“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” –Phil Jackson
Credit unions, like many businesses, are coming off one of the toughest years in modern history. To get through this and start moving forward with some solid momentum this year, let’s talk about some credit union leadership tips to improve performance and solve problems.
Separate the Problems
There are two different types of problems: ones you solve and ones you can disregard.
As a leader, your employees should come to you with potential issues, but it’s important to be able to distinguish which ones you need to devote time and resources to, and which ones are isolated incidents or one-off problems that aren’t likely to crop up again.
Just because something isn’t working doesn’t mean it is a problem that needs to be solved. A problem is only worth your time if it can be assessed in context with your goals and you determine it will inhibit you from reaching those goals.
Don’t Lose Sight of Your Goals by Hyper-Focusing on Damage Control
There are tons of examples of the 80/20 rule in business, which states that 80% of all business success is going to be attributed to 20% of its processes.
But if your only focus is damage control or problem-solving, the 20% of the processes that are necessary for your credit union to grow isn’t being completed.
One way to change this trajectory is to practice your own 80/20 strategy – encourage your employees to spend 80% of their time doing their regular job duties, and allow for 20% of their time to be focused on brainstorming and implementing new ways to grow your business.
Losing sight of your goals is just as bad as not having any in the first place.
Embrace a Targeted Approach
There are always more problems. Even if you have a perfectly trained staff that never makes mistakes, you will still encounter issues.
And expanding your resources doesn’t always help. Kristen Cox, consultant and former Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget in the State of Utah, talks about the “seductive seven” – common ineffective tactics that organizations often use when responding to problems.
The Seductive Seven are:
- More Technology
- More Data
- More Strategy
- More Training & Communication
- More Reorganization
- More Accountability & Assigning Blame
- More Money
These things are seductive in that these things often pull focus and allow leaders to fixate on these shiny solutions rather than creating space for any actual problem-solving.
Kristen goes on to say that increasing performance means leaders must “start by stopping.” Your credit union’s resources are not infinite. So, rather than employing lots of quick fixes and buzzword action plans, you must devote your time to training your staff to recognize when to stop doing things that aren’t working.
It seems counterintuitive at first, but success comes not just from doing things that are helpful, but also from ceasing activities that don’t return good results, axing technology solutions that don’t work for you, and amending processes to weed out redundancies.
Implement Software Solutions That Work
As we said, it’s not about implementing more technology – it’s about implementing the right technology. And IMS Integration is here with your credit union-specific problem-solving software.
IMS Integration is here with a full range of credit union software solutions to take your problem-solving effectiveness to the next level.
Request a consultation today for more information about our credit union solutions.