A Two-Year Method for Strategies

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CUNA Mutual's Tim Gardner shared a two-year method credit unions can use to build their strategic plans: RESULTS in year one, and FUTURE in year two. The words are acronyms built by a series of steps leading to a plan:

RESULTS - Year One

Review current state-"Credit unions must know where they are," he said.

Envision the future-"Where the credit union would like to be."

Simplify the vision-"Make it attainable."

Understand the gaps-"The difference between where the credit union is and where it wants to go."

Link vision to action-"Develop strategies."

Tie measures to activities-"What will make things happen."

Stick to the process-"Too many credit unions create a plan, then don't follow it. The next year, they simply restate the plan that was laid out the year before."

FUTURE - Year Two

Forecast and industry trends overview- "Gather information from CUNA, NCUA and other sources."

Understand the credit union's "current financials, organization and plan."

Test the future-"Use simplified scenario planning."

Unleash the future-"Hold a no-constraints exercise. Imagine the best-case scenario for the credit union in 10 years, then think of what would make that happen."

Review current plan to meet new or future needs-"An absolute necessity."

Execute-"Again, having a strategic plan is one thing, but to be useful, credit unions must follow through."

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