While most business books are mere backdrops to your Zoom calls, there’s one I still fall back on: “The Goal,” by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. This book, or rather “graphic business novel,” is short but oddly entertaining—the same way my prom date described me in high school.
The book illustrates several key points in manufacturing, chief among them the concept of a bottleneck. Goldratt describes the bottleneck as a process or function that almost every new idea needs to use. Because of limitations in speed or availability, that area becomes the “drumbeat” of the organization.
In other words, no matter how you change the rest of the business, you can go no faster than that process.
In credit union land, there’s one standout bottleneck: information technology (IT).
For most credit unions, IT is a bottleneck. Your management team may be able to brainstorm 10 or 20 great ideas, but almost all of them will use precious and limited IT resources.
How can we overcome the IT constraint?
However, IT departments don’t reside on mountainsides. You just need to find unique people who can bridge the gap between IT and business units.
Growth requires modernization, and modernization requires investments in IT resources. But we should all remember these final rules: You don’t have enough IT resources, you’ll never have enough IT resources, and the IT gods will mock you if you try.
JAMES COLLINS is president/CEO at O Bee Credit Union. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.