post archives

December 17, 2012

With nearly three and a half decades in the financial services industry, Jim Lamond could have folded his arms and raised an eyebrow when Lean came to First West. What could Lean possibly give that 34 years of experience hadn’t already taught him?

Tempting as it may have been to take a wait-and-see attitude, or simply go through the motions, this VP of Credit for First West’s Valley First division went whole hog on Lean. In just a few months, he achieved his Lean black...

December 13, 2012

How First West's unique model enables the business to focus on the member. 

Risk Management. For most, it sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry. And you can bet you won’t ever find it trending on Twitter. Ever.

And because risk management is likely to become a hot topic only when something goes terribly wrong (sub-prime lending crisis, Occupy Wallstreet, anyone?), it sometimes has a stigma attached to it.

“When you talk risk...

November 27, 2012

Ask any CEO and they’ll tell you having a compelling corporate vision helps teams align and drives awareness and understanding of where the organization wants to be long-term.

So given the power of visioning in propelling companies forward, why do so many organizations not use this technique more broadly? We’ve done so at First West and found it can easily be applied to operational areas of the business, like process reengineering, for example. Because visioning can be...

November 15, 2012

It was far from a picture perfect moment for Eastman Kodak when it filed for bankruptcy in January of this year. A company widely respected for its innovation and quality, it dominated the film and photography industry for much of its 123-year history. It was a company which as early as 1975 had developed one of the first digital cameras and as recently as 2005 led digital camera sales in the U.S. But there it stood 10 months ago, filing for Chapter 11 protection so that it could restructure...

October 31, 2012

Helping neighbours out during hard times is part of what it means to be a local credit union

October 2008. It’s still pretty fresh in everyone’s memory, largely because the effects of the market meltdown fuelled by massive high-risk sub-prime lending practices of major financial institutions continue to be felt, especially in the United States and Europe. Though Canada was not hit nearly as hard, many Canadians found themselves unemployed or saw their...

October 29, 2012

Leadership, failure and the importance of trying

I love road trips. The good thing is that my husband does too, so whenever we can we like to take to the highways and byways across B.C. and the United States. It’s great going stateside, enjoying the beauty of the places we visit and the people we encounter. With each trip we seem to take away something special that makes our lives all the richer. And on a recent trip to the U.S., it was a bit of politics and...