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The Era of Change
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 6:40 AM

Chad Stanislav, VP Financial and Technology, Credit Union Resources

I was recently watching a TedTalks presentation by Jim Hemerling who talked about the era of constant change. Whenever we endeavor for some personal transformation (losing weight, running a marathon, setting a goal to reach, becoming a doctor), we feel energized and excited. However, when we hear our company talk about transformation, employees are immediately filled with anxiety and fear the worst.

Hemerling indicates that in today’s world with globalization, advances in technology, and people better connected than ever, we are in an era of “always-on” transformation because things are constantly changing.

He indicates that this always-on transformation is exhausting for most because leaders don’t have a clear vision, work in crisis mode, or approach short-term solutions that bleed the hope for the future. To fix the exhaustive approach and change the bleak outlook to a more powering and energizing one, five imperatives should be the focus, all of which are about putting people first.

First, inspire through purpose. If employees are going to perform at their peak, they need a deeper sense of purpose—not necessarily a purpose focused on growth or sales, but if employees feel they are making a difference and believe in what the company is doing, better performance and greater sales will be a byproduct of being inspired through purpose.

Second, go all in. In corporate America many transformations come with a pink slip that focuses on the bottom line and cutting costs. Going all in refers to thinking about initiatives, driving growth, making fundamental changes to operations, and investing in leadership and talent development. We are experiencing a shift in our operations as credit unions continue to change their emphasis of service needs.

Third, enable people to succeed during the transformation and beyond. If you can provide the guidance, training, or teamwork with employees, they will rise to the occasion. When the employees are provided an opportunity to succeed, they will help the credit union achieve during a transformation to the clear goals or vision.

Fourth, instill a culture of continuous learning. There are many different types of learning from classrooms, conferences, books, internet, self-study, team discussions, experiments, and so forth; more options exist for learning than ever before. If your credit union has a culture that promotes learning, your staff will be more likely to do better things for their membership and the community.

Fifth, be an inclusive leader. A good leader will have a vision, goals, and benchmarks and will hold people accountable; but an inclusive leader will also solicit suggestions from their team. By doing so, the team or company as a whole is elevated while remaining focused on the vision and goals.

How many of you feel like you are in constant change especially with credit unions shrinking in numbers but growing in size? Does your credit union subscribe to any of these five imperatives? If so, how have they fared for your credit unions? A constantly evolving credit union that meets the needs of members will better position the credit union for the future. Are there other imperatives, not included in the five above, that your credit union has used to great effect?