Glatt Consulting is now scheduling 2016 strategic planning process/meeting facilitation. We have outlined our general approach to credit union strategic planning in this post to give you an idea of how we manage credit union planning sessions. We invite you to leverage Glatt Consulting’s 20 years of consulting experience to your advantage during your credit union’s planning session this year.
Strategic Planning Statement of Work
Glatt Consulting proposes the following planning process to assist your credit union in establishing a clear corporate identity, forward-looking financial expectations, and supportive strategic goals and objectives.
Pre-Session Credit Union Review and Analysis
Prior to engaging in specific planning session activity, we will obtain and review existing strategic, business, and marketing plans to ensure familiarity with the credit union’s current strategic direction and interests. If necessary, we will host a conference call with credit union leadership to address any questions we may have about details in the documentation.
Pre-Session Participant Survey
To obtain session participant opinions on existing strategic direction, and to begin the process of identifying forward-looking financial performance expectations and strategy, we will conduct a pre-session opinion survey. Participants will be asked to address the following:
- Commitment to Existing “Context” – Context, established in vision/mission statements, statements of core values, operating principles, and the like forms a framework for organizational decision-making. To ensure we understand the credit union’s consensus perspective on the existing context, we will present the credit union’s current contextual framework (vision statement, mission statement, Ends statement, etc.), then ask participants to identify whether the framework retains its relevancy in guiding credit union decision-making. If the participant indicates it is not relevant, then we will ask the participant to identify what should comprise a new/revised, relevant “context.”
- Financial/Performance Expectations – Along with the contextual elements noted above, financial performance expectations aid in creating decision-making context. To ensure we understand the credit union’s consensus expectations regarding general financial performance, we will present the credit union’s current performance, then ask participants to identify whether performance should be maintained or improved. If the participant indicates performance should be improved, then we will ask the participant to identify the level of performance that would be acceptable. We utilize our proprietary Credit Union HealthScore model to engage participants in this part of the survey.
- Strategic Interests. Each participant will have identified their commitment to, or desire to change, the credit union’s “operating framework” (context, financial performance) – and if deciding on a need to change the framework will have noted their own thoughts on what change is required. The final task participants will be asked to accomplish in the survey will be to identify new broad strategies they believe are necessary to support the operating framework, and also current strategies that they believe are undermining the operating framework.
The results of the survey will outline the credit union’s consensus on:
- The relevancy of existing overarching objectives identified in such areas as vision/mission statements, statements of core values, etc.;
- Expectations regarding core financial performance.
In addition, the survey will provide a broad list of thoughts and ideas regarding potential credit union strategies, and give insight into the unique perspectives of each individual planning session participant.
Planning Session Support Material Creation and Distribution
To prepare session participants for engaged planning session discussion, we will share the results of the pre-session survey. These results will illustrate for all participants the level of commitment to existing organizational context, consensus on financial performance expectations, and ideas on general strategy and/or strategic direction.
In addition, we will create a five-year projection of financial performance and health using the consensus opinion on financial performance expectations. This projection will allow participants to view the long-term financial outcome likely to occur as a result of meeting the desired results.
We will also include articles and other educational material relevant to the credit union’s context, performance expectations, and strategies.,
Planning Session Discussion Facilitation/Agenda
The purpose of the credit union’s planning session is to:
- Review goals and progress as defined in the credit union’s existing strategic business plan;
- Develop consensus multi-year strategies for the continued growth and financial strength of the credit union;
- Identify specific initiatives to be taken in, and formalization of goals for, the coming years.
To ensure we touch on all areas of concern to the credit union, we will facilitate a discussion flow as follows:
- General trends and issues update: We will engage in a brief overview of existing credit union and banking industry trends. In our overview we generally touch on the strength of the economy, changes in lending (both to underwriting standards and general demand), credit union industry health, and threats to credit union survivability.
- Context review: We will engage participants in discussion of the relevancy of the credit union’s existing contextual framework. The survey results will have informed us of participant consensus in this area. Should the group’s consensus show acceptance with the existing framework, this will simply be an opportunity to affirm/validate the framework, and remind participants of the framework’s importance to subsequent planning session decision-making. Should the consensus be that change is necessary, we will spend time identifying and discussing appropriate changes.
- Financial performance discussion: We will engage participants in discussion of expectations regarding financial performance through the review of consensus opinion on financial performance expectations, and the projected financial performance results. Should the group find the consensus-based projections acceptable, this will simply be an opportunity to affirm/validate the expectations. Should the consensus be that change to the financial expectations are necessary, we will spend time identifying and discussing appropriate changes.,
- Strategy discussion: We will engage participants in identifying, discussing, and selecting the strategies absolutely necessary to facilitate and/or support the framework of expectations established during the “Context Review” and “Financial Performance” discussions. We will also engage participants in identifying existing strategies that could serve to impede or undermine progress, and aid in defining an appropriate resolution.
- Risk discussion: We will engage participants in a discussion of the risks that could undermine plan success, and also in identification and discussion of basic risk mitigation strategy. Specific risks will likely have been identified during earlier discussions of financial performance and strategy expectations, and in particular during the presentation of industry trends, but if necessary we will bring up additional risks pertinent to the plan but not identified during earlier discussion.
- Decision validation: We will present a summary overview of the strategic assumptions and decisions established during the planning session, and engage participants in validating the decisions.
Post-Session Notes/Decision Summary
Following the planning session we will document the decisions made by planning participants. Generally our documentation is organized as follows:
- Purpose: A statement on the reason for engaging in the planning process;
- Participants: A list of session participants;
- Context: A summary of planning session discussion regarding credit union operating context, and the actual statements defining that context (existing or revised mission/vision, core values, etc.);
- Financial Expectations: A summary of planning session discussion regarding financial performance, and an outline of the actual performance expectations identified during the planning session.
- Strategy: A broad summary of planning session discussion regarding strategy, and general summaries of the actual strategies to be pursued by the credit union.
- Plan Risks: A summary of critical risks to plan success.
- Supplemental Material: A collection of support material, including pre-session survey results, financial projections, etc.
We assume that the credit union’s management team will take the results of the planning session and use them to construct execution plans. We advocate taking the approach of defining critical “next actions” for each of the identified strategies as a starting point for developing execution plans. We’ve found the question of “What is the immediate next action necessary to…” is a helpful starting point in connecting broad strategies to specific management activity.
If the credit union desires, Glatt Consulting can also facilitate a management team discussion regarding execution strategy.
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