September is 30 things I would implement or consider implementing at my credit union if I was a credit union leader.
Thing 9: Proudly display and live the 7 cooperative principles
While you may know that the credit union philosophy is rooted in the 7 cooperative principles that guide all cooperatives, does your staff know that? How about your members? There seems to be a glaring lack of communication about this fact in the credit union space.
If I were the leader of a credit union, I would follow Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union's lead and dedicate a section of our credit union's website to explaining the 7 cooperative principles. I have visited a lot of credit union websites and I have never seen such a great display of what credit unions should be all about.
Seattle Metropolitan has taken the these simple truths and turned them into a big differentiator, just by being the only credit union talking about this stuff! Not only is it real and authentic, it's a great marketing hook (I know, that's a sacrilegious thing to say).
I also really like how Seattle Metropolitan has customized the wording to make the principles even more relevant.
The 7 Cooperative Principles
Principle #1 (inclusive): membership should be open to all
Principle #2 (voice): members should call the shots
Principle #3 (benefit): rates and fees should benefit our members
Principle #4 (independent): autonomy and independence set us apart
Principle #5 (education): financial education should be free and available to all
Principle #6 (cooperation): cooperation among cooperatives is vital
Principle #7 (community): giving back to the community is an obligation
I'd also proudly display these principles in a unique way in every branch lobby and in all of the staff rooms. Seems like a no-brainer to me!