4 ways to increase the speed of innovation at credit unions

When it comes to innovation, most leaders think of creative ideas and cutting-edge technologies. But what about speed? The pace of innovation is just as important as the ideas themselves, especially in the competitive financial industry. Credit unions that want to stay ahead of the curve need to prioritize their speed of innovation.

Why is speed so important? For one thing, the financial landscape is constantly evolving. New technologies, changing regulations, and shifting consumer expectations all demand rapid adaptation. Credit unions that can’t keep up risk falling behind.

But a credit union’s speed isn’t just about reacting to change and seizing new opportunities, it’s also about assessing their existing products and services. Sometimes, it may mean identifying what’s not working and determining what changes are needed to improve the member experience. It’s about being willing to acknowledge that while a particular product or service may be good, it may not be good enough. By constantly evaluating and refining their offerings, credit unions can ensure that they are delivering maximum value to their members and staying ahead of the competition.

In essence, speed in innovation requires a commitment to continuous improvement and a willingness to push the boundaries of what is possible.

So how can credit union leaders increase their speed of innovation? Here are a few key strategies to consider:

  1. Raise your standards for decision-making. To move quickly, credit unions must have a clear understanding of their goals and make decisive, data-driven decisions. This means setting high standards for decision-making and constantly reevaluating processes to ensure that you’re measuring outcomes, not just outputs.
  2. Protect your work from zombies. It’s easy for credit unions to get bogged down in legacy systems and processes that no longer serve them. To increase speed, credit unions must be willing to kill off zombie projects that consume resources without delivering value. This requires a commitment to ongoing re-evaluation.
  3. Learn from your successes. To maintain momentum, credit unions must both celebrate and learn from their successes. This means taking the time to reflect on what’s working well and what could be improved, even when projects meet expectations. This not only saves time by avoiding repeating past mistakes but also allows credit unions to build upon successful strategies.
  4. Become obsessed with blindspots. In today’s complex and rapidly changing financial environment, it’s easy for credit unions to miss important trends and opportunities. To increase speed, credit unions must become obsessed with identifying and addressing their blindspots. This requires a commitment to ongoing education and a willingness to listen to feedback from members and employees.

I’ll be diving deeper into each one of these topics at my MiniCon presentation and hopefully provide you with actionable tools to implement each strategy. 

Embracing these tactics can help credit unions significantly increase their speed of innovation and hopefully help them strike a balance between speed and purpose. By being nimble and responsive to change while also staying true to their core values and mission, credit unions can position themselves for long-term success and continue to make a meaningful impact on the communities they serve.

Publisher’s Note: You can hear more from Diana at Mini-Con Series: LEAD, this Wednesday, March 15 at 1 pm EDT. Register yourself and your credit union to watch the event live or later on demand.

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