Strategy

We help credit unions develop transformative corporate strategy that improves market relevance and strengthens competitive positioning.

Great strategy is not built over a weekend retreat. Great strategy is built through thorough an informed assessment of the environment and its opportunities, and collaborative, environment-informed debate and decision making. A great strategic plan isn't simply a collection of "strategic objectives." A great plan contains data and decisions about key aspects of the business, including business models, environmental influences and risk, objectives and measurable key results, and projects that drive to objective and key results achievement.

About Our Strategy Solution

Our strategy solution is built to develop great strategy, and a great strategic plan. A plan capable of transforming the credit union, improving its market relevance and strengthening its competitive positioning, Our solution is an architected process informed by more than 25 years of strategic planning experience at credit unions of all sizes and locations. Here are the key process steps and outcomes...

Business Model Discovery

In this phase we work with the board and management team to document the credit union’s current state business models (strategy and structure), and rate business model strength and performance. This involves delving into key areas such as market segmentation, service relationships, delivery channels, and critical assets/resources. At the end of this phase you'll have a clear, visual depiction of the variety of business models in place at the credit union, and more importantly an understanding of business model strengths and critical weaknesses. And, if your a credit union that has ventured into CUSOs and other external, wholly owned entities, we'll end up with a documented picture of those business models as well.

Environment Risks Discovery

In this phase we work with the board and management team to document environmental issues, and rate the general threat level of each issue to the credit union and to the credit union's business model elements. This involves not only a general identification and assessment of environmental risks, but also a deeper look into environmental influences on specific business model areas and elements. At the end of this phase you'll have a clear picture of environmental influences, and specific threats to business model functionality. We'll also be able to spot potential business model gaps relative to environmental trends, risks, and opportunities.

Objectives and Key Results

In this phase we work with the board and management team to update business model strategy, define quantitative "safety and soundness" indicators and related boundaries, and establish transformative, qualitative strategic objectives. This involves leveraging everything learned through the business model and environmental discovery efforts to make informed decisions about the foundation of the credit union's overarching strategy. At the end of this phase you'll have a picture of "future state" business model strategy, metrics that indicate safety and soundness and their acceptable ranges, and a slate of objectives built to drive status quo-bending transformation.

Strategic Projects

In this phase we work with the management team to identify business model structure changes necessary to respond to "future state" business model strategy. We also work to establish short-term, measurable, and objective-aligned key results, and identify the projects necessary for business model transformation and key results achievement. This involves making decisions, about operations and achievement, that are at once pragmatic and visionary. At the end of this phase you'll will have a full picture of credit union strategy, including: critical environmental influences; current-state to future-state business model evolution; safety and soundness measurement and parameters, and forward-looking, transformative objectives with measurable short-term goals and defined paths to reach them.  

Plan Approval

In this phase we work with the management team and the board to finalize the strategic plan and formalize its adoption. This involves a step-back look at the entirely of the plan to make sure it is proper in construction, direction, and impact. At the end of this phase you'll will have a fully-executable, and truly strategic plan - all captured and contained in an easily-accessible online plan resource and plan document.

Schedule a Tour!

You can get a certain level of clarity reading about a process, but it is much more informative to actually see the outcome of a process. That is why we offer the opportunity to schedule a guided 45-minute tour through our custom planning tool. During the tour we'll show you how all of the parts of the process come together in a comprehensive plan easily accessible to planning participants and key stakeholders. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does this process take?

Often planning cycles are bound up in a two- to three month timeframe that limits thoughtful exploration and decision making. That is why so many plans are shortsighted and hardly transformative (not great). In contrast, our process runs over the course of a calendar year. This allows participants time to think through the implications of what they learned through discovery, time to talk through strategic options, and ultimately time to make truly informed decisions. That said, we can accomodate credit unions that have pressing issues requiring an accelerated timeline.

How much does this process cost?

As you might expect, the process we offer costs more than having someone come in and facilitate a simple weekend off-site planning retreat. Such retreats have their place, and we can and do facilitate our share of such events. This, however, is not that kind of limited planning endeavor, therefore it does require a great investment in time and money. Because we have a number of variables that drive pricing, such as when meetings are scheduled, whether meetings are in-person or virtual, we encourage you to request a proposal. We'll reply with a standard proposal that we can subsequently discuss with you in order to fine-tune the variables. Visit our contact us page to request a proposal.

Who should participate in this process?

Strategic planning lives in the realm of boards and management teams, therefore boards and management teams should participate. That said, we do have certain phases and activities in our process that are delegated to the management team only, but the outcome of management's work comes back to the board so that the board is aware the influence of board/management strategic decisions. Also, some credit unions like to include members of committees, such as the Supervisory Commiteee in planning. Including non-board committee members is perfectly acceptable, in particular if committee members make up the pool of candidates for board succession.

Ready to work together? Let's get started!