Needless to say, it is no minor challenge to develop and implement a truly sustainable growth model in today's increasingly competitive world of retail financial services. Arguably, each of the primary factors that define the competitive dynamics within our industry - competitors, customers, channels, new products, regulation - has undergone dramatic shifts in the past decade and the pace of change, if anything, seems to be accelerating.
Leaders within the credit union system and other cooperative financial services firms face the unique challenge of leading values-driven organizations through this period of unprecedented change and volatility while remaining nimble and proactive from a strategic perspective and at the same time remaining fully committed to the cooperative principles. In fact, a key theme of this blog will be the need to embrace both the core cooperative principles and the key principles of competitive strategy. The two are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary, true sustainability requires that both be addressed simultaneously.
This need to balance cooperation and competition is no easy task. Indeed, it is a tremendous challenge. The good news is that when the two skills are mastered and implemented, the resulting value proposition is incredibly powerful.
This blog won't provide all of the answers. But we will do our best to raise the key strategic questions that face our system today. In doing so, we will aim to achieve four objectives:
- To be as thought-provoking as possible. This blog is a forum for thoughtful discussion. Our commentaries will seek to stimulate that dialog.
- To address critical issues in a timely fashion. We are not a real-time news service, but we do hope to alert leaders to issues of emerging importance.
- To be biased towards action. We are not opposed to good theory, but ultimately strategy must translate into action in order to be effective.
- To be concise. You have much to accomplish and limited time available. We will try to maximize your Return on Time Invested (ROTI)!