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Leadership defined by 6 disciplines, says Filene report
MADISON, Wis. (1/30/14)--A new report from Filene Research Institute breaks down strategic thinking into six disciplines and looks at how each element is deployed at credit unions across North America.
The report, "Strategic Thinking and Credit Union Leaders: Strategic Aptitude Assessment Findings, Fall 2013," was written by Jarrad Roeder and Franck Schuurmans of Decision Strategies International, which developed the strategic thinking model.
The six elements of strategic thinking described in the report include:
  • Anticipate. Strategic thinkers consistently look for signals of change, scanning their environment for signs of impending threats as well as emerging opportunities. By proactively monitoring changing market dynamics, these leaders are able to seize opportunities and mitigate threats--well ahead of the competition.
  • Challenge. Strategic leaders question what others take for granted. They do not jump to judgment; instead they challenge their own assumptions, as well as those of others, to encourage creativity and divergent points of view. Only after examining a complex problem through many lenses and engaging in careful reflection do they take action.
  • Interpret. This is the ability of a leader to view strategic challenges through multiple lenses and evaluate alternative interpretations against robust decision criteria. Interpretation is related to wisdom, and wisdom requires the ability to compare multiple viewpoints and hypotheses to ascertain and interpret the facts as they emerge.
  • Decide. Strategic leaders have to make sure that groupthink, gut calls, old habits and analysis paralysis do not stifle the strategic decision-making process. Furthermore, leaders play a key role in avoiding groupthink by making sure that the decision team is truly diverse. With well-defined assumptions and good data, the decision process will be more productive.
  • Align. This is the ability to converge distinct views and agendas to advance a strategic decision. Strategic change can be achieved when people work as an integrated system to develop, stress-test and support transformation. This is rare and difficult to achieve.
  • Learn. Learning is often a selective process to seek confirmation of what the learner believes to be true. Real learning requires an honest analysis of facts and causality. Success will come from a combination of good process, serendipity and execution.
The report also offers an assessment tool for credit unions to use in the selection and evaluation of CEOs and other executive-level leaders.
To download the report, use the link.

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