My guest speaker at CU Water Cooler Symposium.

CU Water Cooler SymposiumThree years ago I attended what was then known as the Partnership Symposium (here’s a video of my presentation). It was an outstanding conference on issues affecting credit unions, held at the innovative and welcoming FORUM Credit Union in Fishers, Indiana. For those of us at credit unions who were early adopters of social media, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to meet up in person, sometimes for the first time.

Last year, I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go, (two years ago it was cancelled due to the weak economic climate), but in partnership with the CU Water Cooler, it was renamed the CU Water Cooler Symposium, and each editor of the Water Cooler chose a speaker to present at the Symposium. I chose my colleague in Strategy at Vancity, Bill Corbett, who spoke about how Vancity embraces the co-operative model.

This year’s event is September 29th and 30th, again at FORUM in Fishers, Indiana. I am so pleased to announce my speaker for this year’s event: David Gouthro, President of The Consulting Edge. I have been working with David for a few months now, and know his work with credit unions in Canada as a facilitator and leadership development consultant. I chose David for his good humour, unique perspective, deep experience, commitment to the co-operative model and his facilitation skills.

Listen to the episode of the CU Chat Up radio show with David and me.

Here’s what I hope will come of the session: I go to conferences, meet some amazing people, learn some great stuff, but often am left wondering how I can bring new perspectives to my job once I’m back sitting at my desk. David will be facilitating a 90-minute wrap up at the end of the first day of the CU Water Cooler Symposium amongst all presenters and attendees, to discuss what we’ve learned and how to bring it back to our organizations and keep it active. Should be an amazing session.

I’ll also be speaking to Vancity’s five-year journey engaging members and the community via social media – the same topic I’m speaking to at this year’s World Credit Union Conference.

So, plan on coming to the CU Water Cooler Symposium this year. It’s September 29th and 30th in Fishers, Indiana. It promises to be a great event, and I hope to see you there.

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: