Digital transformation is a tectonic shift, causing credit unions to rethink how they structure themselves and compete in the market. Leaders can help negotiate this transition by proactively defining what a radically different digital future will look like. To begin crafting this vision, leaders must first identify the benefits they want to gain through digital technologies, and which strategies will engage members, employees and vendors. Creating a vision is never a completely linear process. However, research shows that digitally transformed companies go through three distinct steps to formulate their digital visions:
- Define a clear target. First, lay out clearly the intent of your vision (what needs to change) as well as the outcome (the resulting benefits for your credit union, your members and your employees). This will help employees visualize what the future of the credit union looks like.
- Engage the credit union. After articulating the intent and outcome of a digital vision, the next step is to engage the credit union in achieving that outcome. While they have the important task of sketching out a clear picture of the future, executives should let the broader credit union fill in the details. Leaders need to keep the vision specific enough to give employees a clear direction, while giving them the flexibility to innovate and build upon it.
- Evolve your vision over time. Organizations in all industries are still struggling to understand the long-term impact of digital technologies. Moreover, the vision of a changed credit union will evolve in concert with new possibilities created by technical advances and improved capabilities. A credit union’s digital vision is not the sole responsibility of its senior leaders. Nor should that vision remain static over time. Executives need to provide a direction that is clear enough to mobilize their credit union, but that also allows employees to actively participate in its refinement. In that way, the vision will evolve in concert with the implementation of the credit union’s digital transformation.