League Collaboration and Innovation Conference Cooks Up Big Ideas for Connecticut Credit Unions

With the foliage season in full swing, representatives from credit unions all across Connecticut gathered, like so many maple leaves piling in the yard, to attend the League’s annual Collaboration and Innovation Conference at Ashlar Village in Wallingford. Hands shook. Coffee poured. Dr. John Mahon lined up four unsuspecting attendees and told them to imagine they were now buried up to their necks in cold sand with only one way out before the tide consumed them.

This year, the League brought in credit union innovators from around the country for a full day of collaboration workshops intended to equip CT credit unions with the ideas, examples, and methods necessary for bringing their business to new heights.

On The Docket:

Innovations and Collaboration – Dr. John Mahon, Professor of Management
Maine Business School, University of Maine

After digging up his entrenched volunteers, John Mahon impressed listeners with collaboration success stories ranging from stream-lining peak performance of city bus routes to understanding how a flexible hotel check in can attract international travelers.  Dr. Mahon emphasizes a systems approach to innovative problem solving, using an interactive square design game to encourage attendees to question fundamentals. Can team structure affect productivity? What new methods can we use to enhance top down communication? Are we too focused on the rules and barriers we have made for ourselves?

Growing Your Credit Union through Credit Union Innovations – Lois Kitsch, Director
National Credit Union Foundation

Lois Challenged her session to brainstorm and innovate now. Table teams produced new ideas for how to attract more loans using an innovation process diagram as their guide. She then gave examples of successful idea implementation including ongoing educational events for members like a retirement planning fair, sub-prime auto loans, and load and go debit cards (Co-Vantage CU earns $40,000 annually on these with no losses!).

Creating a CUSO – John Murphy, President/CEO and Rod Rovzar, Attorney
Maine Credit Union League/Synergent, Norman Hanson & DeTroy

Ever have a great CUSO idea? Ever think about turning that idea into a profitable business which can help your credit union grow and prosper? Afraid to take the next step? Meet John Murphy and Rod Rovzar. “If you want to know anything about Leagues and credit unions, talk to John Murphy” opens Nick Moalli introducing the Creating a CUSO session. John and Rod took over to prove Nick right with a very informative and conversation based presentation about the practical operation and technical legal issues of starting a CUSO. After addressing many of these limitations, they gave examples of successful, old and new CUSOs and offered themselves as a resource to any CUSO innovators in the crowd moving forward.

Collaboration in Action – Robert York, Director
SCCUA (Southern California Credit Union Alliance)

Robert York is an Olympic organizer. Winter? Summer? Sochi? No, Robert operates a Southern California Credit Union Olympics. Why? To fill the void left by cut backs to company trips, events, and parties. One of SCCUA’s main services is FUN and it works. The SCCUA offers many events to their member credit unions to not only provide fun but also non threatening networking opportunities. Many more of their innovative ideas can be found on his presentation posted in the member’s only section of the League website.

From the Inside Out – Tammy Williams, President/CEO
Best Advantage Credit Union

The keynote speaker, Tammy Williams took us on the journey of her Wisconsin based Credit Union to become the credit union of the future, focusing on attracting younger members with social media, educational opportunities, atmosphere enhancements, financial architects and yes, dance parties. Tammy’s story enables other credit unions to break out of shackling traditions to attract a larger, younger and more forward thinking membership. Perhaps ‘Chatter Yak!’ can provide the social media marketing solutions your credit union has been looking for.

More information and full presentations can be found in the members section of the League website: http://culct.coop/.

Connecting, Innovating, Educating,  

Providing Exceptional Value Through Cooperative Support