Posts Tagged ‘CUES’

It starts at home

August 30, 2012

Do you ever wring your hands that more people don’t know what a credit union is? You’ve sent newsletters, done radio ads, put up billboards, and still so many people don’t know?

Well, I’ve got a really important idea for how to take care of this.

As marketers, most of know that the number one source of new business is through referrals of existing business. So if you take care of your current members well, they will tell their friends and family. So let’s assume you are already taking care of your members.

Are you taking care of your employees too?

And what I mean is this: Employees are people. They are not bodies taking up space in an organizational chart. What could be more demoralizing to a person than being assigned an email address of I bet YOU don’t have an email of or VPMarketing28@

So why do this to a teller? Because you have high turnover in the position? Of course you have high turnover in that position; it’s a hard job with low pay. But when you treat people like numbers, and EXPECT that they will be out the door soon, it becomes even worse. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and turn over gets worse, not better.

Yes, a big percentage of your tellers will eventually leave. But what about the ones that stay? What about the future CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and VPs of Marketing? Take a look at all the amazing programs going on for the future leaders of the CU movement, such as The Cooperative Trust’s Crash Events and CUES Next Top Executive.

I will offer this thesis: The best way to spread the word about what credit unions are is to treat every single new employee as if they are going to spend their career in the credit union movement, and eventually work their way up to being the CEO of YOUR credit union. If you treat every new hire in that way, sure, many of them will leave someday.

But here is the benefit: Even the ones who leave someday will enjoy their work more thoroughly. They will likely stay with your CU longer, thus reducing turnover. And most importantly, since you have educated them what it means to be a credit union, they will educate your members what it means to belong to a credit union.

AND….. for those one or two special people who grace your establishment for their entire careers…. YOU can feel special knowing that you have nurtured the next generation of credit union leadership. And it all starts with treating your new hires like they matter. Because they do.


The NCUA Corporate Stabilization Program

February 5, 2009

Here are links to discussion and resources about the NCUA Corporate Stabilization Program:

Resources from the NCUA itself and CUNA:

Webinars/teleconference about it:

Blogs about it:

If you are an employee of a CU, League, or Corporate, discussion here:

Credit union reaction/outrage:

News articles:

Here’s what Corporate Credit Unions are saying:

Please feel free to improve the wikipedia article I started on it:

What CUs can learn from Rock Band

October 24, 2008

Yesterday, Lisa Hochgraf wrote an interesting post about Fun First on the CUES Nexus blog. It made me think of the post I wrote a little while back about Rock Band and its implications for CUs. So I thought I’d expound a little further.

Instead of thinking about fun first, spinach second, let’s think about it in terms of education that simultaneously entertains (or entertainment that simultaneously educates). It is possible to do both at the same time, and Rock Band is proof.

The concepts that led to Guitar Hero/Rock Band originally started in MIT Learning Labs as a project to figure out how to make learning to play music easier, more fun, and accessible to more people. The rest is history, and the revenue now being generated by both the franchises is incredible, with nearly no end in sight. I know that the CU movement can figure out and create its own version of Guitar Hero.

Keys to Rock Band’s high popularity:
• It makes you feel like a rock star
• You get to hear fans screaming for you
• For minimal effort, you are actively a participant in the music and never out of tune
• It’s hilarious even if you fail
• It’s SOCIAL – you can play with your friends at your house, on the other side of the country, or even around the world
• New songs are continually being programmed to work with the games, generating additional revenue, and making fans happy, and continually making the game newly interesting to play again
• It comes with a bunch of great songs right out of the box, the best songs from a range of decades (even going back to the sixties) making it appealing for young and old, across generations even

What can CUs learn from all of this? Let’s see if we can invent/create something which:
• Entertains and educates at the same time
• Ties into something we are already familiar with and enjoy
• Is fun to play with friends both online and in-person
• Has expansion possibilities (razor and blade model) that both generate revenue and continue to make playing the game interesting
• If its a game, you progress through levels
• You can compare your score to others for people who like the competitive aspect.
• It’s fun whether you win or lose, but more fun to win

I may be dreaming, but I hope someone is working on this now. Go for it! As they say on wikipedia, be bold!

A special note on your special day

October 16, 2008

Last year, I wrote A love note on your special day on International Credit Union Day. Today I’ve written a follow up toast that CUES was so kind to post on their Skybox blog.

Today, credit unions are more relevant, and more needed than ever. You, the credit union professional, rock our world. Myself and the team here at are honored to continue to foster YOUR community on

After you’ve finished celebrating your members today, we’d be honored if you took a moment to stop by and say hi to us as we celebrate our new expanded offices. We would not exist if not for you, so thank you for your continued participation in If you can’t stop by, stay tuned, as we will be attempting to send a live video stream of the festivities, tonight from 5pm to 8pm Eastern time. We’d be honored if you joined us in person in Holyoke, or online if technology permits.

As always, please feel free to share your thoughts here as we all celebrate Credit Union Day. I’d love to hear what’s on your mind.

Lunch with Lisa

July 10, 2006

Just had a fabulous lunch today with the very lovely Lisa Hochgraf, editor of CUES TechPort. We had much to discuss, including credit unions, branding, technology, strategy, the Triple-B Baltimore event, and traveling with little boys. (Lisa has a two-and-a-half year-old Robert.) Lisa was born in New York, grew up in Madison WI, and now lives in New York again. Lisa works remotely from Rochester for CUES (Credit Union Executives Society) which is HQ’d in Madison. She told me that one other CUES editor works remotely… and that is Theresa Sweeney Witham, who works out of Baltimore of all places!

We had lunch at Cole & Parks… a very cute little restaurant in Rochester, New York. Not only do they have great coffee, sandwiches, and cookies, you can also order a gift box of cookies, and the cookies can have your logo on them!

After lunch, Lisa was kind enough to show me a stretch of the Erie Canal. What an amazing feat of engineering!