“What if it’s hugely successful?”

In a post back in March, I talked about Bank Fear. Apparently it’s not just Banks that CU minds are scared of. In fact, based on what you read, you might think CU people are just about the most scared, pessimistic people in the FI world today.

I’m referencing the some of the responses to CUES Experience presentations given in mid May. (That’s to Tim McAlpine for sharing those with everyone who wasn’t there.)

Here’s my challenge to anyone attending upcoming CU conferences. After a presentation, especially one of those super innovative ones, suppress the desire in your mind to dive into the “worst case” scenario. Fight against all those years of status quo conditioning and instead, try something different.

Envision the “best case” scenario. Try questions like:

  • What if this radically enhances our customer experience?
  • What if we have an huge influx of Gen Y members?
  • What if this creates such a great work environment, we have to turn away really talented applicants?
  • What if we become hugely influential in our community?
  • What if our Young and Free representative ends up being our CU’s CEO at the age of 30?
  • What if this drives the community bank down the street out of business?

Now these may sound silly, but is it any more silly than “What if Larissa gets arrested?”

I’m just asking you to try it. Who knows what may happen.

Bonus Points: The challenge becomes a dare. If you actually stand up and ask one of these (or similar) wildly optimistic questions at a conference in the future and can document (through video, audio, or a few witnesses) I’ll send you a $15 Starbucks gift card!*

*I can only do that for the first person that I hear from. So the race is on!

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7 comments so far

  1. Jamie Chase on

    The more of your stuff I read, the more I adore you. Your post, idea and call to action are all brilliant!

  2. Mike Bartoo on

    “On the nose” post. I had a boss once that referred to it as managing to the lowest common denominator – my goodness, if you’re not going to try something new, how do you ever expect anything to change?

  3. James on

    I actually just read Tim McAlpine’s post.

    I can’t believe that people ACTUALLY think like that.

    “What if Larissa get’s arrested.”

    I have sat here thinking about this for several minutes, and the same thing keeps going through my head.

    Whoever said that is a f-cking idiot.

  4. CU Skeptic on

    @James – While I too find those questions absurd, I don’t think your conclusion is the only one.

    I tend to think that more of it comes from years (perhaps a whole career) of conditioning as opposed to plain lack of smarts.

  5. James on

    Yeah, fair enough.

    People get set in their ways. I see it all the time. Hey, we all see it all the time.

    I just don’t see the connection between the Young & Free initiative, Larrissa, and being arrested.

    Well, I understand the connection. I just don’t understand how someone could possibly think of that, and then simultaneously see it as a potential ‘risk’ of such a program.

    It’s much the same as staffing – do you sit there and worry that one of your managers or mobile lenders may be potentially drug dealing? No. But it’s a possibility. But you don’t sit there worrying about it.

  6. CU Skeptic on

    @James – Your point about staffing is right on.

  7. Anthony Demangone on

    Fear? I see it as issue spotting. There’s a huge benefit to working through potential problems in any arena. Once you understand and can measure the risk in any situation, you can act accordingly. I agree that some people simply fear change and throw up “what-ifs” in an attempt to derail projects. But what-ifs are a reality are just good business if people seriously use them as a risk-management tool.


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