Co-opetition among co-operatives.

CU Water CoolerAs an editor of the CU Water Cooler, I will be writing occasional discussion posts there for a general credit union audience. My first one is on Nurturing Co-opetition.

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.

NOTE: Here is the CU Chat Up radio show I just did with Carla Day and Jimmy Marks.

Listen to internet radio with Carla Day on Blog Talk Radio

Join me on Monday for a Liquid Lunch…

On Monday, January 4th at 10am PT (1pm ET) I’ll be hosting the CU Water Cooler Liquid Lunch program. This is a free show with a rotating host, and I’m up next.

My guest will be Ed Brett, who is the Manager, Ecommerce Channel at Westminster Savings Credit Union here in the Metro Vancouver area. We’ll be talking about 2010, the opportunities, the challenges, the things we’re happy to leave behind and the things we’re excited to dig into.

You can call us at 917-889-7767 and join the conversation once the show begins. Talk to you then…

UPDATE: You can listen to the archive of episode #6 here: