Reboot Don’t Redo

Strategic reboot don't redo reboot your plans - Plan B against plan A. A man holds a burning sticker in his hand as a symbol of the fact that the plan has failed and something has gone wrong.

Reboot Don’t Redo Your Credit Union’s Strategic Plan in Response to Coronavirus

“How do you know if you’re making the right move?” That was the question Yvon Chouinard was asked several years ago at a conference.

His response: “It’s a lot of gut instinct. If you study something to death, if you wait for the customer to tell you what he wants, you’re going to be too late. That comes from Henry Ford: Customers didn’t want a Model T; they wanted a faster horse.”

The last time I checked, Yvon Chouinard’s Patagonia was debt-free and selling $575m per year. I like his track record.

Now is a great time to ask whether your credit union is making the right moves, but we can’t know what the right move is without sufficient information. Let’s assume based on what we know that coronavirus and the social upheaval left in its wake will not go away all at once. Now let’s think about what things might look like in seven months.

Picture it (in your best Sophia from the Golden Girls voice): Thanksgiving Day, 2020. People are still worried about a second wave of infections and unemployment is still wreaking havoc on the economy.

Seven months from now when credit union leaders look back at this moment, what will you be thankful you decided to do TODAY?

Now is the time for you to tweak your business model.

We are in the early stages of a once-in-a-lifetime change of fortune and fortunes. This is when the big fish quit eating the small fish. Now is when the fast fish eat the slow. If you plan to wait it out, you’re one of the slow fish and your credit union member-owners can’t afford that and don’t deserve that.

Make it easier for your members to do business with you. Think big but start small. Start with something you can do TODAY.

I was so happy to have an impromptu call with a client last week. A frantic email had only the subject line, “I’m concerned about our strategic plan.” The conversation that ensued was focused on using some of the capital to reimagine how the credit union serves its members. The conversation ranged from rethinking the org chart to determine irrelevant positions, investing in new technology to questioning the real estate planned for acquisition. Tough conversations. Scary things. A lot of change. All things that are tough for any leader, but especially credit union leaders, who always want to be the good guys.

When reinventing your business model, the most important thing to keep in mind is this:

If I am wrong, and this virus goes away all at once, and everything goes back to exactly how it used to be prior to the coronavirus pandemic, will I still be glad I made the changes the credit union made? Will I have moved my credit union forward by making it easier for members to do business with us?

We’ve recently completed some strategic reboots for credit unions to provide perspective and make better, more informed decisions based on data instead of just a gut feeling.

After a strategic reboot last week, one credit union CEO shared, “I feel better about 2020. It may not be perfect, but we have a plan now and if we work it we’re going to be just fine.” We didn’t blow the original strategic plan up, but we re-evaluated priorities and adjusted strategies for relevancy in the new challenges credit unions are facing during and after the coronavirus pandemic.

Let us help your credit union reboot your strategic plan and get back on track to meeting your goals in 2020. Fill out the form below for a free conversation with me to see if it’s a good fit for your credit union, or just email me directly:

Ready to reboot your strategic plan?

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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


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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