Four signs you’re ready to make a change

Four signs you’re ready to make a change

I recently had a lively conversation with a credit union friend about missed professional/workplace opportunities due to fear or resistance to change. We each detailed experience we’ve had and what we learned from them. It also included situations we frequently see among our credit union colleagues. Common and reoccurring themes that emerged from our conversation […]

When “good enough” becomes obsolete

When ‘good enough’ becomes obsolete

Cybersecurity and fraud are strategic considerations for all credit unions. These strategic conversations range from what I consider the baseline – compliance with FFIEC’s Cybersecurity Assessment Tool – to planning ahead and making timely investments in the next generation of fraud detection with prevention platform such as CrossCore,™ the first smart, open, plug-and-play platform for fraud and […]

Strategic planning, the race against time

Strategic planning, and the race against time

Strategic planning season is underway, which means more of us are immersed in research, evaluation of data, and best practices to make sure our teams have the depth and breadth of relevant knowledge needed to chart our future and shape a successful strategic plan. As we prepare for and facilitate so many strategic planning sessions, […]

The Problem with a “cradle to grave” value proposition

The problem with a ‘cradle-to-grave’ value proposition

I still hear it a lot: credit unions that profess a “cradle-to-grave” or “one-stop shop” value proposition. I’m not opposed to credit unions trying to offer as much to their members as possible – as long as they have the scale to profitably offer a superior product. One of the biggest challenges I see can […]

A virtuous growth cycle for credit unions

A Virtuous Growth Cycle for credit unions

There are a lot of hot topics in the credit union space today, including three that are near (and dear) to my heart: serving the underserved, loan growth, and the ability to attract and leverage secondary capital. When these three things come together, amazing things happen – both to the individuals and communities credit unions […]

Credit unions and the ultimate category killer

Credit unions and the ultimate category killer

Wikipedia defines a category killer as a product, service, brand, or company that has such a distinct, sustainable competitive advantage that competing firms find it almost impossible to operate profitably in that industry (or in the same local area). Category killers are large companies that put less-efficient and highly specialized merchants out of business. One of the best examples of a category killer is Walmart; the […]

It’s time to kick ass!

It’s time to kick ass!

Recently, I had the opportunity of spending several days with the remarkable people at a Large Community Credit Union. The purpose of my visit was to identify sustainable opportunities for expanding its outreach of products and services to a large and growing low-income population. To accomplish the task, I reviewed all aspects of the credit […]

Millennials Want Convenient Access to…. Products and Services We Don’t Have?

Millennials Want Convenient Access to…Products and Services We Don’t Have

It’s nearly impossible these days to attend a credit union conference or read a trade publication without hearing about the urgent need for credit unions to attract and retain Millennials. It’s a hot and important topic because, truly, they are our future. By now, most of us would agree that Millennials want convenience and technology. […]

Incubating Tomorrows Qualified Member

Incubating Tomorrow’s Qualified Member

The pursuit of new members and borrowers is a never-ending process, and the consistent attraction of new members and loans are essential to a credit union’s survival. There are many growth strategies these days, ranging from complex indirect-dealer programs to simple member-referral programs. Hyper-competitive markets, falling loan-to-share ratios, and flat membership growth trends have credit […]

The Year of the Low Income Designated Credit Union

The Year Of The Low-Income Designated Credit Union

As the year draws to a close, I want to take a moment to share the reasons why I think 2013 will be the year of the low-income designated credit union: Consumers need credit unions now more than ever Squeezed by the rising cost of living, a record number of Americans – nearly one in […]

Seven Common (But Frequently Overlooked Obstacles to Credit Union Selling

Seven Common (But Frequently Overlooked) Obstacles to Credit Union Selling

During my time working in credit unions and while on the road, I’ve had the chance to observe –among other things – the way credit unions often unintentionally undermine their selling culture and create unnecessary obstacles on their paths to success. In no particular order, here are seven common obstacles and how to neutralize them: […]

Accountability: Building a Sales and Service Culture One Employee at a Time

The pursuit of high-performing sales associates and outstanding member service representatives continues to intensify, as consumer demand remains low and competition high. For many credit unions, a low-rate, a cash reward, or the ever-present “steal-a-loan” program are the strategies of the day; however, these are reactive, short-term strategies that aren’t working out well for more […]