Is Digital Transformation the Next Coveted Leadership Skill?

Digital transformation is at the top of most credit unions’ strategic plans. In many ways, new and emerging technology is streamlining the banking experience and enabling credit unions to better meet their members’ unique and evolving needs.

Another critical process that remains top of mind is developing the next set of skills credit union leaders need to drive digital transformation at all levels. Lending, operations, and finance still act as the mainstay of must-have skills, but technological and digital proficiency are neck-and-neck in the race for next-level competencies.

As an example, look at how roles have expanded in digital emphasis across your organization. For the Chief Lending Officer, automated underwriting, decision-making, and execution drive lending practices. For the Chief Operating Officer, one-to-one member service is most likely to occur via telephone, chat, or video feed through an offsite contact center. The Chief Marketing Officer is designing targeted, digital, and data-driven promotional campaigns, and the Chief Financial Officer considering automation, streamlining, costs, benefits, and revenue generation as major parts of every initiative.

So, how can credit union professionals develop their digital transformation skillset? Strategic Link partner Jeff Rendel has a few tips:

  • Be curious, confident, and motivated. Make it a point to stay on top of trends, always move operations forward, and focus on delivering new elements of growth for your team and credit union.
  • Learn how data and technology can better assist you in delivering operating, financial, and experiential results. How might you leverage this information to boost sales, service, engagement, and support?
  • Build a future-focused and creative culture by investing in the professional development of your colleagues. Look for webinars, courses, and certifications that emphasize the digital, automated, and business intelligence aspects of operations.
  • Learn from all professionals in the credit union who are delivering outstanding results in serving members and colleagues through digital means. Ensure their voices and ideas are heard at higher levels of leadership. Good practices and proposals from anywhere need the attention of managers with influence and the ability to direct resources.
  • Rotate responsibilities and opportunities for yourself and your team. While digital progress often automates or eliminates tasks, it also creates opportunities for your colleagues to grow professionally through new experiences in new roles. In an evolving industry, being ready and prepared to serve in multiple disciplines increases the value you bring to your credit union and its members.

Technology has moved from the spoke to the hub of all we do and offer. Technological knowledge, savvy, and skills are quickly becoming the new starting point for professional development and value. Invest in these skills, for yourself and your colleagues so your organization can thrive in an evolving business environment.

Jeff Rendel is President of Rising Above Enterprises and a certified speaking professional who works with credit unions that want entrepreneurial results in sales, service, and strategy. To learn more about him, visit his partner page online or contact the Strategic Link team.

Posted in Industry Insight, Strategic Link.