Executive Cross Training

Having been in the CU industry for a few years now, I’ve had to opportunity to interact with more people throughout the CU movement all of the nation.  One thing continues to surprise me in the feedback that I get from people who have recently switched CU’s or recently joined the movement: every CU seems to do it different.

Nearly every time I visit another CU or talk with a C-level executive, I learn something dramatically new about that CU.  This led me to my idea for executive cross training.  Here at our CU, we regularly cross-training front office and back office employees to help educate them in what other parts of the organization does.  One of the things that I loved about my past life at Blockbuster was the fact that new RDO’s (Regional Director of Operations), who oversaw 100ish stores, would start day 1 learning how to be a CSR, or a teller.  They were then, in essence, promoted up until they achieved their position.  This process made sure that the executives of the company still understood how their front line actually works.  Not only should CU’s do this for any new non-branch management, but they should also take some cues from other retail experiences.

The executive cross training program is simple: send C-level employees to other CU’s to work for a month or two at a time.  Let them see how the books get closed every month, how their executive team interacts with their board, and how price deposit and loan products.  It would be as simple as getting a few CU’s to partner and become sister CU’s or something and simply swap execs.  I’ll trade you my CFO for yours.

Executives would get a whole other level of hands on training that can’t be accomplished in a conference and the CU would get the knowledge and experience from other credit unions.  Sound concept?  Would CU’s be too protective of their upper brass to share for a month?

Tough decision with cublogs.org

We have had 171 blogs setup on cublogs.org since we started it.  Of all of those blogs, only 7 have actually been setup by real people or credit unions.  The rest have all been spam and it is becoming a slight daily annoyance.  The basic idea behind cublogs.org is to remove the perceived technology barriers of blogging and enable credit unions to use a great blogging tool free of charge.  However, it seems that more spammers are using the tool than CU’s right now. 

So here is what I’m thinking:

  1. Leave cublogs.org up as it is, with no changes, and just deal with the spam.
  2. Kill WordPress Mu, the engine behind cublogs.org that lets people start their own blog on fly.  Instead, offer WordPress expertise, blog hosting, and general help, for free of course through the domain.
  3. Kill the whole site and not renew cublogs.org.
  4. Morph cublogs.org into some type of community listing of all credit union related blogs.  Open Source CU has the best blogroll, but why not use the domain as a massive community generated list?  I’m not sure the best way to do that, but that’s why it is just an idea.

What are everyone else’s thoughts?

Forum's 2008 Partnership Symposium

Forum Solutions LogoSo William beat me to the punch and Forum Solutions already updated their website, but in case you haven’t heard I’ll be speaking at the symposium this year!  My topic is entitled Solutions to Meet Member Needs (or something close to that) and I’ll speak about some of the ways MaPS Credit Union has taken a problem or a need of the credit union and turned them into a CUSO opportunity.

And now after getting some more info today, I’m a little scared.  Not only is Shevlin going to be there, but he will be interviewing the speakers right afterwords and facilitating the audience participation and questions!  Hopefully I won’t be putting this up on my blog, but you never know.  In addition, the level of speakers participating this year is phenomenal and I can only hope to live up to Tim’s awesome presentation last year!  If memory serves, nearly everyone used Keynote last year, which was very pretty, but I’ll be sticking it out with my Vista laptop and Powerpoint, or maybe some fancy mind map thing like Doug did.  I just have to picture everyone in their underwear, right?