From CUNA Mutual Group Public Relations
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MADISON, Wis. – Credit union leaders needn’t look any further than their current business endeavors when exploring growth opportunities, participants of CUNA Mutual Group’s Online Discovery Conference were told Tuesday.
Eric Hansing, director, product marketing and MemberCONNECT for CUNA Mutual, said a factor that often times determines success for a credit union is working on the little things that help them optimize their results.
“We all are engaged in things we can do significantly better. Too often we chase new initiatives that we think will offer us growth. We shouldn’t lose sight of making the most of what we’re already doing by optimizing those opportunities,” Hansing said.
Whether it’s loan growth, cross sales or productivity, Hansing said credit unions should look at new ways to make the most of something they’re already doing and he suggested they start by “clarifying the win.”
“What’s your specific goal? In the case of member relationships, it’s important to know your customers and know where you currently stand. Also, make sure your people see how it matters so they can be better focused – and become motivated.”
Next, Hansing suggested, a credit union must identify critical components of success and be very clear about the end game, or target. That requires knowing your business and the levers you can pull in order to capture opportunities. “It’s about targeting customers and knowing what they want from you. Here’s where you might consider research,” Hansing added.
Hansing said a critical component of a business achieving its target goal is to continuously improve by being very good at the fundamentals. He urged conference attendees not to underestimate the power of sound fundamentals. “Whether it’s sports or a business, the good teams excel at the fundamentals. They are a critical success factor that dramatically improves performance.”
Continuous improvement also requires that you measure your internal capabilities, then confront the facts and diagnose your limitations. Sustaining momentum in reaching your goal takes work, he added.
Continuous improvement also involves developing action plans “You need to look for bright spots and things you are doing well and clone them. Brainstorming is another important step in maintaining your improvement level,” Hansing said. He recommended credit unions brainstorm with outsiders – their peers, business partners and non-customers and find out what competitors are doing that they aren’t.
“As you start to apply this framework, you’ll notice there is a surprising amount of growth potential right under your noses. And these principles do work. In fact, they are one reason for the success of CUNA Mutual’s MemberCONNECT and Lenders Development programs,” Hansing added.
Online Discovery is CUNA Mutual’s Web-based equivalent of a face-to-face conference without the associated expenses or time away from the office. The free, virtual event attracted a national and international audience of more than 1,800 credit union and league staff. The conference’s future-focused content aims to help credit unions solve problems, face challenges and address opportunities.
CUNA Mutual Group insurance, retirement and investment products provide financial security and protection to credit unions and their members worldwide. With more than 75 years of true market commitment, CUNA Mutual’s vision is unwavering: To be a trusted business partner who delivers service excellence through customer-focused products and market-driven insight. More information on the company is available on the company’s Web site at www.cunamutual.com.
CUNA Mutual Group is the marketing name of CUNA Mutual Insurance Society, its affiliates and subsidiaries, including CUMIS Insurance Society, Inc. Product availability and features may vary by jurisdiction and are subject to actual policy language. Corporate headquarters are located in Madison, Wis.