Posted by Karen Houston-Johnson, VP, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 4/29/2016

Guest Post by Yvonne Evers

You’ve been at the credit union for a number of years and you’re thinking about either retiring or leaving for a new opportunity. What responsibility do you have to prepare the credit union for your departure?

  1. Do your part to ensure that the CEO Succession Plan is complete and that the board is aware of which senior manager/s could serve as CEO in the interim during the search if necessary. This is something that you should discuss with your board chair and/or the full board on an annual basis even if you are not planning to leave.  Also, remember that it is your job as the CEO to develop the individuals who report to you using the leadership competencies developed by the board for the CEO role.
  2. Ensure that there is a solid strategic plan in place. Obviously, a new leader will bring some new ideas to the position but having a solid strategic plan in place may give your board and staff some reassurance of stability when you announce your departure.
  3. If you are planning to retire, it is respectful to give the board of directors 12 – 18 months of notice. Finding a new CEO is not something that happens quickly, especially when the people doing the search are volunteers who may have full-time jobs and other commitments outside the credit union.
  4. Of course, this goes without saying, work hard to ensure the credit union’s success right up until your last day. Thankfully I know very few CEOs who aren’t deeply committed to their credit union and wouldn’t do everything possible to ensure success.

Want to find out more about how to get your CEO Succession Plan done now? Join us for a free webinar – Be Prepared: CEO Succession Planning Simplified on May 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM. You will learn:

  1. Why you need a CEO succession plan NOW!
  2. The elements of a good succession plan, including the three critical elements that most are missing.
  3. How to easily create a CEO succession plan that:
    • Simplifies the succession process.
    • Produces qualified successors ready to lead.
    • Reassures the board of directors by providing a plan of action for future CEO transitions.

Click here for more information and to register.

Yvonne Evers is the Owner of YME Coaching & Consulting, LLC and the creator of SUCCESSION™, an online app for CEO, Management, and Board succession planning. She has been driving credit union leadership and board success for over 20 years. Find out how at

Categories: Education & Training, Employment & Staffing, Human Resources, Strategic Planning & Consulting, Succession Planning
Posted by Jon Knoll, VP Sales and Service, Credit Union Resources, Inc on 4/27/2016

It’s not that old, but yet there is a crack in my wife’s debit card.  That didn’t take long.  We have two different ways of thinking about this.  Her question is:  “How do I order another one”?  My answer is “Well we need to figure out why it has cracked so quickly… the first idea that comes to mind is that you are using it way too much”.  One would think that I should know better.  I should have followed our priest’s advice and/or my father’s advice.  I should have just said “Yes dear, let’s find out how to order you a new debit card, and we can look at all the great customization options for the design that our credit union offers. “  It’s a great thing she knows how to handle me, she simply said, “Ha Ha, but I DO need your help.”  The way she said “ha ha” was in the low voice, that’s funny but not really kind of tone.  It was a warning shot, so to speak.

I offered that we can CALL the credit union; it may take just a few minutes for them to order a customized card of our choosing.  Here is the response we all knew was coming.  “Shouldn’t I be able to do this on my mobile app?” 

The answer to that question is yes.  However, I couldn’t find how/where to order a new card whether it was on the mobile app, home banking, or on the website.  Two weeks later, we still haven’t called the credit union to re-order.  It’s a good thing the card is still working, however, when it finally doesn’t work, I’ll be in trouble, again.

A week after this discussion with my wife, I attend the Cornerstone Credit Union League Annual Meeting in OKC.  We had a speaker deliver a great message about building a brand, building a strategy to differentiate ourselves from our competitors.   Ken Schmidt, from Harley Davidson, took us through a simple exercise.  He asked a hypothetical question, “what if I moved to Boerne, TX to be closer to my in-laws.  Where would I find my mortgage loan, auto loans, and recreational loans?”  He checked several local credit union and bank websites, and displayed his findings to us.  Interestingly enough, all of the websites looked eerily the same, using the same colors, similar format and design, and offered nearly the same rates, products and services.  The exercise took about 30 seconds as we viewed a half dozen or so websites.  We found very little differentiation based on website appeal/design.  In preparation for this blog, I surfed many credit union and bank websites, and found the same phenomenon.  Here are a couple of sites that were different:

