Fare Framework – Courses 3 & 4: Economics/Strategy & Putting It All Together

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This week we doubled up on the coursework and completed the first full rounds of the FARE Framework Series. I will say, it has been an amazing experience thus far working with my colleagues to build better communication around financial topics. The questions asked, the commentary around financial operations, and the overall interaction have all added to the course as a whole. Through these initial sessions, I received great feedback on how to improve this course for future audiences.

As in previous blog posts, I want to share with you the key Learning Objectives of the two courses facilitated this week.

Learning Objectives for Course 3: Economics & Strategy:

  1. Participants will be able to understand the interrelationship between the economic theory of supply and demand in any given market
  2. Participants will be able to explain the current state of the Credit Union Industry from an economic perspective
  3. Participants will understand the ideas around market pressures on strategic decision making
  4. Participants will help to identify strategies the Credit Union could utilize to position itself in the market

Learning Objectives for Course 4: Putting It All Together:

  1. Participants will be able to explain basic balance sheet growth strategies and implications growth will have on key financial metrics
  2. Participants will understand the idea of Interest Rate Risk analysis and methodologies which may mitigate or exacerbate interest rate risk
  3. Participants will be able to explain different methodologies of financial analysis utilized in the financial services industry
  4. Participants will learn how to calculate many of the key financial ratios used in the Credit Union Industry

Throughout these last two courses, the members of management who participated were very engaged, especially around ideas related to how the Credit Union Industry is operating today and what the future may hold. In particular, there were broad discussions around how non-financial institutions who are offering financial services are disrupting the industry and discussing ways in which credit unions can help to combat these would-be disrupters.

The focus on the second course was implementing the ideas learned in the previous three courses through financial operations. This included understanding of balance sheet strategies, asset-liability management, and financial metrics. Following this course we had a general feedback session which was very positive. Based on the recommendations provided, the course will be modified to go slightly more in depth in certain key areas which our senior management believes will enhance our employees’ understanding of the credit union financials.

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The key learning point for me from this project was just how empowered financial understanding makes people feel. We, like many organizations, are in the middle of our annual budgeting process, and it seems that many of the key topics in this course help managers better comprehend the moving pieces and how their roles affect strategy and financial performance. I look forward to continuing to develop this course and will be conducting an additional round of sessions in the coming weeks for more of our AVPs and VPs who were unable to make the August sessions.

Learn more about the FARE Framework and my project.

Derek Fuzzell