Why Your Credit Union Strategy Isn’t Growing Loans (It’s Not Why You Think!)

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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!

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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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