We believe that the disruptive impact of the Internet and other related technologies fundamentally alter the strategic planning context. In other words, the world is entering a new era.
While the above approach still presents the right questions, the strategic process can no longer just be a once-a-year event. However, the budget process provides a critical foundation.
Some of the characteristics of strategy that will be common to credit unions in this new era include the following:
- Hybrid plans: different goals will be set for the traditional business and for those initiatives in new areas.
- Partnering with other firms who may not look like your organization.
- IT networks that will connect the credit union and its members providing a virtually unlimited array of opportunities-often described through business to consumer (B2C) alliances via the Internet.
- Marketing strategies that move from Demographic - and segment - based approaches to more personalized one-to-one offers.
- Financial models that use new cost accounting practices and rely less on net interest margins.
- Developing ''fast company'' operating practices to work on ''Internet time.''
Planning for today's credit union is more like a ''game plan'' for football. It is a portfolio of options or initiatives that can be tried to see what works and what doesn't. The era of long-term blueprints is gone. To succeed, credit unions must learn to discover what works and what doesn't and then quickly adjust.
As you approach your own plan, remember, change is not as hard as you think. . .it's harder.