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Top 5 Things To Look For As Strategic Planning Season Approaches

September 22, 2017

Kathy Darwin 5 strategic planning questions answered

Yes, pumpkin spice lattes are out, there is a chill in the morning air and... its strategic planning season (everyone's favorite)! Today we are featuring an article from Kathy Darwin, owner of Business Evolutions. Her company specializes in strategic planning for credit unions and she knows her stuff. Read on to learn about The Top 5 Things to Look for As Strategic Planning Season Approaches.

1. What are your members/potential members not telling you?
We find ourselves listening to member wants, needs and complaints, but what about the member you never hear from?  What about the member who quietly transacts business with no demands?  Are you their financial institution of choice?  Do you understand their needs, are you acting in their best interest, is another financial institution taking your place? 

2. Is technology working for you or against you?
Like it or not technology is here to stay.  We are not going back to landlines and word processors, technology is moving quickly and leaving many businesses in the dust.  Are you duplicating services in your credit union by not fully utilizing technology?   What efficiencies have you created by utilizing your existing technology?  Do you consider the capability and cost of technology when analyzing operating expense?

3. What is your growth strategy for the next three years?
How will you grow in the next three years…or will you grow?   Credit Union growth strategies are changing., we are not seeing large numbers of new products yet competition is greater than ever.  Margins are smaller, demands are higher and consumers are cautious.  Defining what sets you apart from the competition and building a strategic focus around that unique ability allows for growth and sustainability.  Where are you focused?

4. Is your credit union’s desired future state relevant?
Some of you may be wondering "what the heck is she talking about?"  If that is the case – stop and call me NOW!  Credit union growth is built on knowing where you are headed: what you will look like, who you will serve, where you will be located, how big you will be.  Establish a desired future state, paint your team into that picture and let the fun begin…but do not forget to revisit the future to be sure it is still relevant.

5. What financial, resource or environmental priorities are you facing in the next 16 months = 1/1/2019!
I love this time of year – it is time to make a wish list.  A list of all those things you would like to accomplish, buy or do.  The challenge is the list is probably very long and difficult to prioritize.  The key is to realize, “You cannot do it all!”  Look at your current environment, understand your growth strategy, consider the organization’s future state, develop accountability around a strategic plan.

Awesome information from Kathy. To learn more about her strategic planning services, check out her website

Kathy Darwin, Strategy Coach, Business Evolutions
Tel: 505.480.7304



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