For a small word, "but" does a lot of damage.

New Year’s Resolution: Kick Some “BUTS”

You have an amazing idea that gets you feeling so pumped that you have to tell someone else before you explode. Everyone you tell gets so excited they tell others, and suddenly everyone is buzzing, brainstorming, and building on the possibilities until they begin to feel probable.

At least until a great big “BUT” pops up.

“What if our web site DIDN’T look like a garage sale from 1999? What if we turned it into a real resource of trustworthy information for our members?”…”What if members could easily use our web site on their phones.”…”What if members called the phone center less because they can easily find what they want to know on our web site?”…”What if we started a staff blog to really connect with our members and our community?”... BUT THE NICE MEMBER WHO COMES INTO THE BRANCH EVERY DAY WANTS A PRINTED MONTHLY NEWSLETTER AND SAYS YOU’D HAVE TO BE SOME KIND OF CRAZY FOOL TO WANT TO VISIT A WEB SITE ON YOUR PHONE…

“You know, we really ought to change the name since the buggy whip factory closed over twenty years ago”…”Our logo is so out-of-date it’s a liability; no ones takes us seriously”…”Then we could finally get new lighted signs on the branches”… “And we’d have a reason to update the paint and carpet to match the new colors!”BUT OUR NAME IS PART OF OUR HISTORY AND EVERYONE ON THE BOARD LOVES IT AND FRED’S GREAT-AUNT MARY DESIGNED THE LOGO IN 1968, AND MARY WAS SUCH A NICE LADY…

“Our marketing has always been about products and rates. Like car loans are big news or something. What if we focused on what’s important to our members?”…”We could talk about ways the CU has helped them, the excitement of getting a great deal on a car loan as well as your car, or the pride of taking care of your family with home improvements”…”That might also help people understand why a credit union is different”... BUT WE HAVE TO MAKE IT OBVIOUS WE OFFER LOANS IF WE WANT TO HIT OUR LOAN NUMBERS. LET’S TALK ABOUT ALL THE MONEY WE HAVE TO LEND, AND MAKE SURE YOU PUT A GIANT RATE AT THE TOP…

For a small word, “BUT” does a lot of damage. It’s the proverbial wet blanket, pumping the brakes before you get up to full speed, deflating the football before it can be kicked. It’s a momentum-killer.

That’s why everyone needs to start kicking those “BUTS” in the upcoming year.

At the beginning of every project or idea, build a list of “BUTS”. Take a fresh look at each “BUT”, and consider the thinking and assumptions behind it. Have a plan for dodging every “BUT”.

You might be surprised how many “BUTS” can be kicked out entirely.


Also published by CUInsight.

Kent Dicken

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