Archive for the ‘Pie in the Sky’ Category

Pie in the Sky: The Self Sustained Credit Union

Principle #4 does point to the use of agreements with other organizations and external funding as options available to credit unions, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily required.

What if , instead of relying on external agreements, your credit union always looked first to members to fill its needs. In this age of large memberships, don’t many of your members have the skills to do the things you are outsourcing? Even if you had to bring together many members to work towards a common design/development/marketing/community goals, isn’t that what a co-op is all about?

Pie in the Sky: Financial Self Improvement at Your Local Credit Union

In regards to my thoughts on Principle #4 and Credit Unions as self-help organizations:

With Americans apparent obsessed with all things self-help, how is this not a focal point of American CUs?

If there is a National Brand that could weave CUs together, I’d make a strong case for this as “the one”.

Pie in the Sky: Hey Boss!

In talking about Members’ Economic Participation, it’s clear that “owner” is a term that can be used to describe CU members. I wonder what would happen if your CU started calling everyone that came through the door “Boss.” It would be like the affectionate nickname you have for your members. “Hey Boss, what can I do for you today?” 🙂

If you don’t think calling everyone “Boss” is a great idea, you could change your “Thanks for coming in/calling today. Have a nice day” to “Thanks for exercising your ownership. Have a nice day.

Don’t think these things matter? Every time I walk into Chick-fil-a, receive my order, and say “thank you” I am met with the best reply in fast food today. “My pleasure.” I notice. I’m not the only one.

If reinforcing ownership is on your radar, the subtle things you say can make a world of difference.

Pie in the Sky: One member. One vote.

It’s already been alluded to in the comments on my post on Democratic Membership, but wouldn’t it be ground breaking to actually give each member a vote…..on everything.

Given the current state of technology, there is no reason why any presentation or information available to the Board, couldn’t be readily available to each member in a timely fashion and the same goes for any vote. Votes could be taken electronically and results posted very quickly. I’d even suggest making terms of membership reflect a certain “attendance rate” for votes as a requirement.

Would it work for every CU? Heck no. (Areas where internet access isn’t the standard would surely be wrong for it.) Would it work for some CU? I’d like to think so.

Pie in the Sky: What kind of services does a credit union offer?

I brushed by this in my post on Principle #1. It’s a stupid question, right? A credit union offers financial services.

What if your credit union didn’t put itself in that box? What if your CU saw itself as offering community services, some of which were financial?

Could this kind of credit union work? Would its diversity of services help or hurt it’s members?

What would it look physically look like? (I’ve never mistaken a community center for a bank. I’m just sayin…)