A Plan for Everything

CUES managing editor and publisher Theresa Witham
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

2 minutes

From the editor

I like to plan. Every Friday I look at my digital calendar and jot down all the meetings for the next week on my physical calendar. I also note the main tasks I want to accomplish that week in the margins of the calendar. 

I like working on strategic plans, editorial plans and backup plans. Backup planning is actually one of my favorite ways to plan. Thanks to a generalized anxiety disorder, I am already thinking about worst-case scenarios all the time (especially in the middle of the night!). Planning ahead for all possible outcomes is key to keeping my anxiety in check (along with talking to my doctor about an appropriate treatment plan). This goes for work (What’s the plan if one of our writers gets COVID-19 and can’t complete their assignment?) and life (What’s the plan if I get COVID-19 and need to self-isolate in my small house, away from my family?) Last year, I made plans for both scenarios. Was it wasted time and energy because I haven’t had to implement either plan? I don’t think so. Doing what I need to do for better sleep is never time wasted and my careful plans may come in handy down the road.

An important part of planning is debriefing. Asking, “What went wrong?” “What could we improve?” and “What worked well?” will make your next plan even better. This process is especially important for business continuity plans. That is why the time is now for you to reflect on the lessons of COVID-19, whether you’re planning for the next pandemic or this summer’s severe weather. Read more in “Plan Now for the Next Disaster.”

One thing the pandemic reinforced for credit unions is that fraudsters are always going to take advantage of chaos and confusion when they can. In “COVID-19 Feeds Fraudsters” in our special report on security, risk and fraud, contributing writer Glenn Harrison reports that identity theft reports doubled in 2020 over 2019. Industry experts share insights into the types of fraud that have increased over the past year and steps that credit unions can take to fight back.

I’d also like to call your attention to an online article in the March issue of our digital-only Advancing Women publication. In “From Adversity to Resilience,” credit union consultant Bryn Conway explores how individuals and organizations turn setbacks into growth. She writes about PTG, or post-traumatic growth: “Research on adversity and resiliency shows that when looking at a general population of people who have lived through trauma, a full three-quarters of the individuals will emerge more resilient, demonstrating aspects of post-traumatic growth.” 

I’ve written about organizational resilience. Now read about individual resilience. I’d love to hear how you practice resilience in your professional life. Email  cues icon

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