CUES SKYBOX BLOG

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TILA-RESPA Deadline Countdown

CUs face big mortgage documentation decisions before Aug. 1, 2015. By John Levy The close of another year naturally causes most people to think about the year ahead. For our industry, it is a time to ponder such questions as, what will be the defining trends? What will be next year’s biggest stories? What do we face as our primary compliance challenges? This last question might be bringing most credit unions to a screeching halt. Not that managing burgeoning regulatory changes is anything new to today’s executives, but there are some fairly serious deadlines looming. Realize it or not, we are less than a year from the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure Rule issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, with a go-live date of Aug. 1, 2015. The new rule is meant to make the information on mortgage disclosures easier for consumers to understand by consolidating forms required under the Truth in Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, as well as eliminating miscellany data. The TILA-RESPA rule is meant to create a friendlier borrower atmosphere. For instance, two new documents—the loan estimate and the closing disclosure–will consolidate several other forms previously used, simplifying the consumer’s experience. Also, it […]

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How to Stay ‘Top of Wallet’ in the Apple Pay Era

Manage fraud risk, look at e-delivery and know how to serve Millennials. By Fredda McDonald Look back at 2014 for ideas on how to prepare for the new year to come: A year of high-profile data breaches kept security top of mind for consumers; the launch of Apple Pay and the looming 2015 EMV security-chip deadline defined payments; and both a digital payments revolution and a “Millennial shift” are well underway. Given these trends, how should credit unions prepare to stay competitive in 2015 and beyond? The Year of the Breach 2014 started with the effects of Target’s high-profile data breach being felt in full force, rocking consumer confidence to the core. That was followed by the Home Depot breach and a dozen more widespread fraud and security issues that dominated the conversation for much of 2014. These events increased the pressure on credit unions to be at the top of their game; they demand CUs lead the way in security. The good news is that credit unions are well-positioned to do so; they also recorded an all-time high in member satisfaction in 2014. More than ever before, it’s imperative that credit unions can play minute-by-minute defense for members, as […]

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Apple Pay and EMV Security

Tokenization and smart cards create a one-two punch to protect member transactions. By Michelle Thornton CUs are rightfully excited about the tokenization security process that underpins the much-talked-about Apple Pay. However, as CUs start to leverage tokenization, they can’t afford to ignore EMV (“chip”) cards, heralded as a huge leap in card security as they made a bigger foray into the U.S. market this year. In simple terms, tokenization enhances security on cardless transactions in mobile and online commerce, as well as at the contactless point of sale. (It does so by removing the credit card number from a transaction and replacing it with a randomly generated number.) In contrast, EMV secures card-based transactions, using a specialized computer chip housed right in the plastic. It’s possible to become confused because EMV and tokenization are often talked about in the same breath. They both use cryptography, and are both fraud prevention tools. As a result of the confusion, some credit unions might wonder if having tokenization makes having an EMV strategy and adoption irrelevant. It doesn’t. Each technology is brilliant at what it does. And each one is less brilliant at standing in for the other. In fact, choosing between tokenization […]

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Absolute Honesty

Six laws to promote a corporate culture of integrity. By Kelly Schmit Truer words have never been spoken… “Raise your hand if you have taught your children not to lie,” Larry Johnson asked the audience at CUES’ Directors Conference this week. Over 400 hands reached for the sky. “Raise your hand if you have ever told a lie,” followed up Johnson, co-author of Absolute Honesty: Building a Corporate Culture That Values Straight Talk and Rewards Integrity. Again, over 400 arms went into the air. So, where is the disconnect? How can we say one thing, but practice the complete opposite? More importantly, how can we build a corporate culture that values straight talk and rewards integrity when we are all less than stellar at always telling the truth? At Directors Conference, Johnson presented “Six Laws of Absolute Honesty.” Law #1: Tell the truth. We know everyone tells white lies from time to time. The problem is, individuals have different opinions about when the total truth should be told. When Johnson asked the audience, “What is your criteria for not telling a white lie?” several answers came back, including: if the consequence is worse than the lie if it is for […]

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Your ‘Campfire’ Story Counts

