Leadership Team Development: Real-World Credit Union Successes

Why participants of the program say Callahan's Leadership Team Development is boosting their performance and success rate.

The Callahan team continues to hear exciting examples from Leadership Team Development (LTD) participants of how the program is boosting their performance and success rate. Credit union leaders from across the country tell us that the LTD experience has given them new lenses through which to view their world and valuable new techniques for considering strategy and innovation. Additionally, they say how a much-needed common language and framework keeps them out of the weeds as they shift from an annual strategic planning exercise to an ongoing strategy development and refinement process.

Most of our clients are using their new strategy development toolsets in their planning process. For one, though, this was inadvertent, and it produced a paradigm-changing epiphany. Six months post-program, this particular credit union reported their LTD experience had been valuable, but not game-changing. Then they started their annual planning process and discovered their team members were all using the lexicon they’d learned through LTD. Even more importantly, they were using these key words in the same way, to mean the same things, rather than as tools to mask disagreements and frame a false consensus.

Their planning session moved more smoothly and effectively than ever before, producing plans that were both longer-term in perspective and more immediately actionable than previous plans had been. In fact, they experienced such significant improvements that they sent another team of managers through the program this year. They also hired a Callahan consultant to facilitate their Board planning session to share LTD insights and coach the Board members in using the LTD language and framework.

Along with the planning process, several Callahan clients have used the Jobs To Be Done concept first introduced in Disruptive Strategy’s second module and then woven throughout the rest of the course to reframe their product development process. Jobs To Be Done forces credit unions to look through the eyes of their member-owners as they think through the products and services they offer. It’s not enough to match the bank down the street because, like all for-profit companies, banks sell what they have. Members choose credit unions based on their personal wants and desires and what they need to do the jobs in their lives.

Multiple Callahan clients are using the principles of Jobs To Be Done to rework their entire product set. In several cases, this approach has led the credit unions to put improving the financial health of our members as their foremost objective. Others have employed Jobs To Be Done principles in specific product development projects, such as credit card features designed to deliver rewards and functionality that really matter to their membership. Other projects include the development of consolidation loans designed to help people get out from under debilitating debt, and the redesign of pre-approved auto loans to deliver the same ease of use as in-dealer financing.

Another success benchmark: all of our early clients have reported that they continue to use the LTD framework a year or more after completing the course. The reasons vary, of course, but all participants appreciate the power of having everyone in their organization using the same key words for the same critical purposes with exactly the same definitions. It appears that the value of this common language cannot be overstated.

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