Embracing the credit union difference: A closer look at where it shines

There has been a lot of conversation lately about the credit union difference, with some arguing that what we as credit unions hang our hat on, doesn’t stand out much from other mainstream financial institutions. I refuse to agree with this rising chorus. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a credit union enthusiast (geek). […]

The Credit Union Difference: Good, better and best

I’ve spent my thirty-eight-year credit union career articulating the Credit Union Difference. Whether through marketing communication as a past VP of Marketing or knocking on doors as a VP of Business Development, community development evangelist, writer or speaker, volunteer “hike the hill” political advocate or as a consultant pointing the way on how credit unions […]

Purposely pivot and prosper

Seeing smaller credit unions merge frustrates me. I believe a majority of mergers could be avoided if credit union leadership had decided to strategically pivot at the right time. Of course, there are mergers that happen because of succession challenges. And unfortunately, I feel there are too many mergers used as a retirement strategy (bad […]

Credit unions and the aggregation of marginal gains

As a strategic planning consultant, I’m always proselytizing the pursuit and achievement of a big vision and goals. I am a believer that we are capable, individually, collectively and as organizations, of doing hard things and achieving big audacious goals. I see it happen all the time. It’s essential to have a clear and robust […]

Small credit union lenders – kicking ass and taking names

According to CUNA Mutual’s Credit Union Trends Report – December 2021, credit union consumer loan growth peaked at 10.5 percent in 2016. It has decreased annually since then, reaching 5.9 percent in 2021. Drilling down a bit further, the chart below reflects the loan growth challenges smaller credit unions have faced during the past two […]

Being a credit union of substance

I recently had a wonderful conversation with a friend about people we know who are of real substance – those people in our life who we admire and who have made a big difference in the lives of those around them. These people bring more than a set of ideas; they also have the character, […]

CDFI credit union rising

The unprecedented pandemic related stimulus money that has been approved for the CDFI Fund has created a historic response from credit unions. Existing CDFI credit unions are stretching to expand their community development and outreach programs. Many more low-income designated credit unions are pursuing CDFI certifications in pursuit of greater community outcomes and of course […]

Credit unions, small businesses and missed opportunities

Having just spent a year on the road (virtually) facilitating strategic planning sessions for dozens of credit unions – I can share that nearly all have two areas of high strategic focus through the next two years: Profitable (organic) loan growth and enhancing their end-to-end remote lending processes.   There are several driving forces behind these […]

This planning season, think long and act short

This planning season, think long and act short

Many of our well-laid-out action plans for 2020 and beyond have been derailed, deconstructed, or delayed. Credit union leaders are experiencing big career-defining moments and, in many ways, some of us are in crisis management mode. Credit union leaders can’t escape crises. While we can’t always avoid them, we can lead our teams through them, […]

The Single Must-have Attribute of a Successful Team

Sometimes it feels odd to contemplate the lack of trust that exists in the credit union space. Pre-hire criminal background checks, credit checks, references, and the required insurance bonding – one might assume anyone who could pass these “trust” tests would naturally add to an abundance of trust. But there are different dimensions of trustworthiness. […]

Is Your Brand a Line in the Sand?

Your CU Partner

Your brand consists of the perceptions and images that represent your credit union. Many credit union leaders think of their brand only as a logo or tagline, but a meaningful brand is so much more. Your brand is the promise of what you’ll deliver, your members’ experience, and most importantly, what your organization stands for. […]

The Top 3 Direct Loan Growth Strategies for 2018

Your CU Partner

The 2017 strategic planning season is ending. During the year, we facilitated dozens of strategic-planning sessions with credit unions of all shapes and sizes: small and large, rural and urban, community and single-sponsor charters. We were exposed to a wide range of unique credit union opportunities and challenges. We also took note of several reoccurring […]