Pivot Your Credit Union’s Strategy

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“You need to pivot!” If you have your coronavirus bingo card, you could check that word off a dozen times, along with “the new normal,” “social distancing” and dozens of other buzzwords that have become popular in strategic planning for credit unions over the last few months. But let’s focus on just this one: pivot.

What does it mean to pivot? Quora gives the business definition of pivot as this: A pivot usually occurs when a company makes a fundamental change to its business after determining (usually through market research) that its product isn’t meeting the needs of its intended market.

That’s a good start, but Simon Sinek took it a step further in an online video last month. Not only should your credit union strategy pivot to meet the needs of your members in this new normal, but your pivot should be based on your “why” and not your “what.”

Based on Sinek’s example, if you only pivot your business plan on your what (the loans and products you offer) you’re greatly limiting your potential for growth. An example of pivoting on your what is shifting your service focus from in branch to online. It’s necessary, but it’s not going far enough to remain relevant and position yourself for growth coming out of this crisis.

When you pivot your credit union strategy on your why, Sinek says, “We look at what opportunities we have in this modern world to bring our WHY to life in entirely new ways.” For example, the why for our client Maple Federal Credit Union is rooted being the “perfect place for imperfect people.” Maple FCU’s leadership isn’t only asking, “How can we do more of our business online?” They also are asking, “How can we be the perfect place for imperfect people during these imperfect times? How do we pivot our lending strategy and loan products to fit this new normal? How do we pivot our credit union marketing to reach more of our ideal members who need us most right now?” The list goes on and on.

The importance of providing help and hope for imperfect people during the coronavirus pandemic is driving Maple Federal Credit Union to provide new lending products and introduce new services to meet the needs of its ideal member.

The many credit unions YMC worked with on their strategic planning over the past few years that have developed a strong why are able to use that as their pivot point, resulting in building a credit union for the future. They don’t simply focus on technology but also zero in on the evolving needs of their members and build their credit unions around those needs.

If you’re feeling stuck because your credit union hasn’t focused on your why and only your what, time is of the essence. There’s no better time than today to focus on a niche that needs you most right now by pivoting on your credit union’s unique why. Let YMC’s team of experts collaborate with your credit union to build on your 2020 strategic plan or look ahead to your 2021 credit union strategic planning session. YMC has already helped dozens of credit unions develop and execute on their why-based strategic plans. We can help you too. Email me and let’s get started.

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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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