NACUSO and Finovate

Hindsight being 20-20, I wish I could have been in two places at once.  We had a MaPS entourage at NACUSO (4 employees and a board member) and we had a great time.  The conference was in the Wynn and very well put together.  Personally, I get more out of the networking opportunities during the days and nights than I do out of the sessions.  NACUSO’s big thing now is the Center for Collaboration and Innovation.  Maybe I’m just being cynical, but it seems many of the large CU’s say they want collaboration but don’t really support that.  They also say they want innovation, but I’ll bet less than 1% of the attendees of NACUSO knew Finovate was going on.

The products and discussions going on at Finovate is where the true innovation currently is in financial services and I feel like so many credit union folks are completely missing the boat.  The NACUSO conference was awesome and I’ll go back next year as long as it isn’t the same time as Finovate.  We’ve got to find a way to get the people and companies at Finovate to interact with CU people.  That may be at NACUSO or somewhere else, but I think the real opportunities for innovation are happening outside of the CU industry at the moment.  NACUSO, Filene, and many others are trying to change that, but right now it seems many of the future-building conversations are happening at BarCamps, Finovate, or elsewhere.


4 thoughts on “NACUSO and Finovate”

  1. I’d agree with you Robbie but not only CUs but all FIs are behind the innovation curve. I’ve decided to begin researching areas of ways, for the small community FIs, to still be innovative despite their limited resources of people, technology knowledge, and time. It can be done!

    Lastly, I also think ‘future-building’ conversation are going on in Banktastic, too! 😉

  2. Robbie,

    I love this post. I’m reminded of the time I tried to get the Oregon Credit Union audiences to hear something new and different. While working for the League, I hired a local business legend, Tom Peterson to speak.

    You probably recognize the name. Anyway, he had a great story to tell – about how he didn’t listen to his wife and expanded his business too fast and too far and got into stuff he knew nothing about. Hmmmm….wonder if credit unions can learn from that?

    Anyway – there was TONS o’ backlash from some folks because I hired a speaker that had filed bankruptcy. Chapter 11 reorg – but it was still a banko. No consideration for the fact that he paid back ALL of his creditors (which was another point of his story). Sigh…….

    I think many trade associations feel they have to play it safe – by trying to please everyone, they seldom challenge the status quo.

    That’s why I’m glad there are folks like CUES, Filene, and FORUM that will hire me and let me speak my mind! I think it’s going to be up to your generation to shake things up – and I know you’re ready.


  3. Here’s the key sentence for me: “Personally, I get more out of the networking opportunities during the days and nights than I do out of the sessions.”

    This is what conference organizers — and all too often, the speakers themselves — just don’t get.

    It’s up to NACUSO, and the other CU associations that put on conferences, to decide what value they intend to provide with their conferences. Too many are opting to go with the traditional approach of hiring a few big names, supplemented with speakers from vendors who pay to speak.

    I won’t say that “future-building conversations” aren’t happening at these traditional type conferences, but the Finovates and Barcamps are a whole more oriented towards facilitating conversations. If NACUSO, et. al., want to stimulate conversation, they’re going to have to change their conference format (Vic, are you listening?)

  4. I’ve got NACUSO on my list of events I’d like to attend next year, but it sounds like Finovate may be the way to go instead. If conferences won’t change their formats to adapt to how things are working today, we, the attendees, may have to lead the change.

    Personally, I’m in alignment with Ron in that barcamps and de-centralized events are what will spur innovation and new ideas, not thousands of attendees packed into folding chairs listening to a semi-famous person talk about their own career.

    We need to instead turn our attention and focus towards the people out there doing things differently (like most of the crew at Finvoate).

    That being said, I’m still trying to get the 2008 Partnership Symposium on my schedule to attend.

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