The dreadful reality of a wasted planning session

Every year credit union leaders and volunteers gather with the best of intentions, hoping to discuss where they’ve been, where they are, and where they’re going. The ultimate goal of these sessions is to emerge from the meeting room with a strategic plan to accomplish a common goal.

But before the first cup of coffee can be consumed, reality sets in. Crowded with competing egos, conflicting agendas and occasional bouts of indifference, the program veers off course only to get stuck in the thick weeds of unproductive conversations. Career paths and volunteer ambitions are on the line, so caution reigns. The stated goal may be to develop a five-year strategy for tackling contemporary challenges like “what millennials want,” but it’s clear to everyone in attendance that what really matters is playing it safe to keep legacy members happy. Sound familiar?

Success isn’t for everybody.

Before we go any further, it’s only fair to point out that the rest of this article may not be for you. If you’re not interested in pushing forward because you’re satisfied with where your credit union is today, you can stop reading. But if you’re tired of the same old SWOT analysis and bloated task lists full of busywork like “pave our parking lot and upgrade our ATMs,” the following advice may be just what need to take your credit union to the next level.

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