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Your credit union’s purpose is the “why” behind your organization’s existence. Your purpose has power. It is the aspirational reason your employees show up to work. It is the call to action to serve your members and the community. Organizations that put purpose at the core of strategy do better. A clear purpose creates alignment throughout the organization. Purpose can guide boards, senior leaders and employees alike in decision-making, and your employees want to align with a clear unified organizational mission. Purpose provides impetus that inspires people to do even more.

Every organization has a mission, vision and values statement, and you can think of mission and purpose as synonymous. It is the sentence or two that tells everyone in a simple, clear, distinct, unique and accurate way the point of the organization. Going beyond the mission statement, there is greater strength in thinking of your purpose as even more: It’s more personal to employees, more impactful, more ambitious, more empowering and more enduring. Credit unions do better when the purpose is clear and understood to the extent that it guides strategy. Unfortunately, only a minority of credit unions effectively use their purpose as a strategic driver. The obstacles reside at the top and addressing them start in the C-suite and the board room.

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