Want to Grow Your Credit Union Membership? Do This First.

hands shaking

I recently facilitated a two-day planning session for a credit union, and before the meeting began, the CEO shared his primary goal with me. “If we don’t accomplish anything else in 2020,” he said, “we need to grow membership.” With this goal in mind, he was eager to discuss strategies that would bring in new […]

Solving a Problem? Here’s the one question you MUST ask first!


Answers come fast. When times are tough or something bad happens, it seems like there’s always a line of people waiting to offer advice. Everyone has an idea. Everybody has an opinion. But do any of them truly understand what the problem is? Probably not. After facilitating strategic planning sessions for financial institutions over the […]

Hurricane Reflections: If You Want to Grow, You’ll Need to Change.

hurricane river

As I write this, I’m sitting in New Orleans near the banks of the Mississippi River, banks that Hurricane Barry recently threatened to overflow. Fortunately, the Big Easy didn’t experience a catastrophic storm surge, but the rising waters did cause me to reflect on a statement that a board chair made as we kicked off […]

Considering a Merger? Do This First!

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the CEO of a $20 million credit union. After learning about the results they’re seeing, I exclaimed, “You’re doing some amazing things for a credit union your size!” Wanting to know more about what led to their recent success, I asked for some background on the credit […]

Break Free from Fear-Based Strategic Planning

When I encounter resistance during a strategic planning session with a credit union, I know it’s time to pause, regroup, and gain perspective. Resistance rarely happens because the board and leadership team don’t care; it’s surfaces because fear is making them freeze. In most of these sessions, we introduce ideas that are so different from […]

If You’re Writing Off Millennials, You’re Missing Out!

“They are a generation of coddled infants who developed into demanding tyrants.” This quote sounds a lot like the statements I hear veteran board members make about “those damn millennials.” While the line certainly seems to capture a popular sentiment about Millennials, it wasn’t about them at all. Written in 1968 by Lisa Hammel of […]

Stop Making It So Hard for People To Do Business With You!

“Why aren’t we growing?” Frustrated credit union leaders ask me this question when they’re trying to figure out why growth numbers are falling short. They’re proud of the fact that they’re leading a small not-for-profit financial cooperative, and they can’t see why anyone would choose a different banking option. They usually follow their first question […]

And the Main Killer of Marketing Success Is…

Picture this: It’s a warm summer afternoon in your hometown. Two brothers return from the playground to find both their parents had run to the store. Locked out of their home, they did what adventurous young boys do; they climbed onto the roof and shimmied down the chimney to get into their house. When they […]

One Word Describes Why You’re Not Growing: F***

Girl with hand over mouth

If you don’t have big conversations and set ambitious goals in your strategic planning session this fall, it’s because of one word: Fear. “I just wish we could get the results that your clients are having.” I hear this statement often, and it usually comes from leaders who are afraid of change. They fear failure […]