by: Andy Janning, President, NO NET Solutions
If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten. – Runyard Kipling
I’ve loved movies since seeing my first one 35 years ago. In this era of DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, I can extend my enjoyment of a film through hours of extra features and behind-the-scenes documentaries.
One of my favorite parts is the deleted scenes, certainly for the content of scenes themselves but especially for the commentary preceding them. It’s the opportunity for the director, producer, or a cast member to explain the reasons why the scenes were originally included in the screenplay yet ultimately removed.
Many times, the commentator will praise the strength of the scene as it was first conceived, the regrets and reasons behind the edit, and his confidence in how the scene’s absence made the entire film better. For me, watching what was lost helps me appreciate what remained all the more, drawing me back into the story while strengthening my overall understanding of it.
There’s a lesson in there for credit unions.
The story behind your strategies – be they a new branch, product, service, or program – has its share of deleted scenes…compelling reasons why a particular direction was originally considered but ultimately rejected, and why that cut made something else better.
Granted, “compelling” may be the last word to come to mind when sitting through the seemingly endless series of planning and execution meetings; our calendars are choked with hazy chunks of time where a flurry of decisions came and went with little fanfare and drama. But those small details eventually form the products and services that let credit unions make a member’s financial dreams come true.
Professionals of all trades and talents take pride in their work, and in the tools and processes they used to produce it. They’re keenly interested in the effects they have on the people they serve, who are in turn just as curious about exactly how the pro’s vision became reality.
And so it is for credit union professionals and the members they serve. Members need to understand both the what and the why behind the credit union they own. The brochure and webpage and benefits and fees you proudly built may win a member’s business, but taking an equal measure of pride in the decisions you didn’t make and the directions you didn’t take could go a long way to earning a member’s deeper understanding and lasting trust.
So tell the story behind your new online banking service, that new branch, or the overhauled website. Comment freely and openly about the feature you didn’t load, the ground you didn’t break, or the page you didn’t build. Show how it made your CU better. Teach your full history to your members. They’ll never forget it.
Andy Janning is a former credit union executive and 8-time state and national award winner for excellence in organizational development. He’s a frequent contributor to credit union industry publications, an editor for CUWaterCooler.com, and speaks at a variety of state and national conferences. As the president and founder of NO NET Solutions, he loves teaming up with clients across the country to develop their experienced and emerging leaders while ensuring their corporate training strategies don’t become an industrial accident. Find out more at AndyJanning.com and follow him on Twitter at @andyjanning.