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Let Cornerstone Facilitate Your Next Strategic Planning Session
Monday, July 9, 2018 7:00 AM

The season for strategic planning is just around the corner. Much preparation goes into this most critical of meetings, and you don't want to leave any of it to chance. Cornerstone Credit Union League can help pave the road to your credit union's future by facilitating your next strategic planning session right in your place of business.

Previously, Credit Union Resources' OnBalance professionals provided strategic planning services for member credit unions. Now, that expertise thrives under the Cornerstone umbrella, led by professional strategic planner Howard Bufe and a team of skillfully trained strategic planning facilitators.

These planning sessions are much more than scribbling hopeful goals on a white board and raising revenue projections that may or may not be achievable.

"Credit union leaders have to take time to think strategically," said Bufe, who has facilitated planning sessions for decades. "Team leaders that work in a vacuum will struggle to obtain success and grease the skids toward failure. They need what I call 'fresh eyes.' Having fresh eyes allows us to view challenges in new and different ways, and that includes accepting input from outside sources to fill the gap between what credit union leaders know and what they don't. A skilled facilitator's fresh eyes can be an invaluable tool."

What to Expect

Planning and executing strategy requires determination, creativity, direction, and resilient leadership to get results. High-level strategy sessions require full engagement and an open-minded approach to new possibilities. Such meetings can run from 5–6 hours, depending on the credit union's particular concerns. The agenda can be customized according to the board or senior management's wishes, and the facilitator can address objectives that encompass a 2–5 year span of time, including interim goals and performance measures.

Cornerstone facilitators can also:

  1. Keep discussions on track, reduce wasted time, and make smart use of the time available to achieve desired outcomes.
  2. Create an atmosphere for resolving conflicts and clarifying misunderstandings within the group.
  3. Improve communication within a team and help you stop talking and start listening more effectively.
  4. Channel new ideas and discover an enlightened perspective.

"Whenever possible, we recommend that all team members participate because team members are more motivated to support management decisions if they're part of the process and therefore feel like part of the team," said Bufe. "With increased participation, individual and group creativity blossoms and the possibility of generating far-reaching, innovative solutions is within our grasp."

Just in time for the upcoming planning season, the Cornerstone team stands ready to help you prepare for 2019 and beyond.

Contact Howard Bufe for more information and details at hbufe@cornerstoneleague.coop or by phone at 800-442-5762, ext. 6820, or 469-385-6820.