Growth for Growth’s Sake! - Blog

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Growth for Growth’s Sake!

Dare I say it, dare we try it, dare, dare, dare – I triple dare you to take this advice!

Growth for Growth’s Sake is what every Credit Union should be seeking!!!

Set a goal to double your size in 5 (14.4% per annum growth) or 6 years (12%)

Key Findings – Exponential growth strategies create a center of gravity for success.

Adopting this strategic position will change everything your credit union does and will build the foundation of a learning/innovative culture, financial strength, and extraordinary performance. If enough credit unions believe in and invest in real growth we can evolve the industry into the dominant retail provider of financial services in the US.

Key Finding – create a center of gravity, a strategic target that you relentlessly pursue in order to drive performance and success!

Don’t say we can’t, we shouldn’t or that’s not who we are. YES, WE CAN! We can prove it!

Every company seeks to grow and dominate – why should credit unions shun away from this basic business principal and allow banks and FinTech’s to grab market share?

If you want to know why credit unions cannot significantly increase their total market share, look no further – we don’t pursue an aggressive growth strategy that would lead to market dominance.

In the CU world, we often say growth is risky. In actuality, not growing is risky. Ask any CU whose SEG has gone away and has no options to grow. They’ll say they struggle every day to be relevant. Some say taking risks causes credit unions to fail but risks are part of doing business  – failure is caused by bad management, no growth or horrific economic conditions. Others say they can’t keep their capital high enough if they aggressively grow but if Navy can grow at double digits (12%) so can you! Some insist that growth isn’t what their current members want or see as a priority. All they want is a great member value proposition and more options - which are created by growth!

Key Findings – Growth serves the membership by motivating the CU to constantly improve services.

Want another stunning fact? Our primary competitors stink. Their service is bad and their rates are worse than ours!

Key Finding – primary competitors can be beaten.

I speak at meetings about how CUs can exponentially grow and inevitably the response is that it might have been true for Bethpage FCU with their 13.6% annualized growth over 20 years but it isn’t for us. Growth for Growth’s sake is bad, blah, blah, blah.

Frankly, there is nothing unique about Bethpage except its talented team, board alignment and aggressive, member-first strategy, all of which has been duplicated by other great Cus and it can be done by yours. Look at BECU, First Tech, Suncoast and many others. Each CU reading this blog can reach these heights with the right plan, consistently applied.

I’ll leave you with this. What competitive, for-profit firm ever said that growth for growth’s sake is bad? Are they all wrong, risky or foolish? Aren’t CUs as good as (yes, better than) any bank? Don’t we have substantial advantages (no taxes, no stockholders)?

Credit Unions, when at their best, are cooperative institutions run as aggressive, smart retail businesses who never abandon their member ownership and deliver on that brand promise by being extraordinary performance and growth companies.

Key Finding – CUs have to operate as both a cooperative institution and an aggressive business to be successful! Growth is the driver of the latter.

The next blog will be about the how – look for it next week!!

About the Author

Kirk Kordeleski

Kirk Kordeleski

Chief Strategy Officer

Best Innovation Group

Strategy & Growth, Digital Transformation, Lending, Payments


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