Know the power of the leader’s voice. By Michael Hudson, Ph.D. OK, I confess. During Tom Flick’s keynote presentation at last month’s CEO/Executive Team Network, I found myself daydreaming. Not exactly a desired behavior from one who would be leading a coaching session on the topic immediately following the speech, but it happened nonetheless. Here’s why… A former NFL quarterback turned motivational speaker, Flick spoke about the power of the leader’s voice–how words create pictures that create emotions that create attitudes that create behaviors that create habits that create reality. As he did so, my mind wandered to the time when I learned just what that meant—something I didn’t fully understand until hearing his insights. When I was 12 years old, my 4-H friends (finally) convinced me to attend state camp. They had tried for the previous couple of years, but frankly I didn’t get the appeal. Maybe that’s because my aunt and uncle lived at the camp year round and to me it was just a place that I went once in awhile to see family. So the idea of attending a full week of camp there certainly didn’t seem all that appealing. But that changed during the opening […]

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When Building a Sandcastle, You Can’t Beat the Ocean

Make sure you’re doing enough great work. By Michael Hudson, Ph.D. During his keynote presentation at CEO/Executive Team Network last month, Michael Bungay Stanier shared some very important and valuable ideas about work. Specifically, he challenged the audience to think about how much bad work, good work, and great work they were doing. Senior partner of Box of Crayons and author of Do More Great Work, Stanier reminded attendees that 90 percent of what we do is subconscious and that 50 percent is routine, and offered these key definitions: Bad Work — best depicted by the acronym WOMBAT—that is Waste Of Money, Bandwidth, And Time. Good Work — work within your job description that there is typically more of than you can actually do and that is fueled by false urgency (as if you are trying to beat the ocean while building a sandcastle). Great Work — working this category is about staying ahead of the curve. It is strategic, innovative and makes a difference. Using these definitions, Stanier challenged the audience to complete this very simple exercise: 1. Draw a large circle on a blank piece of paper. 2. Divide the circle into sections representing the percentage of time […]

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If You Give a Future Leader a Cookie …

You might unite and ignite the CU movement. By Dana Murn-Kohal Remember the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? In that story, giving the mouse a cookie sets off a chain of events that eventually leads back to giving the mouse another cookie. What if you gave a future leader a cookie—in the form of your support or mentorship? What chain of events would you start? It could become a beautiful story to tell your children. Many of the “future leaders” of our movement are Millennials like me. And wow, everyone is talking about us these days—whether it is about how we have been taught to expect praise in every aspect of our lives or that we cannot save a dollar to save our souls. Despite all of the white noise and generic classifications, most of us care about causes passionately, and that can be to credit unions’ advantage. At CU Water Cooler Symposium, which I “crashed” back in September with a great group of eight others, it was evident in every conversation that we (several of us Millennials) had passion for the credit union movement. This made me puzzled. We have an industry full of awesome […]

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Cooperatives or FIs in the Eyes of Gen Y?

Staff service and physical location factor in. By Dana Murn-Kohal At CU Water Cooler Symposium the second week of September in Austin, Texas, a widely discussed topic was the identity crisis that the credit unions are facing: Are they cooperatives or financial institutions? And, can something be gained by promoting themselves as one vs. the other? While no single answer to that question emerged at the event, I came to believe that demonstrating the seven cooperative principles is truly a way CUs can differentiate themselves to members of my Gen Y generation. As part of my CU Water Cooler Symposium experience, I visited the world’s first cooperatively owned and worker-managed brew pub, Black Star Co-op Pub and Brewery. It was interesting to experience a different type of cooperative in action and then reflect back on credit unions. For example, when we walked into Black Star, the guy behind the bar greeted us warmly and let us know our options, such as where we could sit, and what we could order. “Information and education” is cooperative principle No. 5. What a great way to start–with no confusion or fear. Many credit unions now have a front-door greeter and I commend those […]

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How to Get a Handle on Capital and Compliance

