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30 Ideas to Build and Live Your Brand

Strategic and Long-Range Planning

Our strategic planning sessions focus on how to ensure your business does not settle for good, but strives to be great. Successful credit unions and banks conduct strategic planning sessions on a regular basis. Organizations that consistently plan well enjoy success more frequently. As author Jim Collins notes in his book Good to Great, “… good is the enemy of great.”

When conducting long-range planning sessions, we bring the following skills:


  • 20-years experience in the financial services industry
  • Contributing author, CUNA Environment Scan
  • Team building and training
  • Ability to work with board and management
  • Broad financial institution background (marketing, loans, collections, management)


The strategic planning process can include some or all of the following steps:

  • Confidential pre-session survey completed by participants prior to the session (questions include situation analysis, direction an organization should take, etc.).
  • Team building
  • SWOT analysis (strength, weakness, opportunities, threats)
  • Top issues
  • Priority ranking (“If you were ruler of the business for a day”)
  • Tactics (action steps, timelines, persons responsible, tentative budgets, etc.)

Our planning process includes putting your credit union through the strategic funnel and examining how your credit union is performing on the five points of a successful star.

Mark Arnold strategic funnel and successful star icons

“Mark is very knowledgeable about credit unions and strategies for success. Mark is truly able to engage all participants, he gets the team to do the work that is critical for developing a specific strategy for their organizations (this is not a canned approach). Mark will not just tell you what you want to hear, he’ll guide you to truly understand your needs, your goals and how to achieve them.”

Janet Belsky

VP Marketing, Leominster Credit Union

“Mark came to our credit union and helped us with our strategic planning. Our board met with all our executive staff and we really enjoyed what Mark had to say and [he] helped us determine what we thought our vision and purpose is in the credit union  industry…”

Janet Sanders

CEO, Greater New Orleans FCU