Industry Expert, Jeff Rendel, Weighs in on the Importance of Communication, Buy-in, and a Strategic Plan

The Strategic Link partner urges credit unions to embrace and navigate change to ensure future success.

2/11/2020

Jeff Rendel

As competition in the financial sector increases and fintech improves, credit union leaders know the value of staying on top of the trends while staying true to the Credit Union Movement’s mission.

It’s a delicate balance of competition, compliance, and member trust, so credit unions understand the importance of partnering with industry experts to help them produce the best results for their institutions and, in turn, their members.

That’s why Anthem recently sat down with Strategic Link partner, Jeff Rendel, President  of Rising Above Enterprises, for an in-depth look at what credit unions can focus on in the near- and long-term for positive results, continued growth, and success at every level of the business.

Q. What’s the single most important message you want to tell to credit union leaders?

A. Be uncomfortable when you don’t observe change happening in your credit union. Your business model should always be evolving and moving forward at the speed of your members.

Q. In a time of rapid change that affects every industry and consumer, how can credit unions adapt and overcome obstacles?

A. Communicating the business reason for any change at every professional level within the credit union is of most value. When all your employees understand their roles in the change — and how the credit union gets better with that change — then you obtain greater levels of buy-in.

Q. You’ve said that in order for credit unions to grow successfully, they must be strategic. What is one tip you can offer credit unions for strategic growth?

A. Every credit union is different, but a “focus and finish” philosophy must be a part of every strategic plan. It’s easy to get lost in what we should be doing versus what must be done. As credit unions prioritize their strategic necessities and commit to execution, they increase their odds for success.

Q. Credit union leaders are on the frontlines of trying to please both their board of directors and their members. How do you work with CEOs and their boards to ensure that a credit union is strong and offering its members the best value?

A. If a credit union is pleasing its members — measured by sustainable growth, new loans, new deposits, new products, deeper relationships, high Net Promoter Scores, relevant technology, etc. — then the board should be delighted. The board is, first and foremost, the voice of the members.

Q. Can you give an example of a credit union you’ve worked with that has benefited from your services?

A. We worked with a Michigan credit union, increasing its “look-to-book” ratio by 40% after designing a sales-and-service follow-through program for them. We implemented a governance program for a Florida credit union board of directors, helping them to become “ultra-strategic.” And following six months of training we serviced for a Texas credit union’s call center, they experienced what they described as “measured delight.”

Q. What types of programs and services do you offer for credit unions?

A. Sales, service, and strategy are my areas of focus. I deliver through on-site credit union training, off-site strategic planning sessions, and speaking engagements at credit union conferences. I also work closely with credit union business partners, helping their sales professionals better understand strategic and operating issues in the credit union C-suite.

Jeff Rendel is a certified speaking professional and President of Rising Above Enterprises. He works with credit unions that want entrepreneurial results in sales, service, and strategy. To learn more about partnering with him, visit his Strategic Link partner page or contact Jason Smith, Vice President of Strategic Resources, at 208.286.6794.