Re-evaluating Strategic Planning - Managing Your Goal Achievement

How many of you out there, other than the CEO, CFO, and COO, have heard these kinds of comments in your credit union culture? How many of you out there, other than the CEO, CFO, and COO, have heard these kinds of comments in your credit union culture? Why do we have to go through all this change? When will someone tell me what's going on around here? When will that department get its act together? Why can't we communicate better?


How many of you out there, other than the CEO, CFO, and COO, have heard these kinds of comments in your credit union culture?
''Why do we have to go through all this change?'' ''When will someone tell me what's going on around here?
'' When will that department get its act together?'' Why can't we communicate better?''

Well Senior Management if you haven't I suggest you camouflage yourself as a hibiscus tree in the corner of the lunch room and listen up!!!

I hear it all the time. Every time I visit a credit union and talk to the staff and many supervisors. Did you hear that ''EVERY TIME''. Of course the senior management team rarely hears it and most of the time those who do have access to their ears aren't courageous or maybe foolish enough to tell them because it might not be safe to do so. This is reality and it's time to take a reality check.

You're probably thinking…''gee Dick that's kind of harsh!'' It may be but will it jolt us enough to pay attention? I hope so.

WHAT'S THE PROBLEM? Here it is. Believe it or not. Straight from my recent experiences. ''There is a lack of focus, direction, mission, goal clarity, and even how my individual roles fit into what we are trying to accomplish at this credit union''.

Yes, I know about this time of the year we have our annual strategy meeting with the Executive and the Board And maybe even some or all of the staff at a later time. But by and large it is not working and you're losing a lot of time, energy, dollars, loyalty and commitment when its not.

''Proof you say. Give me proof Dick that this is happening in my credit union!''.

Here it is.

Make me a promise that either now or on the week of January 5th 2004 you and your executive will individually and casually walk around your various locations and stop at 10-15 people's desk and ask them these three questions.

  1. What are this credit union's specific goals for this year or the new year of 2004?
  2. What are your departments specific goals in support of these objectives?
  3. What are your individual goals to support these and help us reach the credit union's goals?

Then call me 801-362-7121 and let's talk about the results.

Let's point out one other critical factor and then talk about SOLUTIONS.

Spending most of my consulting time talking to credit unions large and small tells me that many are experiencing change so rapid and consuming that it threatens the very way they will have to do business in the next 1-5 years. Many will not weather the storm of accelerated change. Others will be so traumatized by the inappropriate coping strategies that they'll limp off to the sidelines and get lost in history.

While all this is happening, other organizations, wide-awake and open to change, will enjoy unparalleled growth and success. They'll emerge more healthy and competitive than ever before.

A strong contributor to your success will be the development of your most precious asset and resource. YOUR PEOPLE!!! They'll discover that the investment in building their people, their greatest asset. can pay off in increased revenue, productivity, growth, loyalty and profitability.

I know. Many of you are thinking right now….''Hey, Dick we are already doing it''. WRONG! You're not. I bet if I looked at the ratio of your allocated to staff development compared to technology both hard and software, Board and Management travel and expense, facilities, and all those other things it will be way out of balance. The percentage of dollars spent on staff development is miniscule compared with the rest. I know. I've been there. I see it every year.

Case in point. A very large financial institution recently moved to a new location where they had built a big beautiful building and had the best in furnishing, technology, and creature comforts. 1 year later they had to cut over 1700 people from their staff due to cash flow. What's the issue. Is the new building, technology, and comforts going to make up for the lack of productivity from all those people. I don't think so.

Know this. There is no business! No business at all! There are only people. Business exists only among people and for people. Seems simple enough, but not enough CEO's and senior management seem to get it. Nothing gets done without your people so let's put our dollars where they get the greatest return.

Here's the solution. I've proved it a hundred times over in the past 25+ years. But as I said, ''some don't get it''.

The major imperative for the future of your organization is to increase the productivity, performance, commitment, and loyalty of your people. You say…'' Dick…What about the members?''. Devote more resources to your people and they will come! In droves. I promise you.

What's the secret? Here it is. Write it down. This is important. It's called ''MANAGING GOAL ACHIEVEMENT!''.

Now wait…I know what you're thinking again. Dick, I've sent my people to goal setting courses, they get their planner, I can't tell you how many times over the year I have been to those courses and I still struggle with it.

What you learned was basic goal setting and how to maintain a planner. I've been there and done that. For years. That won't cut it. Those courses are mediocre at best for lasting change in helping us set and achieve our goals.

Then about 13 years ago I had the opportunity to attend a discovery learning course called ''Managing Goal Achievement''. It was a learning curriculum that helps increase individual productivity with bottom line results. No planner to buy but a program that helps people to motivate themselves to set and achieve meaningful goals. The process enhanced quality and self-directed teamwork training, and created synergism, loyalty and harmony among staff and management.

Managing Goal Achievement did all the things that none of the other courses I took did. It helped me motivate myself, build my personal leadership skills, enabled me to continually build myself and the people I managed with effective coaching and counseling strategies. It truly helped me identify and define my professional and personal objectives. I was taught a process of how to plan strategies to attain them. Build my belief in what I was capable of. Develop my strengths while my weaknesses became insignificant. And I learned how to manage my own progress.

Finally, it helped me to deal with the emotional blockages caused by low self-confidence and poverty consciousness which failed to happen with all the other goal setting approaches.

After I went through it I had one of my staff become a trained facilitator and we rolled it out to everyone. The results still boggle my mind. It taught me and my people some valuable lessons. We are still practicing them today.

  1. Productive organizations are the result of productive, committed and loyal people.
  2. Everyone wants to be better at managing their goals and achievements. Both at home and at work. They go together.
  3. We all initially need a process, guidance and direction in defining clear goals and then working through the emotional blockages and limiting beliefs that tend to prevent us from reaching our goals.
  4. Everyone of us want personal growth and to be able to expand our belief in our own possibilities. But we struggle with how to effectively do it.
  5. We need to bring into congruence our goal clarity, the view of our possibilities, achievement drive, it must fit with our values, and we need a supportive environment to carry it out.
  6. It didn't happen overnight. We had 8 weeks of follow-up. Three months later we went through 6 monthly reinforcement sessions. This helped us set our habit with our new managing goal achievement behaviour.
  7. We all modeled it. And modeling is the best teacher to those we work and live with.

Here were some of the results. Turnover decreased over 50%. Revenue went up by 37%. Our production was 125% of quota. Staff commitment to our corporate goals was higher than any year previous. I could walk up to any member of the staff in any department and ask them those 3 questions I gave your earlier and everyone could answer them clearly and succinctly with no hesitation. And lastly, everyone was working together, communicating and having fun.

My question is '' Are you courageous enough to spend the necessary dollars in 2004 to develop your staff to that potential? '' I hope so. Or you could be facing a very challenging future regardless of asset and market size.

If you need to know more about this course call or e-mail me with your name, title, CU, location and telephone numberand I will pass along the information. It will revolutionize the way you lead and manage your people. Guaranteed.

Good luck.



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Oct. 20, 2003


  • I am interested in obtaining more information regarding the Managing Your Goal Achievement program. Thank you! Natalie Tomajan, VP/Branch Operations, Educational Employees Credit Union, Fresno, CA., 559-437-7757.
  • I wish more Credit Unions knew the power of "modeling".
  • I wish more Credit Unions knew the power of "modeling".