Why Budgeting for Innovation Should Be Part of Your Credit Union Strategic Planning

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Finding new ways to improve business processes is a great way to boost profitability, but it also requires credit union leaders to step outside of their comfort zone, which is challenging if you’ve always worked in a particular industry accustomed to certain products.

Innovating carries inherent risks. Sometimes the return on an investment doesn’t appear to be worth it or may not be obvious, but when the future of a credit union is in your hands, leaders must consider, ‘what is the risk of not innovating?’

Allocating a specified budget for innovation can provide members with an enhanced experience and open new doors for your credit union’s marketing team. Regardless, the benefits may be unclear for other stakeholders at your credit union, including board members and other executives. Budgeting is when most conflicts on the C-suite level usually arise, particularly when it comes to innovation.

Why Does Your Credit Union Need a Budget for Innovation?

Budgeting for innovation must be part of your credit union strategic planning. True credit union leaders must be forward thinking and willing to put money behind strategies and ideas that could make your credit union even more profitable in the future. By innovating, your credit union will be equipped to manage risks – not just avoid them.

Effective credit union strategic planning requires the ability to identify opportunities for growth, such as technological innovations. The CIO must coordinate closely with the CFO on what the credit union requires to mitigate risks, prepare contingency plans and improve existing processes. The CEO must always be in the loop, so all essential leaders of the financial co-operative comprehensive understanding of why particular innovations are necessary.

Successful budgeting and innovation must be a team effort. Innovation is not strictly in the IT leadership’s court. Neither is budgeting strictly in the purview of the CFO. The impact of innovation projects ripple through the entire credit union and merit careful planning and consideration by all C-suite leaders.

How Will Budgeting for Innovation Benefit Your Credit Union?

Credit union strategic planning helps C-suite leaders develop a sound strategy for expanding their credit union’s portfolio and growing its membership base. Armed with innovation-driven credit union marketing strategies aligned with the strategic objectives, your leadership team is sure to generate the best possible results for your credit union and its members.

Key benefits of innovation:

  • Improved overall member experience
  • Streamlined business systems and operations
  • Advanced measures for risk management
  • Better knowledge on technology investments
  • Enhanced credit union marketing capability

Innovating Is Worth Every Penny of Your Members’ Money

Innovating can create struggles – tactical, like integrations, and strategic. Developing a culture of innovation and providing appropriate training is critical to innovation, but it will be worth it to ensure future relevancy. Building a forward-thinking team, armed with the tools and technology to support them, provides opportunities for streamlining and improved member experience, products and services.

Have you considered introducing innovative technologies into your credit union? Now is the time to review your credit union’s budget and allocate funds for improving your credit union’s business processes and member service through technology.

Budgeting for innovation doesn’t have to be a challenge. Things will flow more smoothly once you and the rest of the credit union leaders are able to see things from the same clear, solid perspective.

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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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