NACUSO 2010

NACUSO LogoThe NACUSO 2010 Annual Conference is nearing its end already. As is frequently the case with solid credit union conferences, we’ve been going non-stop since our arrival on Sunday.  We’ve had Gary Mangiofico from Pepperdine, John Fish from AstraZenca and Michael Taylor from Schelling Point, with more to come tomorrow. Rather than even try to update everyone on the presentations, go check out the Twitter feed from the conference. A few of us have been live blogging when possible and it’ll give you great insight into some of the discussions going down. As a side note, conference organizers should put all of the speakers’ presentations on Slideshare so everyone can get a copy of them.

As is usual with NACUSO, the caliber of people that this conference attracts is amazing. These are hands down, the most innovative and entrepreneurial people in the entire credit union industry. The things that people at the conference have been able to accomplish is amazing. Ongoing Operations of Hagerstown, Maryland, for example, won the 2010 CUSO of the Year award for their outstanding disaster recovery services. They have over 125 credit union clients and 20(ish) credit union owners in the actual CUSO demonstrating what real collaboration can accomplish.

The theme NACUSO has been driving home is collaboration and innovation throughout the whole week. The speakers have really brought home many of the concepts and done a great job talking about the good, and the bad, of collaboration and innovation.

Check out CU Times for for some more coverage from Michelle Samaad and don’t forget to check out the Twitter feed. Make sure to try and make it a point to attend next year. Who knows, maybe we’ll get a crash together for it…

Starting small with collaboration

In a perfect world CUNA, NAFCU, NACUSO, CUES, WOCCU, and the rest of the credit union alphabet soup would be lovey dovey, get along great, find ways to work together, etc, etc.  Maybe we’d even get a national campaign out of it.  Milk can do it.  Pork can do it.  Even pistachios have joined the club recently.  Regardlesss, I digress.

Most talk I hear about and around CU collaboration these days seems to be these organizations getting together with committees or advisory boards.  And that’s about where it ends.  Death by committee.  The same reason a national campaign will most likely never take off.  Too many minds and opinions.  So rather than be destined to languishing in committees, why can’t credit unions start small with some type of functional collaboration?

If you had to pick a small, functional area for half-a-dozen credit unions to partner with, what would it be?  Something simple like website hosting, but full featured?  Phone system stuff?  ACH origination?  What is something small that credit unions could experiment with together?

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.

Thoughts?