Strategic focus leads to success

Strategic focus leads to success

Differentiate yourself in the marketplace.

March 10, 2019

Credit unions that have a strategic focus are much more likely to succeed than those who don’t, according to speakers at the Small Credit Union Strategic Planning Roundtable Sunday at the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference.

Following are highlights from the session.

Having a strategic focus—something that differentiates your credit union in the marketplace—is one thing that helps small credit unions thrive, says Tom Sakash, CUNA’s small credit union advisor.

It’s the CEO’s job to do the research before beginning the strategic planning process, says Joe Foster, CEO of HALLCO Community Credit Union in Gainesville, Ga.


The board must embrace the plan and believe it can make changes.

Don’t be afraid to tell your story to your legislators, says CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. "They’re just like us.”

Credit unions must provide value to members to remain relevant, says Bill Farley, CUNA Mutual Group sales manager.

Strategic planning and current expected credit losses (CECL) preparation are two top priorities for CUNA’s Small Credit Union Committee, says Teri Robinson, president/CEO of Ironworkers USA Federal Credit Union and chair of the committee.

Bob Hoel, a senior scholar with the Filene Research Institute, has been a member of CUNA’s Small Credit Union Committee since its formation 20 years ago. The committee recognized Hoel for his contributions.

To thrive, credit unions must differentiate themselves from other financial institutions. Those who thrive “make a decision about what they’re not going to do,” says Michael Hudson, who facilitated the roundtable.

‘Here’s the challenge to strategy. We get locked into patterns.’

‘The challenge is what gets in our way. The opportunity is what can we do to change that.’

‘Strategy isn’t about the hurried decision. It’s about taking the time to have the conversations that allow us to make the right decision.’

►Read more conference coverage from CUNA News, and get live updates on Twitter via @CUNA_News,@cumagazine, @CUNA, and by using the #CUNAGAC hashtag. You can also follow the conference on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete schedule and information on keynote speakers and breakout sessions, visit the CUNA GAC event page.