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Strategic Planning is King, CU CEO Says
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 6:55 AM

While some organizations may have abandoned strategic planning in the recent recession, others like First Family FCU in Henryetta, Okla. consider it essential, as a well-implemented strategic plan provides the vision, direction and goals for the organization.

“I’m a graduate of Southwest CUNA Management School, and going through this three-year program, I came to realize just how important strategic planning is,” says First Family FCU CEO David Dykes. “Strategic planning is king.”

Dykes said his credit union conducts a strategic planning session annually. Members of the management team, the board, the marketing director, and when appropriate, other staff members, participate in the process. Collaboratively, Dykes says they prioritize their strategic goals.

To ensure all staff are aware of these strategic goals, and understand their role in helping to accomplish these goals, Dykes says they hold employee meetings throughout the year.  

“The communication of our goals is my duty and responsibility,” he Dykes notes. “I think it’s important that I constantly communicate our goals to keep our priorities fresh.”

Once the strategic goals are established and communicated, Dykes says they are not filed away and forgotten.

“The plan can't be put on a shelf.  We revisit the plan at least quarterly,” adds Dykes. “And as the CEO, it is my responsibility to ensure that we have team must buy in, because without their support, we cannot accomplish our goals, and fulfill our commitment to the membership.”

Like any other credit union, First Family FCU is facing their share of challenges, but with a well-thought out and well-executed strategic plan, Dykes feels confident that they can turn these challenges into opportunities.

Helpful Resources: Credit Union Resources offers strategic planning and consulting services. Credit unions can choose the balanced scorecard approach, which is a strategic management system that helps organizations translate their strategies into objectives that drive both behavior and performance. Traditional strategic planning gives credit unions an excellent venue to create a strategy for the future success of the organization. This approach provides the credit union an opportunity to review their mission, values and vision to determine why we are doing what we are doing.

Volunteer development and board training effectiveness is also available through Credit Union Resources.