Every New Year we make resolutions to improve our future; go to the gym, lose weight, get a raise, take that dream vacation, finally pay off the credit card…you know the drill. Lists are written and promises are made (mostly to ourselves, and mostly forgotten within a few days.)
But what if your department did it as a group? What if everyone resolves to accomplish one extraordinary, game-changing goal that will help grow exponentially within the next year, and then held each other accountable?
Here’s are five resolutions that we dare you to make:
1. Be radically transparent.
How do you expect people to see you as anything but a bank if you don’t show them the difference? Take authenticity in your branding to a whole new level and show them exactly what you do with the money — how much is spent on salaries and overhead, how much is used to lower rates on loans, how much is reinvested to give them better access through branches and improved web sites. Not only will it improve accountability, it will become the mission for everyone.
2. Bust up silos.
Most companies get way too comfortable doing things they way they always have, creating departmental silos of employees by product or function. letting them burrow into their cubicles and routines. But if Susie is sick, who is going to update the web site? Bust up those silos, spread the responsibilities out, and make sure everyone understands just how interconnected their jobs really are.
3. Put everyone in the Marketing Department.
People need reasons to come to the credit union, so you need everyone focused on how to differentiate your credit union from all of the other options available. Get your entire staff involved in ongoing conversations with members in order to find out what they want and need, then build the products and marketing to match. Once everyone understands how their work helps to satisfy and attract members, you begin to build brand ambassadors internally.
4. Focus on vertical, not horizontal.
Stop trying to be everything to everybody; find a niche and excel at it instead. Being known as “THE place to get a great auto loan” is much better positioning than “kind of like a bank, but not a bank”, plus it makes money. Focusing on a specific demographic may provide a tremendous opportunity: Hispanics were over half (56%) of the population growth in the US last year, there are over 9 million women-owned businesses in the US generating $1.4 trillion in sales.
5. Bake innovation into your budget.
Unless you set aside a portion of your budget purely for innovation, any new idea will have to wait until there is money for it to happen. Budget for the cost, and innovation will become part of your culture.
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