Tag Archive for credit union movement

Credit Unions and Cain’s Wife

The following is a snippet from an article of mine running over at CUInsight today. Check it out:

“Where’d Cain get his wife? It’s a question that’s plagued religious skeptics and believers alike—at least the curious ones—for centuries.

Some argue that…well, how shall we say…Cain didn’t have many potential mates outside folks he was related to. So…um…”

You’ll have to head over to CUInsight to check out the rest! Cheers!

The Need to be Compelled

Many of you have been there. For many, there is a turning point in your professional lives; a point where you went from credit union (or insert your employer here) employee to passionate credit union advocate. My questions are as follows:

How did this happen?

What reasons or ideas did you find most compelling?

As I’ve been in contact with various credit union folks around the country, I’ve found that a lot of credit unions (and other types of businesses as well) have the same dilemma. They have scores, hundreds even, of employees who are just there. They’re there, they’re doing their jobs, they’re punching the clock; but they’re not really engaged and passionate about their position, their own credit union, or the credit union movement as a whole.

What can we do about it? What will you do about it?

Size Does Matter: More from the Water Cooler

Ed Brett, of British Columbia’s Westminster Savings Credit Union, spoke recently at the Credit Union Water Cooler Symposium (CUWCS) in Fishers, IN. I found myself wanting to stand and applaud much of what he said, though in the interest of being transparent, I had that impulse multiple times during the CUWCS. Ed’s argument is one I’ve made myself in regards to the credit union world at large, and even to my own credit union. For being relatively small, a lot of credit unions seem to conduct business as if they’re very large, cumbersome organizations; and I’m not entirely sure why that is. It’s likely a function of several different factors, but suffice it to say that when those factors come together, it’s like a perfect storm.

In high school, the varsity basketball team I played on didn’t have a ton of height. What we did have, however, was a tremendous amount of talent at the guard positions, and almost everyone on the team was at least fairly fast and quick. So what did we do? We played run-and-gun, press-for-four-quarters, adjust-on-the-fly basketball. We used what many teams would have seen as a disadvantage as an advantage. As credit unions, it’s imperative that we do the same.

If you think about it, as the business world (and the world at large, for that matter) continues to speed up, it would seem that as credit unions, we have an advantage over larger financial institutions in that we can adjust more quickly to the ever-changing financial and economic environment. If we ignore this advantage, we do so to our own detriment.

Credit unions should be ahead of the curve in regards to utilizing technology to improve members’ banking experiences. We should be ahead of the curve in regards to embracing and cultivating healthy, unique organizational cultures. The time it takes for a product or service to go from inception to implementation should be far less for credit unions than larger financial institutions. Credit Unions should be able to provide a much higher level of products and services that are customized to their individual memberships. Credit unions’ training and development departments should be able to drop and deploy quickly with progressive, innovative development initiatives.

So why do we see the opposite as often as we do? Why do we see credit unions that have a difficult time embracing and driving change? Why don’t we see more credit unions taking advantage of their size in such a way that allows them to be agile, nimble competitors in the financial services market?