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Opinions

Younger Members, ‘Scope Creep,’ T-Shirts And So Much More

Think of it as a Growth Spurt. In last week’s issue we featured some of the voluminous amounts of information shared during Credit Union Journals’ Grow Show. In this issue you’ll find coverage of the meeting beginning on page 22. And below you’ll find just a fraction of some of what else was shared at Grow Show:

From Ray Boss, CEO of Midland Community Credit Union in Texas:

* “Young families are our target. Two years ago the average age of our members was 48. Today’s it’s 42, and it’s getting younger.”

* “You want people to buy into what you are, and to do that you need to buy into them. It’s not about advertising anymore, it’s about showing you care.”

* “We give people a second chance when you make a mistake. This is one I think is important.”

* “We had Santa at our main office. If we had Santa at every branch, I think the kids would catch on.”

* “No matter what you do with these kinds of community events, you’ve got to play it to the max. You’ve got to send out the press releases, do the PSAs, mention it on your newsletter and website,” said Boss. “You want to be recognized for your good deeds. You don’t want to be the best-kept secret out there.”

* “We don’t pay attention to member-employee ratio. When members come in they want to see every teller window is staffed.”

From Tom Chandler of PSCU-Financial Services:

* “Admittedly, credit cards and a clunky product. They don’t always fit into what you do. But what you need to understand is what value you can deliver to your members with a credit union.”

* “Credit line management is the easiest thing to fix and it will give you the biggest bump out of the gate. Line assignment really impacts your financials.”

From Brad Ganey of Southwest Corporate:

* “With remote deposit, the niche for credit unions is that small business niche under one-million dollars in revenue.”

* “By 2012 it is estimated there will be five-million remote deposit workstations deployed.”

* “The common thing I hear from credit unions is how good a job we’ll do with this next generation. We pride ourselves on knowing their names. This new generation doesn’t want to come into the branch, so how will we ever get to know their name?”

Caroline Redmann of Heritage CU:

* “The No. 1 thing that sets apart successful organizations is innovation; and credit unions are kind of dog paddling; we’re not going very far and we need to do something different.”

* “When I was named VP of Innovation, I thought, ‘Wow, what the heck do you do? I’m not sure, but I know it varies every day. The illusion is that innovation is doing the really cool stuff all the time. It’s also about doing the me, too stuff.”

* “People are one of the first things you need to look at when you’re talking about innovation. We have a certain type of person we typically like to see, and that is someone who typically does well, doesn’t make mistakes, etc. I propose looking at a different type of employee, someone who is willing to take more risks.”

Scott Moriarty of Virginia CU:

* “When you have a department that says Innovation, it’s guaranteed some will say, ‘We aren’t involved in product development. When you set up a department called Innovation, you worry how will I come up with all these ideas. In reality, you don’t need to worry about that at all, because everyone will send you ideas.”

* “What happens at credit unions is that by default the IT person becomes project manager.”

* “We often have ‘scope creep.’ We started with one idea over here and pretty soon it’s over there.”

From Roberta MacDonald of Cabot Creamery:

* “If you can come out of the closet and admit you’re actually co-ops, you’ll find the image has really changed. I’ve watched it go from being a commie plot to being only about food co-ops to being about real value.”

* “We didn’t know where we were selling. And I find that is true with credit unions who don’t know where there members are or where they came from.”

* “Play up your co-op status, because it gives you a distinct advantage, because some scary things have happened in banking and business. This is our time to shine, because cooperative principles demand a better way to do business. It’s an honorable way to do business.”

* “We had our farmers wear ‘I’m a farmer, I’m an owner, ask me about Cabot.’ Why not “I’m an owner, I’m a member, ask me how cheap my credit card is?’”

Make sure to make plans now to be at Grow Show in 2009!

Frank J. Diekmann can be reached at fdiekmann@cujournal.com. (c) 2008 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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