By Moisette (Tonya) Sweat Know–and focus on–your membership. The membership is the lifeblood of any credit union. Therefore, it is the key to a credit union’s management of its capital and its regulatory compliance program. In the aftermath of the nation’s recent economic woes, credit unions now face the potential for new capital demands and plenty of other forms of increased regulation. More specifically, the National Credit Union Administration is working to “modernize” CU risk-based capital regulations. As financial institutions that must base their net worth on retained earnings raised from member deposits, credit unions can find these capital requirements daunting. Plus, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is revising regulations formerly issued by the Federal Reserve Board, adding increased disclosure or reporting requirements. Knowing a credit union’s own, unique membership is the key to overcoming the burden of regulation, including the coming impact of a new capital rule. Every credit union should know who its current members are; who its potential members are (or at least where to find them); and the products and services its members need, want, or use most. By knowing its members really well, a credit union can determine the social and financial behaviors most prevalent […]

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Go Tell It on the Mountain

How to talk up credit unions so more people buy in—and benefit. By Heidi Overman The most viable financial model in America today is the cooperative credit union system. So why isn’t the good news of credit union philosophy resonating with American consumers? How can your credit union best trumpet its story—and in doing so, boost credit unions as a movement? Alix Patterson’s preconference workshop before the opening of Directors Conference in December will help participants answer these questions. An expert with data and the use of storytelling, Patterson is chief operating officer of Callahan and Associates, Washington, D.C. Think about it. The credit union movement stands out because it operates solely to serve its members. There are no shareholders pushing for higher returns at the expense of patrons. The board of directors is composed of members. The institution’s products and services are chosen because they benefit the members. And members are not just members; they’re also owners, each one having one vote in the cooperative.They’re a great option for consumers. Yet credit unions as an industry have just 15 percent of auto loans and less than 10 percent of consumer deposits. Despite misdeeds in the mortgage market resulting in […]

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Reaching Millennials: 10 Ways That Work

What CUs can learn from CO-OP Financial Services’ ‘Empowering People’ campaign. By Samantha Paxson In May, CO-OP Financial Services launched “Empowering People, Amplifying Dreams,” a national consumer campaign to promote the advantages of credit unions to Millennials. The campaign has rapidly gained traction with more than 100,000 visits to our website. As we have told the credit union story to younger consumers, we’ve learned at least 10 lessons credit unions can apply as they also reach out to Millennials: 1. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone. Servicing our own marketing needs is a huge task, but we see that our future success lies at least partially in tackling an industry-wide issue. 2. Make it fun. We launched the campaign in New Orleans in conjunction with our annual conference. We marched to the House of Blues, where we heard a concert by our campaign spokesperson, a 23-year-old singer/songwriter named Daria Musk. Her fan-friendly concerts remain a part of our effort. 3. Be social. From our campaign website, visitors can access campaign videos and information on You Tube, Twitter and Tumbler. All three take the visitor to sites titled “Innovative Banking,” where young consumers can learn more about […]

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Why Your Work Should Include Elephant Topiaries

And fewer WOMBATs. By Mary Arnold According to Michael Bungay Stanier, there are three kinds of work: bad, good and great. Needless to say, we should try to minimize bad work because it is unproductive, wasting money, bandwidth and time (WOMBAT). Senior Partner in Box of Crayons, Toronto, and author of Do More Great Work, Stanier advised his CEO/Executive Team Network audience to hunt down and eliminate WOMBATs. “Good work,” he continued, “is being productive, getting things done, helping reach your credit union’s goals. But there are a couple flaws to good work. “The first is that when you’re doing good work, your brain funnels into the unconscious part of your brain, keeping you stuck in a comfortable rut” rather than out pursuing great work. The other challenge with good work is that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never get ahead of it. In fact, Stanier explained with great exaggeration, “You might say, ‘If I could just get a little more efficient, if I could get on top of my good work,’” I could get to the great work. “But even if you get into work at 1 a.m., delete emails back to 1982, delegate tasks, put in […]

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Identify Your ‘Reluctant’ Leaders

5 characteristics to look for. By Walt Grassl Do you know someone who is very comfortable doing a job that has no leadership dimension, even though you just know they will thrive as a leader? Many of them have a condition that is sometimes referred to as “altitude sickness.” This is not the medical condition that occurs when you are at high altitudes and cannot get enough oxygen. This altitude sickness refers to the fear of success, of reaching great heights. Interestingly, reluctant leaders are often the best leaders. This is because they lead from a desire to serve, not a desire for power. The following are five signs to identify reluctant leaders: 1. Peers seek their counsel. Most organizations have two kinds of leaders: People with leader in their title and people who are sought out for advice by their peers. When looking for reluctant leaders, observe your teams. Who do the team members respect? Who do they go to before bringing problems to the attention to management? 2. They are focused on team success, not individual glory. Some employees are too busy focusing on their tasks to help others with theirs. Others realize that if one employee is […]

