Strategic Planning Makeover - Credit Unions

Time for a Strategic Planning Makeover?

The Need for Change

All industries face changes that require a strategic planning makeover, and the credit union industry isn’t much different.

New market developments, client needs, along with various regulations, are most likely challenging you to find brand new sources of future non-interest income so that you can grow. Although it can be tough to grow and remain viable in volatile environments, changes are also known to bring opportunities with them, and it is up to your leadership to run a thorough analysis to realign the organizational mission and big picture strategy with various tools available to you.

Although we understand that information is never complete, there are more tools available to strategic planning than you had in the past. Due to the uncertainty and changes in the environment strategic planning makeovers will occur more frequently

The frequency of changes makes it more valuable to utilize the scenario building approach to strategic planning because your organization will be ready to implement a planned out strategy for the different directions in which your industry can possibly move. In the past you probably used a SWOT analysis to make business decisions. Today, using data and business analytics to build scenarios will be a much stronger approach to strategic planning.

Scenario Building

In the past you may have used SWOT analysis to help compare your market, industry, competitors, customers, services, and capabilities strengths and weaknesses.  For example, if you use the SWOT to compare the different ways that you can maximize your strengths and minimize the weaknesses to exploit new opportunities through creating new services for new markets, then you would be in a good place for the future.

You may consider your strengths and pose them in different ways that they could benefit the organization in the future in comparison to the various possible market conditions. In the same way you can use the SWOT to lessen the impact of your weaknesses by building scenarios for the future.

You may even think about ways to eliminate your weaknesses if they pose a high risk to you success. An example would be to reassess loan portfolio strategy when industry data forecasts concerns about asset quality.

Today’s fast pace of change would require you to change direction quicker than your competitors in reaction to market conditions. This reaction to change would require having multiple plans for different scenarios ready to initiate quickly.

This is where scenario-building would be helpful in the strategic plans for your organization. In order to be able to navigate the uncertain future and develop a strong planning protocol, You can utilize the following steps to develop a strategic plan:

  1. Identify the core problems, uncertainties and frame the analysis to be made
  2. Identify assumptions and mental models
  3. Evaluate and get expert analysis of trend
  4. Develop scenarios based on uncertainties
  5. Derive action plans
  6. Monitor the developments

These 6 steps will help to anticipate the future possibilities for your organization, and help to prepare you to make a quick change in direction based on the key metrics of your monitoring efforts.

Strategic Planning Makeover Benefits

When you try new data driven analysis in conjunction with older tools such as Monte Carlo analysis, SWOT analysis, and scenario building tools, you will have a strong position to hold your organization at the cutting edge of changes in the marketplace. Developing new strategic planning methods will help you remain agile and move in the direction with the highest potential for growth. You will be better prepared to acquire the right technology, the right talent, and the right partners, when you know what to expect for the future.