Ask a freaking question.
It’s the most important rule I share prior to facilitating a strategic planning session.
If during the planning session someone says, “We need to grow loans,” rather than jumping right to throwing ideas out on how we can grow loans, instead ask first “Why are we not growing loans? What is keeping us from growing loans right now?”
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it breathes life into a strategic conversation in which proper perspective is gained to understand a problem.
“When we enter a conversation with curiosity, we allow ourselves to see things differently and to be surprised by what we discover.” – Gemma Stone
Now is the time to review the work you have done on your credit union strategy this year. What solutions and strategic action items do you see where you could have gained more perspective prior to coming to that solution? What questions could you have asked to see things differently? You’ll be surprised by what you discover walking through that exercise.
“Curiosity, especially intellectual inquisitiveness, is what separates the truly alive from those who are merely going through the motions.” – Tom Robbins
There are two types of planning sessions: Check the box exercises to satisfy your examiner and those that help push the credit union toward member service and growth. If there’s not a lively discussion with differing points of view or pauses for questions to gain perspective, you’re just going through the motions. Be alive! Be inquisitive! Ask a freaking question!
Gain perspective so you uncover the actual problem, understand it and, in turn, identify the appropriate solution.
Before this year gets any older, take out that strategic plan and ask some questions to gain perspective. Ask your fellow leaders those questions to spark a great conversation and see where it takes you.
“Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein
Ask a freaking question!