“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” - Henry Ford.
Mr. Ford probably wasn’t referring to credit unions; but collaboration among cooperatives – what a great idea! Through the years, many credit union groups across the country have met to discuss the idea of collaborating. In many cases, the outcome has been a mutually beneficial relationship for most, if not all of the participants. Wouldn’t it be smart to combine our efforts and gain economies of scale and/or greater access to services? In theory, yes, is definitely the answer. But making collaboration a reality sometimes gets bogged down in the details.
In 2011, The Texas Credit Union League conducted a study that provided some insight into the topic of credit unions collaborating. The study asked credit union CEOs what types of operational enterprises would work best in a collaborative effort. Along the way, the study uncovered a running theme – the issue of trust among the participants. That was a constant backdrop to any prospect of moving into a multiple credit union relationship for the purpose of sharing a service. It seems credit union CEOs may see the value in collaboration, but have a more difficult time getting to the jumping-off point – and taking that first big step.
Another recurring point in the survey results was that many of the credit union CEOs saw the league’s involvement as a possible solution to the issue of trust, maybe even welcome the league as a partner in the collaborative process.
Credit Union Resources has made forays into providing collaborative services in some areas such as human resources, compliance and shared branching. In what other areas could we do what Henry Ford suggested: come together, stay together and work together to achieve success?
What are your ideas? We are always ready to explore new ways to help credit unions thrive.