THE 'tude

Call it the gender-non-ender. But for good reason.

As I noted a week ago when the issue was a point of focus at CUNA’s GAC, gender equality in credit unions is a semi-talked about issue. While the data show a large number of female CEOs, the practical reality is that those numbers are skewed by the preponderance of women holding CEO titles at small credit unions. The top 100 CUs remain mostly a guy thing when it comes to the corner office thing

It is however rare that the industry is recognized in one of the oldest and most respected newspapers in this country.  Such was the case in the March 22, 2015 Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune.

From the moment I walked on the Stanford campus there was a feeling of interest, enthusiasm, and excitement for a day focused on a critical issue that faces all businesses (large or small) domestically and globally.

During the recent Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) sponsored by CUNA and held in our nation’s capital, attendees heard a lot of speeches. The words contained in the remarks made by congressmen and financial regulators spoke of the great work credit unions do, contained accolades of support for favorable legislation, and promises of a year of regulatory relief. Everything said was music to the ears of credit union CEOs, directors and staff.

Rarely does a leader, especially a Federal Reserve Chair, have the opportunity to become a legend.  The stars are aligned and the opportunity awaits Chair Janet Yellen.

While I was gearing up for the launch of the National Credit Union Foundation’s new logo and website recently, I came across the above quote in a book about branding. It struck me for a few reasons. First, I’m a music geek and while I’m not a “Deadhead,” I certainly own more than a few of the Grateful Dead albums on vinyl. Regardless, whether you like the Dead or not, it’s clear they carved out an impressive niche in the musical landscape.

In 1980, I developed a friendship with an economist at the Federal Bank of Atlanta. When he retired, he did work for the World Council of Credit Unions in Russia and South America. At one point, he told me that American credit unions are relevant, even meaningful in some places. but he went on to say that credit unions in America are not vital to people.

I was speaking to a group of marketers a few years back about member service as a differentiator, and how to choreograph wow experiences.  It was after lunch and my next set of slides was on the Net Promoter Score.