Where’d Cain get his wife? It’s a question that’s plagued religious skeptics and believers alike—at least the curious ones—for centuries.
Some argue that…well, how shall we say…Cain didn’t have many potential mates outside folks he was related to. So…um…
But my point isn’t to argue either side of that issue.
I think it’s time we get outside our credit union gene pool and really engage—and even collaborate with—the “non-credit-union” folks who excel in our respective areas of expertise. I appreciate the credit union gang—I really do—but sometimes I think we can become too comfortable. We have to resist the temptation to “keep it in the family” and pat each other on the back instead of getting out of our little pond and venturing into the deep, deep water outside our industry.
Now don’t get me wrong here—I’m not saying we shouldn’t network and so on with others from within the credit union world. Heck, that’s one of my favorite parts of what I do. Most of my favorite folks are credit union folks. All I’m saying is that we need to make sure we get out more. We need to rub shoulders with the super talented folks that are all around us, whether they’re inside the industry or not.
For example, I love the people side of business and the human element of the credit union movement. There are a lot of radtastic HR/training/organizational development folks in the credit union space, and I pick some of those people’s brains regularly. But it’s also important for me to make it a point to learn from everyone I can who’s amazing at this stuff, and obviously there are also experts in my field who are not in the credit union space. So it becomes my responsibility to go out and find those folks, learn from those folks, challenge myself to grow, and then help my organization and those I work with—as well as the industry as a whole—do the same.
For me, it means connecting and learning from folks like TalentCulture, Fistful of Talent, Linked 2 Leadership, Switch and Shift, and so on. It’s reading anything I can get my hands on in regards to leadership theory, organizational development & culture, talent management, HR, training, etc. It involves getting in on Twitter chats—like #TChat, #dthr (drive-thru-HR), #HRHappyHour, #NextChat (SHRM)—and whatever else to really immerse myself in my field and learn from others who may be excelling in my field.
The challenge for us, then, is to do what it takes to be not just the best within our industry at a given subject matter, but to be among the best in any industry at whatever it is we’re doing. For my fellow credit union colleagues, that means we have to find ways not only to be on the leading edge of our field within the credit union arena, but also outside it. The same is true for just about any area of expertise I suspect.
And to question posed at the beginning of this post? I don’t really know. Perhaps we’ll just say he married a furry little gal named Lucy (sort of how I just badly married biblical and evolutionary theories of origins) and leave it at that.
Matt Monge – Credit union executive by day. Workplace mojo maker by night. Jack Bauer wannabe all the time. Matt’s primary passion is his work as Chief Culture Officer at Mazuma Credit Union, but he also does speaking and consulting work on the side to help other organizations with what he’s passionate about: developing awesome culture, organizational identity, and leadership. He has been recognized as one of Credit Union Times’ “Trailblazers 40 Below,” and has spoken at CUNA’s national training and development conference in addition to other events. He has written articles for Training magazine, the Credit Union Times, the Credit Union Executives Society, CU Insight, and is a contributor for CU Water Cooler. He is also a Training magazine Top 125 Award winner. Matt is earning his Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. www.themojocompany.com