid, but it is usually driven by the loudest voice in the room.

So, what should you replace SWOT with at your next credit union strategic planning session?

  1. Start with perspective. We use the 13 vital signs of a healthy credit union from TCT Risk Solutions. The simple “red, yellow, green” approach helps us understand where the credit union is winning and where the weaknesses are. This is straight fact with no emotion and helps lead the discussion on what good growth looks like.
  2. We ask the following two questions: “Where do we want to compete?” and “How will we differentiate?” This starts with understanding your legacy member and your ideal member. Having an ideal member and understanding their problems will help you build a strategy and set of tactics that helps you differentiate your credit union from the long list of competitors.
  3. What does the next-level look like? We break the credit union into several areas and define a next-level statement that is not true today, but we want to be true of that area of the credit union in the next 12-24 months. This keeps negativity out of the room, and it helps us build a vision and talk about how we can achieve that next-level vision.

Some credit union strategic planning facilitators live and die by SWOT. They are neither wrong nor right. I simply believe that, to have a healthy conversation and build a strong strategy for your credit union, you need to remove emotion and cognitive bias from the equation and focus on facts and vision.

If your traditional SWOT analysis isn’t working for your credit union strategic planning anymore, I have a time-tested strategic planning formula that has worked for many credit unions over the last 15 years, and can help yours too.

Let's Get Started!

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!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” 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.

Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!
Download Teal Paper!