During my brisk evening walk last night I noticed these two trees. I had to stop and take a picture. I’m guessing originally they both had the same start. The same amount of water, sunlight and opportunity to flourish. However, it’s obvious that something went wrong along the way for the tree on the left. It’s not healthy and pretty sure without some immediate help, it may never grow again.
I could not help but think of many credit unions that once dotted the landscape of our industry. So many are gone and many are barely hanging on. Just like this tree, they all had similar opportunities to grow, but for some reason, they did not pay attention to their health and take the action needed to remain strong. Maybe they thought it was just a short season of challenges and things would get better soon.
I’m confident the change and deterioration in this tree did not happen overnight. It was a gradual process. The same is true for many credit unions. The lack of leaders with a clear vision of where they are going or ones whom were unwilling to ask for help, may have led to their demise. Being willing to identify obstacles and face the challenges that stand in the way are the perfect place to start and assure you thrive in the future.
I’ve enjoyed literally thousands of meetings with credit union CEOs, key management team members and boards. Many are really great people that have worked hard to get their credit union where it is today. However, I’m still amazed during discussions that so many seem to think all is going well. They feel they are healthy, have some capital to back up that perception, and are not open to looking at new ideas and what’s truly happening around them.
If a credit union does not see growth in members, loans, assets, use of services and earning, this should concern them. It’s time for action and for them to take a serious look at ways to improve and grow. Some of the challenges may require short term fixes and while others will need longer term solutions. The first step is to identify them than build a road map and implementation strategy for success.
I’ve been blessed to have worked in this industry for 30 years and with more than 500 credit unions. As a result, I’ve prepared a short presentation titled “Foundations of Growth” that I’d be excited to share with you. It outlines some of the key things that every credit union must focus on to grow and thrive. Reach out to me, Bill McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested or CLICK HERE and we can set up a time to talk.