Westover Strategy, Inc.

Grow Financial Federal Credit Union

Strategic Initiatives

Challenge

Grow Financial Federal Credit Union (Grow) with assets of $2.8 billion, was founded in 1955 and is one of the top credit unions in the Tampa Bay, Florida area. Grow’s senior team developed a one-page, three-year Strategy Map with Susan Byrd to align around strategic priorities for the next 3 years. A Strategy Map is a one-page document that gives clear, concise information on an organization’s purpose, direction, guiding principles, strategy, objectives, and measures for the next 3 years.

While discussing next steps, Susan recommended that, since the Strategy Map is a high-level document, each objective should be broken down into 2 - 3 strategic initiatives. This pragmatic approach is designed to help accomplish the objectives. Based on the rapport and trust developed with Susan while creating the Strategy Map, CEO Thomas Feindt engaged her to collaborate with the senior team on the initiatives.

Approach

Susan advised appointing a senior team executive owner for each of the map objectives. Their responsibilities would be to design and oversee the work to achieve the objectives, including selecting and managing initiative teams. As part of the process, goals, measures, timeframes, milestones, targets, dependencies, and risks would be documented for each initiative.

Susan and Chief of Staff Laurie Holloway would meet with each executive owner to review and modify their draft initiatives and discuss resource requirements. Once completed, the senior team would meet to review the initiatives, understand the range of work, address gaps or overlaps, and identify cross-functional collaboration opportunities. This would position the team to launch the initiatives, according to the sequence already established for the underlying objectives.

Results

All initiatives are well defined and confirmed by the senior team. Goals and sequencing are clear for the initiatives, so that each Executive Owner understands the timetable and expectations. The senior team is confident about the strategic direction and process and appreciates the clarity on individual and team responsibility and accountability.

Laurie and Susan advise Executive Owners, as needed, as the initiatives proceed. Progress on the initiatives is an important component of Laurie’s quarterly updates on the Strategy Map objectives. Transparent ongoing communication with all Grow team members continues, in order to promote engagement and alignment. Excitement across Grow is palpable, as well as a sense of momentum.

“In working with a diverse management team with 13 discrete objectives to drive our strategy over the next 3 years, Susan’s experience and operational focus enabled her to coach us both collectively and individually to drive an executable plan with clear accountabilities and metrics. This step in the process was crucial in making a well-conceived strategy document into an operational blueprint for success.”
Dodge McFallChief Lending OfficerGrow
"Industry expertise and the ability to relate to people and processes are critical skills in the development of a Strategy Map. Susan Byrd possesses those skills. She was the driving force behind the alignment of a varied group of stakeholders that sought to build a collective vision for their organization that would benefit its members, employees, and board of directors. The resultant Strategy Map is progressive, sound, and specific enough to guide with focus and purpose. Once completed, it immediately revealed an ease with which annual work plans and prioritization of projects would occur since so much of that work was built into the Strategy Map. Susan’s ability to relate to and engage all members of our team allowed us to quickly identify and align our goals toward a common purpose. She was the catalyst for clarity as we move the credit union forward.”
Dierdre WhiteChief Legal OfficerGrow Financial Federal Credit Union
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