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Innovate in ‘Small Sprints’

By Mary Arnold Why is innovation so hard? “We want to do the 100 percent,” meaning the new product can’t be released until it does everything it could possibly do, explained John Best, founder of Best Innovation Group, Land o Lakes, Fla., in his CEO/Executive Team Network session, “Fostering Innovation: Starting a Startup Within Your Credit Union.” “And if it fails, then we’re loathe to try again.” Instead of embarking on marathon development projects, Best suggested working in “small sprints.” Think about the apps you use, he said. “Apps have little tiny changes all the time. Their developers ask, ‘what can we do in x amount of time for the next release?’” They practice “continuous improvement and continuous delivery. How do we master that?” Best recommended these steps: Figure out what you are trying to do (what problem you want to solve, what service you want to offer). Make the innovation as lean as possible. Be ruthless about scope creep to create the “‘minimum viable product’ that can then be incrementally enhanced.” Release it quickly. Measure results from the rollout. Build the “real thing” based on feedback. To illustrate how this has worked in a credit union, Best talked about […]

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Perfect Your Pitch

Tweak small things to get your message across more effectively. By Lisa Hochgraf G. Richard Shell told attendees of the first-ever summer CEO Institute I: Strategic Planning that they could “exercise conscious controls” to make themselves more effective. “Small adjustments and bits of self awareness about how you handle other people is precious,” emphasized Shell, J.D., professor of legal studies and business ethics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, where the institute was held. “Learning more about this stuff can make you better at practicing it. You can talk all you want about charisma, but these are things you can get better at.” Shell offered small things executives can do to be more effective when pitching their ideas. This process has been documented to be effective, and was first conceived by Aristotle. “This is nothing new,” he said. But it works. 1. Define the problem in terms the other party can understand and relate to. “Everyone first wants to know and has to process what the problem is,” he said. Is this issue a market share problem, a morale problem or an employee retention problem? Define it in terms everyone can understand and buy into, he advised, especially […]

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How to Analyze Your Stakeholders

They can make or break your change initiative. By Lisa Hochgraf When credit union executives are trying to lead, they need to get buy-in from a variety of people–or stakeholders. For example, if the VP/lending wants to purchase a new loan origination system, he might need to get support from members of his own team, the CIO and the CEO of the organization. How can this best be accomplished? At the first-ever summer CEO Institute I: Strategic Planning held in August at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, Gregory P. Shea, Ph.D., provided attendees with a process for stakeholder analysis and management. Shea is co-author of Leading Successful Change: 8 Keys to Making Change Work. Shea suggested first defining what exactly you’re trying to do. Ask yourself, “What’s the end state and what’s at least an outline of the path you need to take to get there?” Next, Shea recommends creating a list of people who might think they have a stake in the strategy, change or project you have defined. “List as many as you can,” he encouraged in a class handout. “Press yourself.” Third, break the list of stakeholders into three categories–those who control the success of […]

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Compare Your ‘Leadership Brand’ to Your CU’s Culture

Is it congruent or running counter to culture? By Lisa Hochgraf A corporate brand is the three or four words people consistently think of when they think of that company. A public figure’s brand is the three or four words people think of when they think of that person. In turn, a leader’s brand is … you got it … the three or four words people think of when they think of that leader. That’s how Professor Kathleen O’Connor, Ph.D., explained leadership brand in “Leadership Brand and Shadow,” a new blended learning course now in progress through a partnership between CUES and Cornell University. Blended learning is designed to maximize educational value, while minimizing travel and time away from work. Knowing your own leadership brand can help you decide if it is congruent with your credit union’s culture, or if you are running against the current, O’Connor said. Knowing your strengths that support your brand can help you make career decisions. To illustrate, O’Connor asked participants in her live Web presentation to chat in feedback about brands and public figures. For example, when O’Connor showed a slide of the Apple logo, attendees sent her these words: innovation, value creator and […]

