Jan 16 2014

Strategic Thinking and Credit Union Leaders: What It Takes to Lead


Economic uncertainty, expansion of regulatory oversight, and changes in consumer tastes and preferences are just some of the ongoing challenges credit union leaders face on a day to day basis. While a universal solution to these issues would be ideal and ambitious, it is unrealistic. Roeder and Schuurmans offer a tactful approach in navigating through such issues using effective strategic leadership. Throughout this report, they break down the concept of strategic thinking into individual components: Anticipate, Challenge, Interpret, Decide, Align, and Learn.

To that end, focusing on each one of these elements can help leaders build stability and structure across the enterprise.  The report assesses how the six elements of strategic thinking are being deployed at 68 credit unions across North America. The CEOs interviewed at these organizations all come from a variety of backgrounds and serve varying credit union models. Moreover, the results compiled from these leaders provides valuable insights into how strategic thinking abilities directly impact leaders' decision making and aptitude for managing challenges. For example, the results revealed a CEO's ability to decide decreased with a larger number of employees to manage.

The report aims to convince readers that executing a strategic vision at credit unions requires concise leadership. Credit union leaders can use this report to evaluate their personal strategic thinking abilities and determine how to better manage operational challenges.

Filene thanks our generous supporters for making this important research possible.

Strategic Thinking and Credit Union Leaders
Report Number 322