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SWBC's LenderHub blog is a one-stop resource for lenders.


Here is Why Your Team/Division/Company is Failing

We've all experienced failure at some point. Not landing that big account; not getting that promotion you wanted; working on a presentation or campaign for months and then realizing it's completely off base. It's totally disappointing, right? But, these bumps in the road are totally survivable. You learn from your mistakes, brush your shoulders off, and get back on the horse. Over time, after the sting of defeat has dissipated, you look back and no longer see these things as failures and begin referring to them as “learning experiences” that helped you grow personally and professionally.

This happy ending is sweet, but it’s not the type of failure this blog post is about.

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Why Product Lifecycles Should Determine How You Allocate Your Money

As a consultant, I was hired by many different companies to do many different things. But, one of the tasks I received most often was to find out if the money being spent on marketing and sales was allocated appropriately to yield the best return. I'd hear questions like:

"Where should I allocate the budget in order to see a profit?"

"Why isn't my investment in sales and marketing working?"

And each time, my response was the same: “Before I can tell you anything, let’s take a look at your product lifecycle.” 

I know people understand concepts better when you use pictures to illustrate what's going on, so I built the chart below to visualize a product lifecycle and to help a company's leadership know when and where to shift spending.

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Why I Use a Rubber Band to Measure Success

A rubber band, you ask? What does a rubber band have to do with measuring success? Well, in my opinion, everything.

Take a moment to absorb this. Pick up a rubber band and stretch it out to its capacity, then (stand clear) let one end of the rubber band go and what happens? It snaps back to its original form and hopefully, you don’t knock your eye out! Don’t we tend to do the same? We have a goal in sight, set out on a plan, complete the actions to achieve success and then WHAM…something happens; a roadblock, a change, a temporary setback, and we let go of the rubber band and fall right back to where we started! So, what did we accomplish? Nothing!

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4 Tips for Being a More Effective Leader

In my last post, I talked about how your employees are the key to your institution's success, and offered up a few ways that can foster an environment of satisfied employees. Today, I want to talk about how effective leadership is another piece of the "successful organization puzzle."

Let's face it, being a great leader is no easy task. Sometimes the day-to-day demands of management and serving customers takes precedent over investing time on team building, employee development, and even proper and thorough training, but I think most true leaders understand the value in carving out time to not only work on their personal leadership skills, but to engage and develop employees. Whether you're a seasoned leader, or brand new to the role, there's never a time like the present to evaluate your leadership style, and consider a few techniques to ensure you are being the kind of effective leader that your employees can look up to and learn from.

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3 Things Every Credit Union Should Know About Benefits Pre-funding

To say that employers have had a difficult task in planning for employee health benefits is an understatement. Between the landmark passage of the Affordable Care Act, the increasing costs of benefits, and the residual effects of a recession, today’s health care spectrum has become riddled with complexities and unprecedented challenges.

Like many other employers, credit unions aren’t immune to these economic concerns, specifically the rising costs of benefits. According to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Education Trust, the average annual premium for employer-provided family health care coverage in 2014 was $16,834, which is about 69% higher than the average of $9,950 from 2004. Not to mention, these increasing costs are being aggravated by another challenge: falling investment returns.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Technology Investment

Investing in technology resources can be a big decision for a lending institution—or any business for that matter. Depending on the type of resource, it can be a large monetary investment, and training and implementation can impact your short-term operations.

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How to Build a Simple, but Telling Competitive Analysis

During my days as an independent consultant, companies most often asked me to help them build their strategic direction. My first question was as reflexive as swatting a mosquito on the back of my neck. “Can I get a copy of your competitive analysis?” That was usually followed by a blank stare.

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Blended Learning: The Evolution of the Classroom

Before the Internet forever changed civilization, the only way to complete a course or receive training was in the classroom—also known as traditional learning.

Over the years, the landscape of learning has dramatically evolved, with technology enabling us to learn anytime, anywhere from a computer or a mobile device. As a result, blended learning programs were born, allowing us to create meaningful, real-world learning processes for all types of learners.

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It’s Never Too Late to Make Resolutions

A little over a month has passed since we rang in the new year and set personal goals to make 2015 the best year yet. So, how are your resolutions going? Good? Bad? Did you even make any? While it’s true that the new year invites new beginnings (and new resolutions), the reality is, you can make a resolution any time of the year. And, they don’t have to be run-of-the-mill resolutions like getting in shape, saving more money, etc., which—let’s face it—are all-too-easy to not accomplish.

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How to Successfully Navigate a Merger or Acquisition

Day after day I read about financial institutions of all sizes merging and acquiring one another. It happens so frequently that it almost seems commonplace—like merging two companies is not that big of a deal anymore. But, from my own experience, I know that's not the case. 

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