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Managing Mobile-Only Members

Three strategies for keeping them engaged. By Chris Steffes Sponsored by CU Solutions Group According to Bank of America’s 2014 “Trends in Consumer Mobility Report,” almost half (47 percent) of consumers use mobile or online banking as a preferred method of transacting with their bank or credit union. The same study found that almost a third (31 percent) of mobile banking app users access mobile banking at least once a day. It’s clear that mobile banking is becoming more than just a transactional space for credit union members. Mobile is now a channel where members want to connect with, communicate with, learn about products and services, and transact with their credit union. As more people, especially Millennials (age 18-24) move closer to becoming mobile-only members, credit unions must shift their focus to deliver services and a great customer experience to where their members are – including on mobile. FICO surveyed Millennials, and found that those who frequently use their bank/credit union mobile app are more satisfied with their financial institution. To keep members engaged, credit unions should: Pick features that matter most to members. The FICO survey found that mobile users want more self-service features, such as remote deposit capture […]

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EMV Reflections After International CU Day

The time for a chip card game plan is now. By Michelle Thornton Last Thursday–International Credit Union Day 2014–offered an opportunity to reflect on the growth of the credit union movement globally. One area of CU global growth–EMV adoption in the United States—is finally underway in earnest. Credit unions will be able to better serve their members here at home through the enhanced fraud protection of the chip card standard. And, it will be easier for members to use their credit union-issued credit and debit cards when they travel abroad once they are EMV enabled. Both data breaches and the upcoming Oct. 1, 2015, U.S. liability shift (to the party in the transaction that did not enable the chip card), has elevated EMV adoption from conceptual to imminent. EMV provides strong transaction security features in card-present transactions that are not possible with traditional magnetic stripe cards. Fraud statistics in Canada post-EMV adoption are telling. For example, in 2009, Canada’s Interac debit fraud loss was $142 million. Since deploying EMV technology, that number dropped to $70 million in 2011. Approximately 70 million international trips are made each year by Americans. As more countries have migrated to EMV chip card technology, U.S. […]

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Duchess of Cornwall to Welcome CUDEs

International CU Day meeting at royal residence is good for UK CUs–and the global movement. By Lisa Hochgraf It might surprise you to learn that a June BBC news article reported that just 2 percent of the adult population of the United Kingdom belongs to a credit union, while 46 percent of adults in the United States are credit union members. “In the UK, credit unions are still relatively unknown, which creates issues around credibility,” acknowledges Marlene Shiels, ICUDE, chief executive of $50 million (U.S.) Capital Credit Union Limited, Edinburgh. But Shiels has good news. Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cornwall‘s first visit to a credit union–to Capital CU in 2012–spurred her to learn more about, and do more to support, these institutions. “The Duchess was so taken with the work we do, particularly for those with fewer financial choices, she decided to get to know credit unions better,” Shiels says. Shiel’s 25-year-old Capital CU has a community-based membership of 19,000 that covers the East of Scotland (from the Scottish Borders to Angus). “Our main products are savings and loans, mortgages and prepaid debit cards,” Shiels says. “We do not offer checking accounts.” Married to Charles, Prince of Wales, heir […]

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Decision-Making Safeguard

Here’s a way to see if what you’ve decided makes sense. By Lisa Hochgraf At the first-ever summer CEO Institute I: Strategic Planning held in August at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, attendees learned a variety of decision-making techniques from Wharton School of Business Adjunct Professor Jim Austen–and from each other. You can read about them in “Disciplined Decision-Making” in the November issue of Credit Union Management magazine. In addition to strategies for making a decision, Austen tgave attendees a safeguard to use after a decision is made. The safeguard was based on the book How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman, M.D. Groopman says that once he has made a diagnosis, he generates a short list of alternatives as a safeguard against cognitive errors. Most medical mistakes, he asserts, are not problems with technology, but a doctor making the wrong call. “Managers are comfortable; leaders are uncomfortable,” Austin said. In addition to celebrating when things are going well, “leaders generate that list of things that could upset the apple cart.” Lisa Hochgraf is a CUES senior editor. Read other posts about this year’s summer CEO Institute here, here and here. Learn more about CEO Institute and the Certified Chief Executive […]

