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Agnes Finley

The 50,000-Foot Perspective

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I found this section interesting because it talked about keeping your organization on course to arrive at its desired destination.  I think as a manager I understand the "landscape" of the credit union but I have often felt and expressed that we need to come up with more ways to engage our employees.  I feel that operations would be more productive and expansive if our employees understand the "big" picture and share our vision for the future of our organization.  Each one of them needs to know how they fit into the success and growth of our credit union.

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I just finished reading this section and it really put things into perspective for me. As we move up into an organization we have to think more about the whole organization instead of compartmentalizing. I noticed myself doing this as I became more comfortable in my position as a senior manager. I think it not only comes with moving up but also with professional maturity. 

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This section helped me take a step back and look at how the decisions I make and the board makes effects so much at the credit union and how much it effects our wonderful members.

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This section made me take a good look at our staffs interaction with the members. What could set us apart from everyone else? I think we all get comfortable in our departments and forget the full picture.  Who we are and why we are there.

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Most of my professional experience comes from my tenure with a large CU. Having moved into a new role within a small one-branch CU, there is a huge difference in the interplay of the departments. I see now how critical it is to have "buy-in" and engagement with every individual of my team as a leader. We all wear so many hats and rely on each other heavily for our overall success. I have been on quite the learning curve over the past year that I have made this move, however I am thankful for the experience. I feel as if the 50,000 ft. perspective is easier to see in my case. It is easier to spot the "breaks" in the system or areas of concern. I suppose it might get a little harder to keep this perspective the larger the organization you become. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

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Dave,  I completely agree with your perspective of the easier ability to see the 50,000 foot perspective within a small organization. In a large CU I feel that employees tend to develop blinders to operations outside their department and sometimes even their own office. I feel that once these “blinders” are developed, the 50,000-foot viewpoint of the organization is clouded by the day-to-day tasks and it’s hard to reestablish their understanding of the whole team.  With that said, it just as easy to cloud the 50,000 foot perspective within small CU due to the overwhelmingly amount of “hats” we are required to wear each day. 

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I definitely agree with Dave & Cody. It's amazing how many hats we can wear in a small institution vs a larger credit union with different departments and resources. In my experience after working in both environments, even when I am always super busy I prefer the knowledge I gain working in a small office and wearing lot of hats.

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This was an interesting concept and I think the best way to accomplish seeing the whole picture is through board and staff meetings. We are a small credit union with 2 employees counting myself so we have unofficial staff meetings all the time so both of our opinions are heard and considered. The board meetings is where even more input and opinions are heard and it's a great place to brainstorm. I can relate to Juan's comment. With only 2 employees we definetely both wear a lot of hats.  

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