C. Myblog

Is Your Strategic Planning Session Strategically Planned?

April 19, 2013

If done appropriately, strategic planning can help guide a credit union toward making necessary decisions for the credit union’s future.  Strategic planning session(s) can outline where the credit union is now, determine where the credit union wants to be in the future and brainstorm how to get there.

Below are some questions to consider when implementing strategic planning:

  • Does everyone know their part? Sometimes, participants in a strategic planning meeting do not understand why they are there.  They may be in the meeting because someone asked them to attend, but they don’t understand that their opinion might be valuable.  Everyone should feel comfortable speaking up, asking questions and pushing back when appropriate.  To do this, everyone in attendance should know why they are investing their time in the meeting
  • Are personal agendas left at the door? Some participants might believe that a strategic planning meeting is the perfect opportunity to include their personal agendas in the credit union’s future plans.  For instance, a participant might want to beef up technology for personal ease of banking.  But if the credit union’s target market and chief source of profitable income abhors technology, then this agenda should be left at the door.  Setting decision filters that are kept top of mind as strategic decisions are made can help keep the group focused
  • Is the group abiding by the agenda? To make best use of everyone’s time, the group can self-monitor discussions to make sure they continue to be productive—even if they have diverted into a tangent topic.  As long as the discussion furthers the credit union’s goals, it can sometimes be healthy to veer from the agenda.  But if the group’s strategic discussion has dissolved to off-topic items that do not benefit the goal of the meeting, it may be time to refocus or take a quick break

Credit unions must strike a delicate balance between serving members and being profitable.  Strategic planning that is strategically planned can help guide decision-making as you strive to achieve that balance.

Showing 2 comments
  • Mark Arnold

    These are great questions and thanks for sharing. I would suggest another question we should ask as part of our strategic planning process: “Are we prepared to do what it takes to complete our goals?” For example, credit unions can’t say one of their strategic objectives is to grow their brand and then not devote the necessary budget dollars to the strategic marketing effort. Sometimes it’s not about strategy, it’s about resolve. How resolved are you to completing your plan?

  • c. myers

    Mark,

    We couldn’t agree more! Thank you for your contribution.

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