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Take Steps Now, Before Aug. 1 Mortgage Rule Change

It’s a whole new world for mortgage lending By Theresa Reinke Sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group The TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule is the biggest mortgage lending regulatory change we have seen in recent memory. This rule will directly affect the people, processes and technology credit unions use to support both first and closed-end home equity mortgage lending. It will impact relationships with system providers and, most importantly, credit union members and staff. As the August 1, 2015, effective date draws closer, implementation of these game-changing requirements will be the key to success. Determine now who is on your team and how your third-party partners can help. Remember there is no grandfather clause to this Integrated Disclosure rule–on August 1, the new rules must be implemented. To make matters more complicated, all loans initiated before August 1 will require the existing TIL disclosures and RESPA Good Faith Estimate and HUD-1/1A Settlement Statements. Thus, credit unions will be running dual systems for a while. The new Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure are not merely replacing or combining the existing disclosures. There are many new data elements, calculations and quite a few new restrictions. And the documents will have dynamic elements based on […]

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Tool Helps Leaders Make Career Decisions

Participants in new CUES course identify their workplace strengths, so they can make the most of them. By Lisa Hochgraf What are your biggest strengths–the strengths on which you can build your best work and your best career? Creating a “reflected best self” portrait can help you answer this question, according to Cornell University Professor Kathleen O’Connor, Ph.D. As lead faculty member for “Leadership Brand and Shadow,” a new  course being offered by CUES in partnership with Cornell, O’Connor is asking each participant to create such a portrait. The new course, like all the CUES Blended Learning offerings, is designed to maximize educational value, while minimizing travel and time away from work. In the first session of the program, participants watched from their desktops as O’Connor presented live about leadership brand and the project to be undertaken. (See the image at the top of this post.) O’Connor asked for and received participant feedback via chat. In addition to attending another session with O’Connor and doing the project, program participants receive individual sessions with executive coaches. Creating your “reflected best self” portrait is a three-step process, O’Connor explained. First, think about situations you have been in that have brought out your […]

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‘Some Assembly Required’ Supports Change

Lessons for change. By Christopher Stevenson Common sense would seem to dictate that consumers would derive more value from furniture that is delivered assembled. Really, who wants to buy a desk in pieces, pour all the parts onto the living room floor, and spend two hours trying to decipher instructions and assembling? But as William Safire said, “Never assume the obvious is true.” As it turns out, multiple research projects over the past 60 years have shown that participating in the creation of something enhances a person’s perceived value of the end product, whether it’s IKEA furniture, cake batter, or a Build-a-Bear stuffed animal. In the words of Roberto Fernandez, Ph.D., faculty member at CUES’ inaugural Strategic Innovation Institute, hosted at MIT Sloan School of Management, if you help make a product you like, “you like it that much more.” The lessons of the research extend far beyond “some assembly required.” When tackling organizational change, there are few better ways of creating buy-in and building advocates than involving staff from all levels in the process and labor. When it comes to change, there is a direct link between labor and love. Take advantage of it. Christopher Stevenson is CUES’ VP/professional […]

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Why You Should ‘Crash’ an Event

Connect with others who want to make a difference. By Dana Murn-Kohal Free registration to a great credit union industry event is a cool part about being a “crasher” through The Cooperative Trust.  But it isn’t the coolest part. Being one of nine crashers at the CU Water Cooler Symposium, which took place the second week of September in Austin, Texas, was unparalleled to anything I’ve taken part in before. With having a roommate and getting practically no sleep all part of the experience, crashing is most often undertaken by people under 35, though it’s open to everyone. Here are three reasons to add “crash an event” to your professional bucket list. 1. The knowledge. The CU Water Cooler event structure lent itself to full knowledge immersion. Speakers’ presentations were followed by a Q&A session, which allowed attendees to dive deeper and also synthesize what they were learning. Plus, crashers had an additional session with two speakers every day, so we got twice the knowledge! 2. The networking. There was a lot of hype about having crashers at the event, which made for an easy opening line for networking! We crashers forged a special bond that facilitated sharing our professional experiences […]

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