When did “OK” become the objective? (Part 1)
Is it the adage of the tortoise (slow and steady) wins the race or is it that mediocrity has become the acceptable norm when it comes to our credit unions? Self-rationalization can be a powerful influencer.
Over the year’s we have slowly but surely lost sight of the greatness we all purport to deliver to our members. Instead, from the outside, in practice, it appears as though we have allowed outside influencers such as regulation and market complexity drive us to inactivity. Changes in our business models from SEG to community, from in-person to virtual, from traditional operations to technical integration and from direct staffing to outsourcing drive angst, confusion, and complacency. This is not to say that we don’t work hard and attempt to always put the member first. Because those mental realities still exist and are very much alive. However, if we examine the business and management processes from an architectural level what we find is that our policies, processes and decisions reflect a conflicted reality.
In the board room we talk about CAMEL ratings, compliance activity, and financial bumps in the road. At the management table we talk about risk avoidance, maintaining exiting services to avoid any complaints, how we are going to deal with problem employees other than termination, disruption and expense minimization. At the staff level, we sit around the cooler and talk about the difficulty of serving members who just don’t get it, the burden of work on our plate and the inability of management to make tough decisions. (This is where you insert a roll of the eyes and footnote about over dramatization.)
However, how far from the real truth is it? Think about the time spent within your organization (at all levels) on ensuring things remain calm, don’t blow up, keeping the status quo, avoiding root cause issues and instead develop practices and procedures to work-around them. When was the last time that open and honest communication around problems and self-awareness dominated your meetings or when was the sole focus on opportunity rather than all the reasons to say no? In your next meeting, watch for these actions. Remember taking action is distinctly different than talking something to death without resolution or simple adding what we all know to be band-aids to avoid the real issue at hand.
There is no easy solution and truth be told I hear many of you frustrated and stymied with the same concerns about your own organizations. The real question is, what can we do about it? How do you turn such a big ship when we are seemingly met with waves from all directions? The solution rests in a return to control; a return to the fundamentals of business and management; a taking back of our strategies and central mission. The real solution is simple – we must invest in the backbone of our organizations, re-evaluating the way we operate and function at the structural and managerial level. Without the foundation of strong management and assurance processes, we will always lack the stability, proactivity and safety to build or organizations higher and stronger. Our teams are hungry for such a solution!
The evolution of a solution rests in the delivery of a business intelligence system that seamlessly delivers administrative simplification, efficiency and enhanced visibility to the organization’s assurance processes while at the same time fueling management with the necessary knowledge to proactively make strategic and operational decisions through an enhanced understanding of the risk/reward trade-offs facing the organization. These risk and management processes simplify the administrative effort and expense required around risk, compliance, policy and assurance processes to ensure organizational integrity while delivering decisionable information to organization leaders to focus more time and energy on strategy and seizing new opportunities. This will be accomplished through a process of
- Understanding external business influencers
- Evaluating internal capabilities, limitations and direction
- Defining the impact of these relationships and responsibilities
- Facilitating priorities and action.
The ultimate goal is to support and insulate the business while standing ready to deliver intelligence for decision making and goal advancement.
Stay tuned for part two as we dive deeper into the solution and the ROI of such advancements.