Section 1: Organizational Design

Is your organization more than the sum of its individual staff? Forging an effective and efficient credit union takes leadership that privileges listening, sharing, and the maintenance work that keeps organizations innovating, pushing forward, and growing. Begin by identifying elements of excellence in your organization and work to replicate them across your credit union.

Sharing best practices goes without saying, but sharing failures and mistakes is less common. Both provide valuable insights for capability improvement. Develop pathways for staff to share knowledge and insights and grow your innovative capacity. And, in the quest to maximize staff performance, there is the issue of organizational friction. Workplace inefficiency and disengagement are common symptoms—leaders must diagnose the causes, effects, and cures of organizational friction to make important things easier to do (and unimportant things harder to do).

Research Insights

Friction: A Manifesto
Workplace inefficiency, miscommunication and disengagement are often the result of organizational friction, and friction is the result of perverse incentives, misaligned rules and norms and a failure to value the work of maintaining shared organizational resources.

Scaling up Excellence
Spreading excellence is a key step toward effective scaling, and scaling is increasingly vital to credit unions’ sustainability and success. Using expert tips and concepts from Sutton and Rao’s book Scaling Up Excellence, this report approaches these ideas from a credit union perspective to provide actionable insights that leaders can begin using today.

Knowledge Sharing: Finding from Two Pilots
Good communication is hard to find. And communicating effectively within an organization is necessary for success, but especially when organizations take on big challenges. Huggy Rao and two doctoral students from Stanford Graduate School of Business created a knowledge sharing platform specifically designed for credit unions. This report shares what Filene learned from this pilot project, and what credit union leaders can do to cultivate an environment for better knowledge sharing in their organizations.

Frictionless: Trends and Tradeoffs, Research in Action Recap
Financial services often use the term friction to explore how member processes can be improved. At Filene's April Research In Action event, presenters explored the role that friction plays in organizations--both positive and negative types of friction, and nudged attendees to think about leveraging both types of friction for the benefit of their organizations and employees.

Actionable Tools

Credit Union Team Workshop: Organizational Friction
This guide will help you consider the underlying causes, effects, and cures of organizational friction in order to better understand how to make the important things easier to do (and the unimportant things harder to do) in ways that do not exhaust your staff.

Infographic: Is Leadership Coaching Right for Your Credit Union?
There are several factors to consider when deciding whether to introduce leadership coaching at your credit union. They are presented here in the form of a series of questions.

Fellow Huggy Rao on "Leading with the Help Muscle"
Filene Fellow, Huggy Rao, will make you see the link between what you do and the way you do it, and your performance outcomes.

Filene’s Center for Performance and Operational Excellence was generously sponsored by: