When it comes to change, most credit unions and banks move slow. Like glacial slow. We conduct focus groups, we examine reams and reams of MCIF and demographic reports and we talk about issues without resolving them.
Your credit union or bank is either moving forwards or backwards—it is not standing still. So if you’re going to move, move fast or don’t move at all.
It’s time financial institution boards, executives and managers stop talking and start doing. As I told one client who had been considering a name change for over 10 years, “you either need to fish or cut bait.” Okay, I probably used a little more colorful language than that. But you get the idea—just make a decision one way or the other!
So how can credit unions and banks pick up the pace when it comes to making key strategic decisions? Here are a few suggestions:
- Make a deadline—With a background in journalism, I think in terms of deadlines. Your credit union and bank needs to do the same thing. Put a date with every one of your strategic decisions. A deadline holds you accountable.
- Appoint a project manager—One credit union recently hired a full-time project manager. Their job? Ensure projects that cross multiple departments get completed. Too many managers think in their own “silos” rather than the entire organization. And that slows things down.
- Go with your gut—When it comes to most decisions, you probably know what to do. So in the words of that famous Nike tagline, “just do it.” In his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell argues that great decision makers are not those that process the most information or spend the most time deliberating.
- Use a consultant—Sometimes we just need a push. And oftentimes those pushes have to come from outside and not inside. A good consultant will push and challenge you to get things done rather than accept the current status quo. In other words, they will get you moving.
Analyzing is good. Discussing is good. But too much analyzing and too much discussing only leads to ineptness. So start moving—fast.