Ten Things That Deserve Extra Thought in 2020

two executives working together thoughtfully
c. myers corporation

4 minutes

While you have many opportunities and threats on your radar, here are some worth focusing on.

As we get ready to turn the page on 2019, there is plenty to think about. Not only is 2020 an election year, but the economy is sending mixed signals, painting a backdrop of uncertainty. Of course, you have more than 10 things on your radar, but among all the opportunities and threats nipping at your heels, these deserve a little additional thought:

1. Maximizing Strategic Progress

True progress toward desired strategy is not guaranteed by doing lots of projects. If the strategy is not being realized, the implementation structure may be lacking key pieces. Work on building practices and processes focused on consistently choosing the right things to do—and not do—and getting them done well.  

2. Business Model Optimization

More organizations are digging deeper to understand their business models, searching for ways to fine-tune resource usage and maximize the value they bring. Through understanding the profitability of different business lines and different types of customers, shifting the mix or cost structure, sometimes in subtle ways, can dial up the success of the business model.

3. 24/7 Access, Answers and Actions 

Many organizations are now considering or implementing chatbots to handle some customer inquiries 24/7. Chatbots are commonly justified as a cost-reducing technology, which is definitely a plus, but a main decision driver should be improving the experience. Consider what your target market values—and doesn’t—to help you choose appropriately.

4. The Movement of Money

There has been a lot of talk about how the United States is far behind Europe in real-time payments. Many financial institutions have not chosen to wade into it yet but thinking through what is involved ahead of time will help prepare for the inevitable as demand heats up. Consider such questions as how liquidity management will need to change, what in-house expertise is required, how 24/7 operational support will be handled, how to market the new capabilities, the effect on the bottom line, and the assessment of risks that come from the instant transfer of funds. 

5. Faster and More Interesting

Regularly examining processes with a critical eye, especially the often-repeated ones, can help keep pace with changing customer expectations while building efficiencies. Some organizations are also taking advantage of robotic process automation, to help streamline processes. RPA automates repetitive activities typically done by humans without having to make major changes to existing systems. It can be an affordable way to off-load boring tasks from humans, reduce errors and create efficiencies at the same time.

6. Fueling Your Economic Engines

Deposits are the fuel for your lending engine, so it’s important to strategize for both the short and long term. Consider what could happen to cost of funds in 2020 even if rates don’t change.  It’s possible that COF will increase as competition for funds continues to tighten, putting upward pressure on non-maturity deposit rates and the need for higher rate CD specials and borrowing.  For the longer term, as challengers are capturing market share, think through how your deposit products and apps could be made more engaging for your target market.

7. Answers On Demand

Significant effort is being expended on building data warehouses and implementing tools for data analytics. If the goal is to deliver better experiences based on more complete information, organizations also need to build skills in asking the right questions and drawing good insights from the answers. This is not only the purview of a few analysts; it represents a mindset shift for everyone who needs information.  

8. Strategic People Planning

We all know that the right people should be in the right seats on the bus, but more time needs to be spent on deciding what the right seats will be on the bus of the future. One area that continues to expand and change dramatically is information technology. Try creating a clear vision of the positions and structure that will be required in five years. This can help the organization be better prepared for the future, even as it competes against major tech companies for talent.  

9. Be a Talent Magnet

You already know that recruiting, developing and retaining any talent is tough, but millennials seem to view employment in ways that are fundamentally different from previous generations.  Rather than dismissing their differences, try test-driving ideas for satisfying this group’s desire for things like more flexible hours and working conditions. 

10. Care and Feeding of the Culture

Growing organizations often struggle to maintain their desired cultures. The important thing is to recognize when it’s going off track and take action. Shifting a culture takes time, so resist the urge to put off addressing it in the hopes that it will take care of itself.

c. myers corporation has partnered with credit unions since 1991. The company’s philosophy is based on helping clients ask the right, and often tough, questions in order to create a solid foundation that links strategy and desired financial performance. c myers has the experience of working with over 550 credit unions, including 50 percent of those over $1 billion in assets and about 25 percent over $100 million. They help credit unions think to differentiate and drive better decisions through real-time ALM decision informationCECL consultingfinancial forecasting and consultingliquidity servicesstrategic planningstrategic leadership developmentprocess improvement, and project management.


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