It's that time of year again. Management and directors across the country are
beginning to think about their upcoming annual strategic planning sessions.
Last week's article, "The
Competitive Triangle and the Importance of Strategic Planning", set
the strategic framework for a planning model that focuses on identifying and
enhancing an organization's sustainable competitive advantage; this week we'll
look at how that framework can be implemented into an effective planning session
The model used by Callahan's is a three phase outside-in approach that begins
with a review of the local environment to identify growth opportunities, while
accounting for market forces and competitors. Once opportunities have been identified,
the strategy turns inward to look at the credit union strengths and weaknesses,
and asks if key processes are in place to support the chosen competitive advantage.
The last part is to select the strategic option most compatible with the credit
union's capabilities and to set performance goals and action plans.
With some foresight, credit unions can integrate this model into the structure
of their planning session agenda. Two hypothetical examples are presented here.
In this first example, the initial three sections address the environmental
phase of the model, assessing the marketplace and the competition to identify
opportunities. Steps four and five look inward at the credit union and its vision
to try to answer the strategic questions of what are feasible goals to accomplish,
how they can be measured, and what can be done to "thrust" those goals
forward into a competitive advantage. The last three steps focus on the operational
aspect of prioritizing and implementing the strategic goals.
This second example is less detailed than the previous one but still follows
the same general model. The first two sections start out with the broad overview,
looking at the credit union in relation to the market and competitors. Next,
the third step looks inward at the credit union, and is focused on creating
strategic three-part "end" statements about their strategic opportunities
describing what they will do, who they will do it for, and at what cost. The
fourth step addresses operational and implementation issues while examining
how to create a monitoring system that management and the board can use to assess
Preparing for a successful strategic planning session doesn't have to be a
stressful, time consuming process. Callahan's comprehensive Strategic
Guide to Budgeting has all the resources you need to tackle a year's worth
of board meetings and strategic planning sessions, including five years of custom
historical data plotting your credit union against your peer group in areas
like productivity, market penetration, safety & soundness and growth. The
guide also includes an overview of key business challenges facing the credit
union industry as well as strategic step-by-step development of budget and operating
expense projections. Click
here for more information.