When I encounter resistance during a strategic planning session with a credit union, I know it’s time to pause, regroup, and gain perspective. Resistance rarely happens because the board and leadership team don’t care; it’s surfaces because fear is making them freeze. In most of these sessions, we introduce ideas that are so different from anything the credit union has done before that the leaders have a hard time imagining how they will even attempt something so audacious.
Fear-based paralysis is real, and it’s the reason most strategic plans fail. When we give into the fear of the unknown, we fail to move beyond our comfort zone because we don’t have a reference point for what we’re trying to accomplish. As funny as it sounds, we refuse to try something new simply because we’ve never done it before. News flash: In strategic planning sessions, we don’t have a plan yet because we’re locked in a room trying to create a plan.
Unfortunately, fear causes us to miss what strategic planning is all about. Instead of crafting a purposeful plan for accomplishing bold new objectives, our sessions stop cold as soon as a new idea is presented. We get hung up on tactics and processes and never actually get around to developing a strategy that should drive the entire planning process.
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