When this pandemic is over, credit unions will have experienced—and done—a lot of new things. My sincere hope is that credit union leaders will use the positive things they’ve learned during this period of uncertainty to build a new template for credit union operations going forward—and then keep right on learning.
A key way to retain what you’ve learned so you can build on it is to reflect on your learnings and talk them over with your peers, colleagues, directors, and mentors. Hopefully you will find several questions applicable to your situation in the list below.
- What leadership styles will be needed going forward, in various situations?
- How can executives best pivot from one leadership style to another as needed?
- How will flexibility in strategy play into our “new normal”?
- What did we learn about collaboration that we want to take forward?
- What are our new insights into the value of bench strength and succession planning both for staff and the board?
- What did we learn about virtual board meetings and remote annual meetings that we might want to apply to future events?
- How can my team and I keep learning, even when we’re extremely busy?
- What should blend of on-the-job, remote, and in-person learning look like going forward for our executives, staff, and directors?
- What skills or knowledge might we seek in our next board member? In our next chair?
- How will our branches operate differently now?
- How will our lending be done differently in the months ahead?
- How will our call centers be different because of what we’ve experienced?
- How will our marketing and member communications be different in the post-pandemic world?
- How can our financial modeling efforts be improved by what we’ve experienced?
- How can we keep the gains in digital delivery that are happening in the industry right now?
- What have we learned about serving members when they’re in a financial pinch that we can use going forward?
- Can remote work become more a part of our credit union’s culture now? If yes, how?
- How does having diverse people with diverse ideas play into our organizational success?
- What will our new system selection and system maintenance regime look like? Can more of this work be done virtually?
- What did we learn about compliance monitoring and responding to changing regulations that will be helpful to keep in mind going forward?
While coping with the crisis, we all have had an opportunity to rediscover basic values of humanity and the bonds that connect us. We now have it in our hands to build a positive new normal for our credit unions and our communities. I’d love to hear about how these 20 questions serve you in formulating your new operating template. Please stay healthy—and, when you can, be in touch about what you want to learn next.