Strategy or execution: What’s more important to your credit union’s success?


Research has shown that only about 8% of leaders excel at both strategy and execution. So, with limited resources at your credit union, which is more important to your success? Of course, the answer is: BOTH!

But how?

Credit union strategic planning sessions that ask these two questions “What are we great at?” and “What are we able to achieve?” is a step toward successful strategy and execution. Instead of coming up with big visions and asking already task-saturated teams to take on more, start small with those two questions.

Another reason to start small is your budget. Execution is often delayed because, ‘We just don’t have the budget for it.’ Linking your budget to the strategy is essential. I always tell my team, “Never say I didn’t have time; instead say it wasn’t a priority,” and see how fast the important things start getting done over the urgent fires. The same goes for budget. If you identify something as a priority but never fund it, is it truly a priority? You may have to experience some necessary endings and shut the door on some legacy products, services or other budgetary items to make room for the new, more important items that will make and keep your credit union relevant.

Finally, how about your team? Do they know the strategy and vision for where your credit union is going? As a leadership team you can be bought in and budget accordingly, but without the team behind you pushing in the same direction the execution of your strategy is doomed to fail. You’ll need to tap into the various skills on your team, as well as getting buy-in from them.

Can you focus on both strategy and execution at your credit union? You sure can. Howard Schultz, former Starbucks CEO is a great example of a leader who can do both and do both very well. He had a vision for Starbucks to be more than a coffee shop. His vision was for Starbucks to be a comfortable place to spend time beyond just grabbing a cup of coffee and heading on about your day. It started with a vision, which lead to creating a strategy, and then executing that strategy.

In a recent Harvard Business Review interview, Schultz had this to say about retail strategy execution: “You can walk into [any type of retail store] and you can feel whether the proprietor or the merchant or the person behind the counter has a good feeling about his product. If you walk into a department store today, you are probably talking to a guy who is untrained; he was selling vacuum cleaners yesterday, and now he is in the apparel section. It just does not work.”

So, here’s your gut punch question: How do members feel when they walk into your credit union or interact virtually with your credit union. Do they get a good feeling about your brand, or are they talking to that guy who was selling vacuum cleaners yesterday?

If polishing your vision, creating a strategy, and executing that strategy is the next step in growing your credit union we can help. For more than 15 years, Your Marketing Co. has partnered with hundreds of credit unions to create and execute credit union marketing strategies that help credit unions educate, engage and retain the next generation of credit union members.

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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


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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