No “I” in Team…A Popular Saying, But Do You Live It?

In Your Credit Union I am sure they talk about being a “team player”, or “part of the family”, but does that include idea sharing and innovation ? My guess is not a lot of the time.  I have run into a lot of my peers that have trouble “convincing” the board or management of their idea to change, or implement new plans, or even getting their thoughts heard.  This, more than ever, is the time to listen.

With the constant changes in technology and how people “bank”, we need to change and differentiate our credit unions and stay in touch with what is available out in the financial world.  But when management keeps its doors closed to those thoughts or ideas, we will fall behind the times faster and our membership will go elsewhere.  We do not want that so why not take a chance and try new things?

Bill Gates said it best :  “At Microsoft there are lots of brilliant ideas but the image is that they all come from the top – I’m afraid that’s not quite right”

Success is often reached by stepping outside the box  and that’s very true in the credit union industry.  I am fortunate to have a CEO who has an open door policy…and our success has a big portion to do with that open communication (In 5 years we have more than doubled our asset size by initiating new products and taking chances to try new things). I am not saying he implements all the  ideas, and sometimes he just shakes his head, but he listens. That’s the important part. It makes us feel part of the team and feel like we are part of what the Credit Union does. Isn’t that what management wants, to have their employees believe in their credit union and feel part of it?

Now is the time to develop some sort of communication with all the employees in your credit union that allows ideas to be shared, maybe not directly to the CEO or Upper management, but if the ideas aren’t allowed to be passed along, you may be missing out on some pretty cool, innovative ideas that could put your credit union at the next level and keep that competitive edge.

Consider some of your younger talent that have their finger on a different pulse than you.  They network with different folks and may hear about some innovative products that management might not know about.  Tap into that talent and harvest those ideas.  Remember, if you keep your employees engaged they are likely to be more efficient and motivated. There is no “I” in team…but there are “I’s” in leadership, innovation, and cooperation.

Aimee Johnson

Aimee Johnson

Aimee Johnson is the Vice President Of Lending for $55 million in assets, Oswego County FCU in Oswego, NY. She has been in the credit union movement for 9 years ... Details