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By: Today's Credit Unions

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October 23rd, 2017

Are Credit Union Managers to Blame When Institutions Fail to Innovate?

Business Growth | Marketing & Sales Strategy | Financial Institution News & Information

You tell us... Are Managers to Blame When Companies Fail to Innovate?

The buck really does stop at the top. Specifically, when the company makes fewer bucks because it isn’t keeping up with the competition, its managers may be the cause. 

That’s what some new research from staffing firm Robert Half suggests.

Robert Half interviewed Chief Financial Officers, who cited too much bureaucracy (30 percent) and being bogged down by daily tasks and putting out fires (27 percent) as the biggest barriers to innovation. 

And we also see these same barriers with credit union's ability to innovate.

These obstacles may also have the potential to hinder hiring efforts. In a separate survey, 87 percent of workers said a company's reputation for being innovative is an important consideration when evaluating potential employers.

"Businesses strive to be innovative but all too often get in their own way due to self-imposed barriers," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "Organizations need to find a way to let ideas rise to the top quickly and create clear paths to implement them."

Added McDonald, "When hiring, companies should position themselves as innovators and reassure applicants that their ideas will be heard and valued. Top candidates want to be associated with forward-thinking, nimble organizations."

DOWNLOAD NOW: How to Create Smart Goals for Credit Union Growth & Innovation

Robert Half offers the following do's and don'ts for managers when it comes to fostering innovation:


· Step away from your usual assignments and set aside time to brainstorm with your team. Host internal events where employees can present creative business solutions to company leadership.

· Remove unnecessary red tape. For example, simplify project requests and approval processes.

· Hire additional staff if heavy workloads are consistently getting in the way of innovation.

· Be patient; new ideas take time to flourish. Make innovation an ongoing focus, and provide your employees the support they need to realize their vision.


· Put creative thinking sessions on the back burner due to a lack of time or the daily grind.

· Restrict idea sharing for meetings. Be accessible and create a collaborative environment where employees can freely offer suggestions.

· Stretch your team so thin their only focus – and measure of accomplishment – comes from crossing items off their to-do lists.

· Place unrealistic expectations on staff. It can take weeks or months to see results, particularly if you don't give them the necessary resources or help with prioritizing tasks.

Of course, finding the time for innovation is difficult in today’s leaned-and stressed-out offices. But sometimes the cost of running too hard to keep up, is falling behind. And credit unions cannot afford to lay back and wait when it come to many changes in the digital banking marketplace. Too often the time for action and innovation is NOW, but CU managers aren't willing to make decisions quickly or take risks on new ideas or tools.

Make sure your financial institution has leaders in place who know the value of forward thinking and are willing to put these beliefs into practice each and every day.

Related Post: Make Sure Your Credit Union Staff Aren't in the Dark About Employee Career Development

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About Today's Credit Unions

Today’s Credit Union is a team of marketing and editorial specialists with deep credit union experience. TCU was created to address the challenge Credit Unions have in making social media marketing really work for them each day. They take no advertising, and have no agenda outside the CU movement. TCU’s only business is serving Credit Unions and their members.

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