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It Takes Guts to Put Customers Before Financials

During the last several weeks, we’ve been working with one of our credit union clients to refresh their plan for 2017. Like many of you, they wanted to make shifts based on their learnings from execution during the previous year. What’s unique about this client is the way in which they’re going about updating and restructuring their plan.

As with any strategic plan, the way an organization’s priorities are articulated and communicated dictate where your people’s focus is. It’s the very reason you create a plan – so your people and organization have a shared understanding of what your vision of success looks like.

For this credit union, the management team realized their plan and priorities were too focused on financial targets and sales goals. The resulting organization culture also directly reflected this focus.

Instead of making their organizational strategy focused on driving financial numbers to impact their members, they’ve reversed their strategic focus to best serve their members to impact their financials.

By putting their customers at the top of their strategy map instead of the bottom, they’ll be better able to focus their organization and employees on creating value for their members up-front. It takes a lot of guts to shift your financial targets to the bottom of the pyramid, but it’s definitely the right move for their organization.

While this may seem like a logical step, we must commend this client on their thinking. It’s one thing to talk about focusing on customer impact. It’s a completely different game to execute this type of shift and be ok with letting your financial targets be lagging indicators of success.

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