Avoiding Vision Problems
Most credit union leaders understand the importance of the strategic plan. Implement one, they realize, and you can
Before credit unions jump into the waters of strategic planning, however, they should get their feet wet by
Together and separately, these concepts describe a company's business, its short and long-term market position, and
How do they differ, and how can a credit union create one that will ensure their future success? Read on to find out.
Map Out Your Future
A mission statement should reflect who the organization is, what they do, to whom they offer products and services
The mission and vision statements are maps to the company's future; they explain, with the former providing short-
Why should your credit union develop a mission statement? According to W. R. King and D. I. Cleland, co-authors
* Ensure unanimity of purpose within the CU;
* Provide a basis, or standard, for allocating organizational resources;
* Establish a general tone or organizational climate;
* Serve as a focal point for individuals to identify with the organization's purpose and direction and to deter those
* Facilitate the translation of objectives into a work structure involving the assignment or tasks to responsible
* Specify organizational purposes and the translation of these purposes into objectives in such a way that cost, time
Making the Mission Possible
Knowing its importance, how should your credit union go about creating its mission statement? You can begin by
* Who are your members? With whom do your responsibilities lie?
* What are your credit union's major products and services?
* Geographically, where does your credit union compete? What is your market?
* Is your organization's technology current?
* Is your CU committed to growth and financial soundness?
* What are the basic beliefs, values, aspirations, and ethical priorities of your credit union? What is your philosophy?
* What is your organization's distinctive competence or major competitive advantage? What is your self-concept?
* Is your CU responsive to social, community, and environmental concerns? Do you have a concern for your public
* Are your employees a valuable asset of your organization?
Once those questions have been answered, you can move on to actually crafting the statement. Keep in mind,
* Contain realistic and obtainable concepts and define the benefits to stakeholders (your customers, employees,
* Differentiate your credit union for your competitors.
* Empower and enable everyone within an organization to align his or her efforts.
One thing your mission statement should not contain is financial or goal-related language. Creating "profit" is why a
A New View
With your mission statement completed, you can begin crafting your vision statement. Just remember that your
A vision statement must be evolutionary in nature. It must create an organization that is flexible and responsive to a
But how do you go about creating this evolutionary vision? You can produce such a statement by making sure it:
* Conveys a picture of what the future will look like.
* Appeals to the long-term interest of employees, customers, stockholders and others who have a stake in the
* Comprises realistic, attainable goals.
* Is clear enough to provide guidance in decision-making.
* Is general enough to allow individual initiative and alternative responses in light of changing conditions.
* Is easy to communicate (you should be able to successfully explain it within five minutes).
What To Take Into Account
Your vision statement should postulate on the future, consider where the trends of technology, society and
Of course, if you want your credit union to continue down the road to success you can't stop with the creation and
About This Article
This article is an excerpt from the manual, Strategic Business Principles, recently published by CUES. It is authored
Jeffery A. Rigsby, president, CEO and founder of Virtual CEO, Inc. (www.virtualceo.com), and Guy Greco,
For more info: www.cues.org.