Small Credit Union Community Creates Big Buzz at MAXX 2017

Small credit unions from across the Northwest gathered at this week’s convention to discover solutions to some of their biggest challenges.

10/24/17

When small credit union professionals got together at your Association’s MAXX Convention, you could hear the excited buzz from down the hall. A high-energy “speed dating” exercise helped small credit unions collaborate to find answers to some of their challenges — and certainly brought a whole new meaning to the term “roundtable.”

About 70 attendees rotated from table to table for ten-minute conversations focused on grant opportunities, employee sharing and talent development, compliance, cybersecurity, operational expense reduction, long range planning, and growing direct lending.

The Small Credit Union Roundtable was sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group and facilitated by Dee Dee Myers, CEO of DDJ Myers, Ltd., the leadership development and strategic planning agency.

Innovative examples of cost savings the group shared included:

  • Credit unions supporting small, local marketing businesses by hiring them to do their marketing and social media;
  • Finding less expensive payroll processing options, especially those that offer online services, and cater specifically to small businesses;
  • Reviewing contracts to ensure credit unions are not trapped into automatic renewals for services they don’t need; and
  • Asking contractors for a price break, as many reasonable business partners will agree to do what is best and most reasonably priced for their clients.

Particularly interesting was a discussion from the talent development table about recruiting professionals who are “tigers,” employees who are on the hunt to serve the credit union, versus “teacups,” or employees who wait to be told what to do. The challenge, attendees agreed, is finding the tigers.

“Did you find the answer?” Deedee Myers asked. “Maybe you need another ten minutes, or ten hours.”

“The answer is to send your employees to Emerging Leaders,” answered Tim Tolliver, VP, Integrated Performance Systems. Tolliver partners with Myers in teaching the Emerging Leaders program for the NWCUA’s member credit unions.

While Myers joked the recommendation was “shameless self-promotion,” it drew a round of applause.

The spirit of collaboration that defined the MAXX Small Credit Union Roundtable is indicative of the Northwest Credit Union Movement’s cooperative strength.