I first leaned of this term from Scott Baldwin several years back when he was a peer at North Shore Credit Union (he’s now at our central, Central1). I instantly liked this term, because I knew that co-operatives competed in a different way than corporations. It’s also a term I heard a lot in Bologna.
We all have co-opetition in our lives. Kids do it in gym class, we do it when we play a board game with friends, and at Vancity we do it when we have a friendly competition between branches to hit a sales target. It’s a friendly competition when we’re not out to crush the competition, we actually want to see all competitors do well, we just want to do slightly better than them. That’s the way I feel about other CUs.
I chair the Direct Banking Strategy Committee at Central1, which is a way for BC CUs to co-operate in planning the future of MemberDirect, the online/mobile banking platform provided by Central1, and used by literally all credit unions in BC. I chose this as a great example of co-operative principle number six – co-operation among co-operatives – and the first of what I picture as a three-parter at the CU Water Cooler. Enjoy, and let me know what you think.