Sunday, September 5, 2010

Lip Service or Conviction

I submitted a blog exclusive to the Credit Union Times last Friday. In this posting, I opine on what I see as an irony—two major issues are concurrently knocking at the doors of credit unions, seeking a response. One issue requires credit unions to decide whether to maintain settlement and investment services within the cooperative credit union system. The second is a global opportunity to promote the value proposition of credit unions (our cooperative business model and its values and principles) during the United Nations Year of Cooperatives in 2012.

The convergence of these two issues at the same point in time will undoubtedly require credit unions to re-examine their understanding and support of the cooperative business model. I just think it would be an embarrassment if a decision on one issue was contrary to the other. 

When all is said and done on this pivotal point in time, I wonder if history will record credit unions as only paying lip service to the principles they so boldly profess? Or, will the decisions credit unions make on these two issues reflect the convictions they hold for the distinct value that can only come from a cooperative enterprise? 

How do you see this scenario unfolding? Share your thoughts on the Credit Union Times website at Living the Credit Union Legacy.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What Kind of Professional Are You?

I had a conversation with a dear cooperator friend of mine yesterday that focused on credit union philosophy. As we chatted, she shared an insight that made me suddenly pause and reflect on what credit unions really mean to me.

I’d like to share her insight with you as well, so you may also consider how you value credit unions.

She said, “Are you a communications and PR professional working with credit unions, or are you a credit union professional working in communications and PR?”

After a brief reflection, I had to admit that when I first started out in the credit union industry more than 10 years ago, I was the communications and PR professional. Today, however, there is no doubt. I am first and foremost a credit union professional practicing communications and PR.

A lot of factors contributed to that conversion, most especially my becoming a development educator and participating in the Emerging Co-op Leaders program sponsored by NASCO (North American Students of Cooperation).

However, I’d have to say the greatest influence came from befriending many individuals within the movement, national leaders and rank and file executives alike who believe wholeheartedly that the credit union/cooperative business model we espouse makes sense, delivers value and makes for a better world community.

If you believe you are first and foremost a credit union professional, don’t be shy about sharing your convictions. You never know how you might influence another person’s life’s journey or for that matter, the industry you have come to love.