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Speaker Growth opportunities closer than most CUs believe
MADISON, Wis. (10/6/11)--Credit union leaders don’t need to look any further than their current business when exploring growth opportunities, a CUNA Mutual representative told an Online Discovery audience Tuesday.
CUNA Mutual Group employees were kept busy Tuesday in their virtual booths within the Discovery Expo Center during the company's second annual Online Discovery Conference. The daylong virtual conference attracted more than 1,800 credit union professionals. The event featured 13 speakers, the Expo Center exhibit hall and a variety of chat rooms. (Photo provided by CUNA Mutual Group)
Online Discovery is CUNA Mutual Group’s free Web-based conference. The event attracted a national and international audience of more than 1,800 credit union and league staff. Eric Hansing, director, product marketing and MemberCONNECT for CUNA Mutual, said working on the little things that optimize its results is a factor that often determines success for a credit union. “We all are engaged in things we can do significantly better,” Hansing said. “Too often, we chase new initiatives that we think will offer us growth. We shouldn’t lose sight of making the most of what we’re already doing by optimizing those opportunities.” Whether it’s loan growth, cross sales or productivity, Hansing said, credit unions should look at new ways to make the most of something they’re already doing. He suggested they start by “clarifying the win.” “What’s your specific goal? In the case of member relationships, it’s important to know your customers and know where you currently stand,” he said. “Also, make sure your people see how it matters so they can be better focused--and become motivated.” A credit union must identify critical components of success and be very clear about the end game, or target, Hansing said. That requires knowing the business and the levers that must be pulled to capture opportunities. “It’s about targeting customers and knowing what they want from you. Here’s where you might consider research,” he added. A critical component of a business achieving its target goal is to continuously improve by being very good at the fundamentals, Hansing said. He urged conference attendees not to underestimate the power of sound fundamentals. “Whether it’s sports or a business, the good teams excel at the fundamentals,” he said. “They are a critical success factor that dramatically improves performance.” Continuous improvement also requires measuring internal capabilities and diagnosing limitations. Sustaining momentum in reaching a goal takes work, he added. Developing action plans. “You need to look for bright spots and things you are doing well and clone them,” Hansing said. “Brainstorming is another important step in maintaining your improvement level.” He recommended credit unions brainstorm with outsiders--their peers, business partners and non-members--and find out what competitors are doing that they aren’t. “As you start to apply this framework, you’ll notice there is a surprising amount of growth potential right under your noses. And these principles do work,” he said.
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