I love working with credit union people. We come from all walks of life, all kinds of different backgrounds and share a passion for serving our respective communities.
That said, some of us need to change our attitudes.
I had the honor of speaking at a conference a few weeks ago and had a fantastic time. I had an engaging audience, tons of questions and connected with a lot of lovely people. However, occasionally I got a question that invariably ended with "I can't do that." For example:
"You spoke about using social networks to appeal to young people. I don't have a huge credit union. I can't do that."
"My credit union serves [industry] employees and their families. I can't just take the time to concentrate on mobile services. Some credit unions can, I can't."
When you read this, imagine a crotchety old man (it was almost always a grumpy, older male CEO) saying it angrily - as if I was suggesting he take his marketing budget and instead invest in gold plated toliets for the lobby bathroom.
We've got to drop the I Can't attitude. If you want it to happen bad enough, you'll make it happen. Now, I'm not naive enough to believe that just because you want something it'll happen. But you'll never get anywhere saying I Can't.
If your credit union wants to thrive, if it wants to be relevant in the next five years it has got to change. I hate cliches, but if you aren't moving forward, you're moving backward. And a lot of credit unions right now are moving backward.
We're at a crossroads right now. For the first time ever, a generation is coming up that has complete freedom over where they put their money. It doesn't matter where they are geographically, they can take advantage of banking wherever they want. Thus, your credit union has two choices: adapt or die.
In the words of my mother, fix your attitude, and change your I Can't into an I Can. It won't be easy, but at least you'll have a fighting chance.