Action Guide: 4. Develop a digital vision and strategy

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.
Be as specific as possible. A healthy combination of intent and outcome gives everyone at your credit union a clear set of guidelines to envision new ways of working. It also ensures that the focus of the transformative vision is not on the technology but on different ways of operating – identifying new ways for digital technology to improve performance and customer satisfaction.
  • 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.
Download the 10-Step Action Guide to Kickstart your Digital Transformation Journey. Join us September 28 for the Digital Transformation Webinar Series: Grow Your Capacity for Change: How Credit Unions Can Thrive in Dynamic Markets. CO-OP Financial Services partnered with NOBL, an Organizational Design Firm, to assess the readiness of credit unions for change. During this webinar, Bud Caddell, NOBL Founder, and Uwe Hook, Digital Transformation Consultant, will share with the audience an inside look at the opportunities and threats facing credit unions today, as well as first steps you can take to grow your capacity for change. Register now