To innovate, get nervous

Innovation is hard. If you want the results but aren’t willing to do the work, you won’t succeed.

When you find success, a lot of people are going to want the results you’ve had, but the question will be: “Are they willing to do what you’ve done.” I didn’t realize how prescient this question was but, coming from someone with as much experience as Dennis Dollar, I should have known.

In the just under six years that we’ve been a team, $320 million Tucoemas Credit Union, Visalia, California, has experienced the best period in its nearly 75-year history. In 2016 we were, like many credit unions today, struggling to get our trend lines going in the right direction. Income was down, yield was down, engagement was down, morale was… well, you get the picture. As one former credit union leader was leaving the building for the last time, she whispered to a colleague, “don’t worry, the NCUA will take over this place in six months, and you’ll be fine.” Needless to say, we weren’t fine.

Since that time, our newly formed leadership team has made many hard decisions. We’ve given up things, eliminated things, paid for better things, focused on things, worked on hard things, implemented things, built and remodeled things, and even fired a few things. You can find the complete list in my forthcoming book, “Things That Almost Got Me Fired,” but to summarize, let me use two of our core values: We decided to Stop Doing Stupid Things so that we could Be Awesome.

Here are a few of our accomplishments:


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