Working with credit unions throughout the country I have witnessed common issues with outdated, cumbersome procedures and the WHADITW syndrome. These conditions diminish productivity, create inefficiencies, establish roadblocks to outstanding member service and increase job dissatisfaction among team members.
First, what are outhouse and folklore procedures?
An outhouse procedure occurs when processes are not revised and/or updated to take advantage of new and improved technology and intelligence. Much like installing indoor plumbing but continuing to utilize the outhouse (particularly at night and in sub-freezing temperatures). Failure to enhance – or eliminate – manual procedures reduces the ROI for the technology acquired, creates obstacles for employees and members, limits growth and increases frustration levels. This is magnified by generations of upgrades without corresponding process improvements, forming the “we have always done it this way (WHADITW)” mentality. WHADITW is a killer to innovation, progress and success.
But wait. It gets worse. Credit unions actually pay to have programs created that will interface with new technology acquisitions so the new performs like the old!?! Further eroding ROI and efficiency.
Folklore procedures have different origins but the same outcomes. A folklore procedure was created once upon a time, in the year of the big wind because someone was reprimanded for an immaterial error or a request was made for information. As a result, new reports were created to be ready for future requests, and steps implemented to avoid the silly error (and admonishments from cantankerous managers). I have discovered reports that have been produced monthly for years and never reviewed by anyone. Also, procedures have been uncovered that, in effect, told the members they could not be trusted and therefore they couldn’t receive certain services.
If credit unions want to grow and acquire additional market share, commitment to improvements and transformations are absolutely required. Antiquated and ineffective processes must be abandoned, and new techniques have to be embraced.
Therefore, take the challenge to identify and eliminate outhouse and folklore procedures within your organization. Your team and members will be glad you did.