The key to future-proofing an organization lies in how leaders are identified and developed. Many organizations now see a demand for forward-looking leaders with the capability to handle ambiguity, adapt in the face of rapid change and steer the ship in an increasingly technology-driven world. The traditional crutch of going out and acquiring external candidates is still useful for shoring up areas where an organization is weak, but developing leaders from within paves the road to organizational resilience.
Investing in human capital is the first step towards resilience. Yet, many credit unions are questioning how much time or money they should dedicate to human capital, or where to invest it. Others are too reliant on self-service online courses, distracted by regulatory line items or perhaps too focused on their credit union’s financial outlook. Regardless of these factors, organizations need to provide a foundation of support that empowers and develops leaders if they want to succeed.
Successful leadership means developing leaders who can act confidently despite rapidly changing technologies, culture and expectations — both externally and internally. Credit unions need to ensure their boards understand that education and succession are long-term investments without immediate return. Organizations should take great efforts to identify the biggest gaps in their current leadership development: what competencies are missing and needed.
Finally, credit unions should consider utilizing business partners for help in creating career paths and building a foundation for executive positions and growth. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the cooperative spirit and reach out to other credit unions who are working on the very same initiative!