CUcorp, Staver Group Join Hands in ‘Credit Union Leadership and Organizational Development Institute’
It’s common knowledge that technology has had a profound impact on how today’s credit unions operate and serve their members. Computers and the Internet have improved productivity, expanded product and service menus, slashed loan processing times and made it possible for members to conduct their financial business from the convenience of their living rooms.
One thing that technology has not changed, however, is the need for well-trained, visionary executive leadership. In fact, in today’s highly competitive, fast-paced marketplace — and with credit unions under heavy fire from the banking lobby — that need is more acute than ever.
“Technology is a powerful and essential tool, and machines do a lot of things extremely well,” said MCUL Strategic Solutions Consulting Vice President Alan Babcock. “But they can’t manage, they can’t lead and they can’t make sound strategic decisions based on their knowledge, experience and professional judgment. These are qualities that only people possess — and they’re absolutely essential to a successful credit union.”
Recognizing the need, CUcorp is partnering with The Staver Group to offer Michigan credit unions the “Credit Union Leadership and Organizational Development Institute,” a professional education program designed to enhance the management skills of Michigan credit union executives.
The Institute will offer a significantly more intense and far-reaching executive leadership development curriculum than conventional education programs, according to Michael Staver, CEO of the Florida-based credit union consulting firm. But the program will be affordable and adaptable to most any credit union professional’s schedule.
“We’ve determined that many credit unions will face a significant challenge in the next few years,” said Staver, a frequent facilitator at MCUL education and training conferences. “Research shows that as many as 45 percent of the current credit union CEOs will be retiring in the next 5-7 years. However, there’s a significant lack of ‘bench strength’ at most credit unions — there’s a shortage of well-trained individuals ready to step into the CEO role.”
Given the growing demands placed on today’s CEOs, many credit union boards are finding it necessary to recruit from the banking industry or from other financial service providers to fill a top-management vacancy when it occurs, noted Staver Group COO Dr. Reggie Tyler.
“A credit union can make a good choice going outside the credit union movement,” Tyler said. “But the accumulation of more and more CEOs with banking backgrounds — individuals unfamiliar with what makes credit unions unique — will inevitably dilute the credit union philosophy. Credit unions, for the sake of their future as credit unions, need to develop their own executive talent.”
The Institute is not just about succession planning, however. Current credit union CEOs at the start or in the prime of their professional careers would derive benefits from participating, as well as middle managers and vice presidents.
“It is commonly held that credit union executives must stay current with the skill and knowledge of their competition in order to stay on the cutting edge of the financial services marketplace,” Staver said. “Sophistication and professionalism must be part of the credit union leaders skill set if they are to stay competitive.”
The Institute features multiple levels of participation and a vast array of skill development opportunities, Staver said, including:
- Six to eight days focused on strategy and development in co-op style sessions with other credit union leaders;
- Two days of consulting, custom development or training sessions, at the participants’ credit union;
- Unlimited phone access for the credit union’s executive team to any senior faculty member;
- The Harrison Assessment for each executive participant and the credit union’s remaining executive team up to a total of 10 leaders;
- One-on-one feedback for each executive on the Harrison results;
- A full set of Mike Staver’s Tips in 20 Minutes;
- A series of high-impact business books and articles for individual development and a permanent professional library;
- A general organizational survey for initial assessment information.
“We understand that credit union executives are busy people,” Staver said. “The goal of the Institute is to have the maximum amount of impact in the least amount of time. And again, unlike other management development programs, there’s an emphasis on the credit union philosophy.”
Credit union professionals interested in participating in the Institute need to point out to their boards of directors the benefits to the credit union itself, above and beyond personal skill development, Staver said. An Institute CD and PowerPoint presentation are available, along with appropriate supporting materials.
“Many credit union boards, no less than credit union executive teams, are also sometimes viewed as lacking in bench strength and sophistication,” Staver said. “But the future of the credit union is every board’s lasting legacy. A director’s paramount responsibility is to ensure that the top management positions are and will be occupied by individuals who have the knowledge and leadership skills required to guide the credit union in the future.”
An initial session launching the Credit Union Leadership and Organizational Development Institute in Michigan and promoting awareness of its benefits was held at ELGA CU (FL) in Flint in April.
“The Institute is focused at the executive level,” Tyler said. “CEOs, people who report to the CEO or who are involved in making strategic decisions are the target audience. But, we could find broader applications and drill deeper into any credit union’s org chart, based on the needs of that particular credit union.”
Credit unions interested in participating in the Institute should contact their CUcorp business consultant at (800) 262-6285, Ext. 534, or visit the CUcorp Web site at www.cucorp.com.
More information is also available by contacting The Staver Group’s Bobbie Stanton at (904) 321-0977 or visiting The Staver Group Web site at www.thestavergroup.com.