Fixing what’s broken at your credit union in 2022

Kintsugi plate with blue and white

Is your credit union broken? Are goals not being met? You’re not alone, and you’re not too far gone. You just need a little Kintsugi.

I recently read an article on Kintsugi (another reason you don’t want to run into me at a dinner party!), the ancient art and philosophy hailing from 15th century Japan centered on making broken beautiful. It treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object rather than something to disguise.

The brokenness at your credit union right now that is keeping you from being able to realize your goals may very well be the thing you need to embrace and do the hard work of also publicly repairing that brokenness.

During our recent YMC Family Meeting in New Orleans our VP of Ideas and Results Frank Allgood shared the story of Dominos’ rebound more than a decade ago. In the years leading up to 2009, Dominos was facing an obvious brand crisis with very vocal criticism about its cardboard-like crust, processed cheese, and ketchup-tasting tomato sauce.

Dominos embraced this, recognized the issue, and practiced Kintsugi, leading to one of the best brand comebacks lead by simple yet genius communication. The company’s strategy was simple, own up and tell your turnaround story. Dominos CEO Patrick Doyle had this advice for leaders on turning around a broken brand: “The old days of trying to spin things simply doesn’t work anymore. Great brands going forward are going to have a level of honesty and transparency that hasn’t been seen before.” 

It’s easy to share stories like that from other brands, but how about I get real and share a personal story?

Back in YMC’s heyday in 2017 and 2018, we saw tremendous growth in the number of clients. However, I started getting anxious. Staff turnover increased. Client turnover rose. I wasn’t having fun anymore.

Our growth led to a great bottom line, but we were straying from our why. We were straying from the mission I was so passionate about, and I had to finally say ‘no more.’ At the end of 2018, I made some difficult decisions. We:

  • Capped the number of clients we could work with until we solved our process and staffing issues
  • Invested time and money into coaching, learning, adjusting and measuring the KPIs that were important to fulfilling our mission

I wish I could say our work is done, but we’ve come a long way since we practiced some Kintsugi at YMC. Client turnover is nonexistent in 2020 and 2021 (sans one merger and one client we decided to let go of). Our staffing is in the best place we’ve ever had, comprising a group of passionate experts who give a damn. Our client roster is full of “ideal clients” who are mission-focused, strategic, and want to grow for the sake of helping more people.

Where is your credit union right now? Do you feel broken beyond repair?

Don’t give up.

Don’t sign those merger papers yet.

Over the course of the last few years, we’ve helped credit unions find their Kintsugi. Using our unique onboarding process, we walk clients through an intense exercise that helps identify what’s broken in various areas of the credit union and what is keeping it from growing. We help find solutions, hold them accountable and get a bird’s eye view of some amazing turnaround stories.

With Kintsugi, instead of being thrown out, a bowl, dish, teapot, or vase that was once in pieces becomes useful and lovely again. In other words, kintsugi makes broken beautiful. Our team wants to help your credit union find its Kintsugi and celebrate yet another turnaround story. Want to talk? Email me:

Let's Get Started!

Dexter Ochoa

Development Assistant

When it comes to blending logical thinking and creative problem solving, Dexter’s abilities are undeniable! Beginning his career as a Web Developer, he’s no stranger to the wide world of Marketing and Advertising. Calling Biñan City in the Philippines home, Dexter has a burning desire to visit the Alpine peaks and valleys of Switzerland. While that journey may be far off, he is still no stranger to international travel. While visiting Japan, he was able to enjoy his favorite delicacy: Sushi and Sashimi. He also learned unexpected facts about Japanese Yen, specifically that it has special markings for the blind to know its value!

Living life by his motto to “Do good even if the world is unfair,” Dexter would also advise his younger self, “It’s hard, but you’re doing good!” Whether he’s enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning or the occasional Pale Pilsen in the evening, Dexter is eager to work with the talented professionals of YMC, and we’re just as eager to add his talent to the team as well! His marketing words of wisdom? “Be creative, and just do what you want!”

Andrew Wyche


Hailing from the NC state capital (that’s Raleigh if you didn’t know), Andrew is YMC’s Copywriter extraordinaire. That’s why he knows that “The verb form of ‘reconnaissance’ is ‘reconnoiter.’ The former is, strictly speaking, a noun.” Seriously, he knows his words and he’ll use those words to get bold and weird (in a good way) with his copy. Fuelled by a love for pasta, shellfish, a good single malt, or a meal consisting of all three, Andrew navigates life with a motto engraved in his heart: “Choose kindness. Always.” It is this guiding principle that has led him to explore the realm of marketing, driven by a desire to connect with people in meaningful ways. As he continues to chase his dreams, one bucket list item stands out above the rest – a pilgrimage to Scotland. With his heart set on adventure and his pen poised for creativity, Andrew’s journey is far from over.

Alex VanHaasteren

Senior Web Developer

Alex is YMC’s Senior Web Developer and, as the title suggests, she is an absolute pro! While she initially started in graphic design – working long and hard to expertly bring concepts to life – she also felt drawn to technology and applying her natural ability to problem solve. Web Development proved the perfect blend of her creative passion and technical savvy.

When Alex is out with friends – including her YMC colleagues – she’s up for Greek cuisine or some good pulled pork BBQ washed down with Diet Coke. Or an Old Fashioned, if the occasion demands. Someday, she hopes to go to Africa on a safari. Hopefully she’ll see a giraffe in the wild, because – as she’s pointed out – its neck is too short to reach the ground!

When she isn’t jamming out to T-Swift, she’s happy to impart some marketing words of wisdom, “Aim to create something unforgettable.” For day-to-day inspiration, she would remind you of two fundamental truths: You decide your happiness, and Ice cream is its own food group—not just a dessert.

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