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    Three lessons credit unions can take away from Super Bowl LIV

    February 03, 2020

    On Sunday night, the Kansas City Chiefs were crowned the Super Bowl champions after their defeat of the San Francisco 49ers. In what was a comeback victory for the Chiefs, there are many lessons from the NFL’s biggest game that can be applied to our world in financial services.

    1. The importance of sticking to and executing your strategy – despite challenges

    While the San Francisco 49ers were holding on to a 10-point lead with just over six minutes left in the final quarter of the game, the Kansas City Chiefs knew they were running out of chances. They had not been able to get the ball to their lightning quick athletes, which had limited their success. This changed when on a big play, they got the ball to one of their fastest players, Tyreek Hill, who gave the Chiefs life and helped them reduce the 49ers lead to three. All along they knew their strategy was to use their superior speed to find weaknesses in the 49ers defense, but, they had not been able to execute.


    Working in financial services, do you ever find yourself in a similar place, knowing what your strategy is to be more successful, but struggling to execute on fulfilling that plan? Whether it’s to transform digitally, connect with your members more effectively or to promote the great value you provide to your members, execution is often the greatest struggle. The Chiefs displayed how important it is to stick to your strengths, rely on your key partners and persevere through all challenges, even through high levels of frustration.

    1. Time is a valuable resource, especially in hindsight

    The Chiefs had the ball with under two minutes left in the second quarter in a 10-10 game, when they were forced to punt the ball back to the 49ers. Having three timeouts left, the 49ers could have used their timeouts, and used their time to take a lead over the Chiefs going into halftime, but instead, they let the clock run…and run…and run. Eventually, the 49ers were unable to score before halftime, and the half ended tied at 10.


    As a credit union leader, you can relate to how important it is to move at a quick, but appropriate pace when it comes to adopting technologies. A slow approach to digital adoption could leave you missing on lots of opportunities, like the 49ers experienced. Every day, we witness the evolution of new technologies, or the commoditization of technologies that were recently seen as brand new. So, whether trying to gain a lead before halftime, or lead the competition through better technology solutions and digital experiences, it’s important to make sure you’re always moving at a fast enough pace to have a leg up.

    1. Don’t take success for granted

    Many people had the San Francisco 49ers pegged as the winners of this game with just over six minutes to play. It was looking good. The 49ers, a team many experts thought would not be a competitive team this year were less than seven minutes away from winning the biggest game of them all. All they had to do was closeout their victory. That changed when the aggressive, unique 49ers play-calling became bland and predictable. The way they viewed the game had suddenly changed from a desire to win, to an attitude as if they had already sealed the victory.


    The lesson of not taking success for granted – or a victory for granted in the 49ers case – can directly be applied to financial services. With the rise of challenger banks and bigtech, to name a few emerging competitors to the Canadian financial services space, credit unions can’t take success of any kind for granted.


    Credit unions investing in building a strong team, making sure they know their members better than ever before, offering the best experiences possible whether in branch or digitally and ensuring their data is secure, are some of the key pieces that can ensure success into the future, despite the threats from surrounding competition.

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