Ditch your SWOT and replace it with this

Tradition says that strategy starts with your SWOT analysis. What are the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to your credit union strategy? The longer you have used the SWOT analysis as the basis for your credit union strategic plan, the less helpful it will be to building your strategy as most SWOT analyses don’t change much from year to year.

A little history before I share my recommendation. SWOT dates back to the late 1960’s and was developed by Albert Humphrey of the Stanford Research Institute. It usually consists of a long list of items without a hierarchy of import, and, worse, without validation from external data. Some observations and opinions may very well be valid, but it is usually driven by the loudest voice in the room.

So, what should you replace SWOT with at your next credit union strategic planning session?

  1. Start with perspective. We use the 13 vital signs of a healthy credit union from TCT Risk Solutions. The simple “red, yellow, green” approach helps us understand where the credit union is winning and where the weaknesses are. This is straight fact with no emotion and helps lead the discussion on what good growth looks like.


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