The sounds of these words always bring me peace. Almost a type of serenity. And, at the same time, overwhelming feelings of excitement and hope because of the opportunity that comes with embracing change. Those words are all variations of change, of growth, of new beginnings, and of resets.
Resets. We all could use one from time-to-time, right? Sometimes it is seasonable. Sometimes it is mental. Sometimes it is visual. Certain things always trigger the need for a reset for me. Take the month of June for example. June for me is a marker month. Here in Milford, CT it’s the end of school and the beginning of summer, warm evenings and long days at the beach. For me summer always is a fresh start. This time of year is my personal reset before the ridiculous winters I chose to live through. Anyway, June obviously is also half way through the year. About the time we start reflecting on what the year has brought. We talk about the past 6 months, this time last year, Q1 and Q2 and planning.
Planning!!!! I love PLANNING! It is absolutely my favorite time of the year in Credit Union Land. I love the whole process. The look back, the look ahead, the setting of goals and the open discussion. So much time and energy go into the planning process. It sets the tone and the course for your institution and where it is going.
Planning is the perfect time to think about whether or not a reset is needed. Six months into anything, you have enough data as well as member and employee feedback to know if a new solution is being adopted, if the auto loan revamp really is working and if your new website launch is meeting expectations. Six months is enough time to make an educated decision to tweak, to abandon or to reset your strategy.
Change is something to embrace. Change is necessary to evolve, to improve, to make your members experience better, to make your employees happier and to make your credit union stronger. Change doesn’t come easily and isn’t always welcome internally or externally. For change to be a smooth process, two things are needed. Planning and communication. Both are essential and both need to be given the attention and detail they deserve.
Planning will only be as successful as the communication strategy developed. If you want things to fail or fall short on goals, make sure you keep your planning strategy a secret. (Obviously I am being facetious). But seriously, for the plan to work, for your purpose to be accepted, everyone from the top down needs to clearly understand the Credit Union’s plan, its goal, and its long-term vision. If the reasoning behind the decisions are understood then the motivation, the acceptance and buy-in from both employees and members will be greater.
What is your Credit Union’s planning strategy? What is your Credit Union’s threshold for change? What about your employees? Members? What’s your Credit Union’s need to reset?
Planning season. It’s literally right around the corner. What are you doing to prepare? Maybe it is time to take a quick read on your membership, especially your new loan holders. What are they looking for, more importantly what will they be looking for? What are their expectations and what have their experiences with you been? Once you know you can plan accordingly, reset your priorities, your goals, focus and rock them!
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