Strategic Planning is the Easy Part

Working with organizations across the country, I see a familiar process when doing their strategic planning. A typical process I’ve observed is loosely following these steps: Once a year a strategic planning event is scheduled with the Board and a few key executives The event starts with a “state of the industry today” presentation, typically…

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Behavior is your Brand

man in blue denim jacket doing hand sign

Branding is often seen through the wrong lens. It is often seen as a combination of your logo, promise, voice, font, and color palette. But to leave it there is an injustice to what brand really is. The brand is behavior. The behaviors your members/customers experience when they engage your employees, products, and services. Think…

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Pay for Performance and Reputation Risk

An increasing trend in the financial services sector is “pay for performance.” This practice shows up in several formats: Commission – rep is paid a percentage of balances acquired Incentive – rep is paid per closed referral Bonus – rep is paid based on goal performance over a set period (per month, quarter, bi-annually, annually)…

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A Career Transition Essential – Staying Relevant

Navigating a career is never easy. There will be obstacles and disappointments. There will be joys and celebrations. At times, even new opportunities come to you from “out of the blue.” It is when those obstacles, disappointment, and “out of the blue” situations happen is when the true grit of a leader comes to the…

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Is your Credit Union’s Org Chart Strategically Aligned?

Is your credit union organized for today’s consumers? Credit unions are often “stuck” in an organization chart that reflects the business of the past, not the company of the future. But what needs to change? Too often the credit union’s org structure is aligned historically based up legacy roles and job descriptions. The problem with…

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Tough Conversations of Leadership

Leadership requires mutual trust but also the courage to talk the truth. I am surprised when I learn a “leader” is hesitant to have tough conversations about attitude or performance. It is even more shocking when I discover they keep performance files on direct reports discussed at annual or semi-annual performance reviews. Employees have expectations…

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Leaders Don’t Listen? Really?

Condoleezza Rice once said, “When you’re in a position of authority, you need truth-tellers around you.” Did she hit the mark? You bet.First, let us agree that one element of leadership is the authority. To be a leader, you must have some authority. This authority isn’t determined by power but by your ability to motivate,…

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The Eight Attributes of a Transformational Leader

I have been very lucky to work for CEOs who understood the principle that leadership is not about doing business as usual but about transforming the organization. Transformation is what differentiates a capable leader from a great leader. Transformational leadership is not easy. It is fraught with risk and reward, angst and celebration, stress and…

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Branching Strategy, It Starts with the Member

Historically branches are seen as transaction channels. Today, this view of branches has changed and continues to evolve. Members and potential members like the convenience of brick and mortar, they like the demonstration of financial strength and security. Still, the truth is, they rely less on branches for their daily, weekly, and monthly transaction business…

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