Pilot Projects, Learning and Digital Visioning at Major Metropolitan Credit Union (MMCU)
Matthew J. Hill has been a critical component of our organization’s culture transformation efforts for many years. Most recently, he helped us move forward in our journey of digital change by focusing in on operational issues that posed challenges and explored ways that digitization could help us address cumbersome workarounds.Executive from a Major Metropolitan Credit Union
In January 2020, a consulting client we refer to as Major Metropolitan Credit Union (MMCU), had just experienced one of their most successful years. Member satisfaction scores were at an all-time high, financial growth was impressive, and there were plans to open new branches. Then, in just a few short weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and changed everything. This raised the stakes for MMCU’s digital strategy.
MMCU responded well as the pandemic accelerated changes already taking place within its workplace culture. Matthew J. Hill and our partner, Moussa Consulting, had been working on breaking down silos and collaborating across departments to make MMCU more resilient.
The pandemic created an opening for MMCU to better support their members and employees by leveraging digital technologies to gain operational efficiencies.
Creating a learning organization
To support MMCU on their digital transformation journey, we worked collaboratively with the organization to create the right cultural environment for digital change.
We started by conducting research into the barriers and breakthroughs in MMCU’s workplace culture in response to the pandemic. Specifically, we interviewed the leadership, frontline, and back office staff and created a group of “culture journalists” who helped document changing work practices.
Using interviews and on the ground research, we discovered a number of breakthroughs that had important ramifications for MMCU’s digital future.
We discovered that the rapid shift to remote work had not significantly impacted overall productivity. In fact, employees had made some crucial gains. New digital wire transfer processes replaced paper, cloud solutions improved document sharing and storage, and remote work freed employees from long commute times. The Chief Information Security Officer also used the opportunity to accelerate MMCU’s cloud migration plan.
We helped MMCU capture and codify these changes and communicate them to the rest of the organization. We then facilitated a virtual town hall where the culture journalists shared their findings. This enabled MMCU to draw other employees into the energy of the developing digital changes taking place in the workplace, promoting dialogue and reflexivity.
Pilot projects to enact digital change
Our research with MMCU led the leadership to focus its efforts on digital transformation.
Organizations change most effectively when knowledgeable stakeholders take the initiative. We facilitated change by organizing pilot teams focused on leveraging digitization to address key operational challenges.
Pilot team focus areas included streamlining response times to member service requests, enhancing digital collaboration, and improving digital product training.
A senior executive at MMCU shared:
Matthew helped to remove the breakdowns in our member service request system and explored ways to streamline the many systems and applications so that they were easier for our teams to navigate.
Matthew J Hill used a process map to help service request desk managers identify solutions to the most common issues in the member service request system.
Crafting a digital vision
A year into the pandemic, MMCU’s CEO announced, “we need to have a shared vision and digital roadmap.”
We embarked on a round of discovery-driven interviews, encompassing MMCU’s leadership, key board members and visionary consultants. We asked about disruptive technologies that could dramatically alter the financial services landscape and how MMCU might respond to these trends.
Through these in-depth conversations, a salient disruptor emerged, embedded finance—the widespread use of mobile financial transactions outside of the banking sector that are increasingly integrated into everyday routines.
We then facilitated a workshop in which MMCU’s leadership discussed how its business model might morph in response to these trends. It became clear that MMCU needed to continue to evolve its mobile payment and money transfer solutions. They also decided to forge strategic partnerships with financial technology companies (fintechs) to extend their reach in areas like digital onboarding, loan origination and identity verification.
Each of these future directions formed a plank of MMCU’s vision statement.
Following the workshop, we drafted a digital vision statement. The vision statement was a detailed account that told the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of where MMCU was headed and ‘how’ they planned to get there.