Ken’s example about moving to Texas is a real thing.  Like Ken, many people are looking to move into our region.  Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma project continued record breaking population growth.  By 2030, North Texas (and just North Texas), is expected to grow by 3 million people.  In Collin County alone, we expect an 80% growth in population by 2030.  In Oklahoma the population will grow from 3.9 million to 4.4 million.  In Arkansas, population is expected to grow from 2.9 million to 3.2 million.  In all cases, this population growth is expected to be the younger generations.  They will ask the question that my wife asked; can I just do this on my mobile app?

There are many challenges to moving everything a credit union does to mobile.  We would like to think that everything is plug_and_play, flip a switch and it works, and that it all integrates seamlessly.  This just isn’t the case.   Mobile apps are just one thing to worry about as well.  Credit unions have begun creating a “digital strategy”, including website design, mobile app, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, snapchat, and many other social media applications.  All of these “apps” must work together and speak to our brand and our messaging.

Here are a few highlights from Filene Research Institute of why a digital strategy is important: 

  •  20 X increase in mobile searches for banking terms in the last three years
  • 50% of consumers report searching exclusively online for financial services products
  • Online banking adoption rates for credit unions exceed bank customers
  • By 2020, Gen Y = 40% of all workers, and they will also be in their key borrowing years

Not only must we be able to do anything and everything through any one of the available channels, our behind the scenes processes must be effective and efficient.  The best experience I have had to date is a recent credit card pre-approval email I received from my credit union.  I clicked on the link, verified which credit card product I wanted, verified my information, and 3 days later, voila, a new EMV chip enabled card was at my doorstep.  The whole process to accept the pre-approval offer felt like it took under 60 seconds.  In addition, I can manage the card all through the same mobile app I access for everything else, brilliant.

The Filene Research Institute has resources available for all size credit unions, including a program to assist credit unions in building a comprehensive, from the ground up, digital strategy. Like anything, it will become a living and breathing plan in your institution.  Here is the link to the Digital Strategies landing page:

What is your Digital Strategy plan through 2030?  Let’s get ready for the influx of potential members in Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Categories: Business Partners, Marketing & Printing, Remote Transaction, Sales & Service, Strategic Planning & Consulting, Technology Consulting & Compliance
Posted by David England, Senior Research Analyst, Cornerstone Credit Union League on 4/25/2016

How many times have you heard that mastering the basics is important? Of course, it is so true – especially in serving our members.  While consumers have multiple financial institutions to choose from, top performing credit unions win the battle in their members’ minds for important basics such as:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Quality of service and support
  • Delivering value
  • Ease of doing business with
  • Providing products and services that meet their needs. 

How do they do it?  They say it takes hard work and a commitment to their members beyond what the competition is willing to make.  For example, they pay attention to their members, using systematic approaches to understand how members define “quality,” “value” and “easy”. 

Key to winning these battles is that these successful credit unions learn and innovate - continuously.  They generate and develop new ideas and act on the good ones.  This helps them build an adaptive, flexible culture in their credit unions. 

Considering the increasing competition, credit unions have to step up their games. These five performance dimensions are critical to long-term success. 

If members (and potential members) were to rank you highest in these dimensions relative to your competition, your financial performance would improve significantly.  The growth comes through capturing more of your current members’ business and bringing in new members via marketing and word of mouth.  These are the basic facts, and they are incontrovertible. 

  • Experience informs us that successful credit unions gain the following benefits.
  • Increases in loyalty (higher NPS, more Promoters and fewer Detractors)
  • Increases in the number of products and services used per member
  • Increases in the number of new members referred from existing members – and these new members are proving to be more profitable than the existing members
  • Increases in profits, based upon the above

It is hard work.  And, it requires exceptionable commitment to members.  These are practices at which credit unions excel.  Keep learning those basic facts about your members and winning more of those battles!


Categories: Marketing & Printing, Research
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