Life, both personal and business, is often a series of compromises. Compromise is often a necessary step towards attaining a desired greater goal. It may not be the easiest thing to do, but sometimes must be undertaken.

Some things, however, we are much less likely to compromise. These tenets can include our faith, morals and beliefs. The same applies in business. As banks and credit unions, there are some things we generally must compromise in order to conduct daily business. Other things, however, we must cling to. These include:
Compromise - 1

Rules and regulations. This is a fairly simple one. While these may not be near and dear to the heart like other examples, rules and regulations (no matter how seemingly burdensome and superfluous), are enacted to be followed. For financial institutions, such rules and regulations might include edicts handed down by the NCUA, FDIC and CFPB.

Brands and identity. Enormous amounts of time, money and planning go into brands and corporate identity. If you don’t live the brand at your bank or credit union every day you risk tarnishing and losing it. A lost brand is next to impossible to re-earn. Don’t compromise it. An example of a compromised or degraded brand is Toyota. Beset by a series of major recalls and safety concerns several years ago, Toyota has been forced to work diligently to revive its once sterling brand.

The best interests of your customers or members. They’re why we’re in business. If we fail to take their best interests to heart every day and factor them in every decision, we may as well shut the doors now. If it’s not the right thing to do by your consumers, don’t do it. 

Your corporate values. These may differ from your personal values (although they can often coincide) but you should guard them no less zealously while on the clock. If your bank or credit union says it’s “people friendly,” has the “fastest service” or “offers the lowest rates in town,” live up to that. These values are also intimately tied, in most cases, to your brand identity. Core values and value propositions are critical to the long-term success and public image of your bank or credit union. Learn more about value propositions here

Strategic planning. Yes, plans are meant to be changed and altered to meet the unforeseen twists that occur in any given year. The real crime here, however, is cramming tons of time and money onto an elaborate strategic plan then failing to assign duties, conduct follow-ups and review its progress against benchmarks. If that’s your idea of a well-utilized strategic plan, you should just splash those dollars in the nearest toilet and flush vigorously. Don’t forget the last critical step in strategic planning – implementation. Learn more about this sometimes overlooked step here.

Compromise situations are bound to arise. How we handle those at home and at work help form the people and employees we are. As banks and credit unions, compromise is also an order of the business day. Knowing where to draw the line against compromise and stand firm to corporate principle performs a similar corporate function.