I'm not gettin' any action

… from any of the credit union blog-o-sphere lately.  Matt is one of my great friends in the industry, but his recent post on “Steve” is another example of what seems to be wrong with the majority of credit union and bank blogs.  All of this theoretical talk about how we should serve our members, what our core purpose is, why don’t we have a national marketing campaign, etc, etc.  I care about the Steve’s of the world, and more importantly the national trend for lack of personal responsibility, but more important to me is what can credit unions do to succeed.  I don’t want them to think about hypothetical situations or what-ifs.

For the industry to be successful in the long run and not get regulated out of existence, we need to succeed in our niche and do it very well.  I’m part of the credit union blog-o-sphere and I care for everyone in it, but we need to do a much better job at creating actionable items for credit unions to “take home” with them.  We need to cross NBC’s The More You Know campaign with blog posts and white papers.  I want the readership of my blog to read a post of say, “Wow, that is something we can accomplish at our credit union and I’m going to do it.”  McApline’s 30 things in 30 days series is one of the closest things I’ve seen to this.  It provides credit unions with examples and a road map of what to do and how to do it.  Granted, not every CU is going to implement a private, white-label CRM, or use internet video, but the series does provide some of the nitty gritty details that are need to get my job done.

Nitty gritty is not fun.  It is not sexy.  It is not the latest social media trend or technology.  It is, however, the foundation of a credit union, without which a CU never exist.

7 thoughts on “I'm not gettin' any action”

  1. I think there’s some real validity to this post and it’s not just the discussions that are taking place online, I see it all the time at industry conferences. Very rarely do I see any sessions, whether general or of the breakout variety, that provide any real “take home”s. Matt, you’re right, there are “Steves” everywhere, but until FIs get serious about figuring out what their core business is and focusing the majority of their efforts on that business, they’re just going to continue to blow with the wind. Enought of the next “hot thing”, if it doesn’t fit with your core values and strategies for today and the next few years, it’s not for you right now.

  2. Matt – I should have been clearer. I’m not referencing “Steve” as the next hot thing – I’m referencing products/services/etc. Steve is not just here and now, he’s been a member or customer forever.

  3. I’m with you too Mike. Conferences (listen up CUNA, CUES, and NACUSO) need to create more actionable sessions. How they do that is debatable and challenging though. How could trade associations create more actionable sessions in their conferences?

  4. I totally agree with you Robbie. It’s very frustrating to see credit unions stagnate. Conferences are an outward expression of this. Even BarCampBanks, which held the promise of innovation, seem to be more talk than action.

    BTW – your new tag cloud is hypnotic and filled with awesome.

  5. Hey all,

    A step-by-step guide to helping your Steve’s:

    1. Reorient yourselves with the Seven Cooperative principles.

    2. If you cannot live by them – if they will not ooze from every pore of your organization, pick up an application to become a community charter bank.

    3. If you want to remain a cooperative, describe in detail what you value. Remember, corporations don’t have values – people do.

    4. Now take a look at your numbers – which ones do you lament over? What do you measure, manage and reward? This is what you REALLY value. Be realistic.

    5. Define your target audience. NOT your FOM description. Lives, works, worships in a five county area is NOT a target – that’s a territory. Is your target Steve? Or is it employed Steve? Maybe it’s Steve’s wife who’s a teacher? Where have you been most profitable? Which members are most loyal? Why? What’s the likelihood you will sustain those profits?

    6. Find your true north. Your filter. What business are you in? EXAMPLE: Amazon.com is in the business of helping people make purchase decisions. They don’t make money when they sell stuff, they make money when they allow their members to review and recommend stuff. Think about it. Where do they put their resources?

    7. Now question everything you do using this filter.

    8. Rinse and repeat yearly.

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