post archives

July 29, 2013

3 things credit unions can learn from Netflix

In the business limelight of late is Netflix, which really seems to be shaking things up in the entertainment industry. Netflix wants to be HBO, its executives are saying1, but here’s the kicker: they want to be doing what HBO does before HBO can do what Netflix does. By reaching for that, they’re actually aiming to be more than HBO.

Netflix leaders seem to have in mind something we...

June 3, 2013

Pointers for grounding innovation efforts in your organization

When I joined First West two years ago, I knew right away I was signing up for something innovative in and of itself. First West’s stay local, work big, achieve more model means that it has three unique retail brands nested within a non-consumer-facing parent brand. Not unusual in the business world, but certainly unique in the more staid and traditional credit union system.

May 28, 2013

It seems everyone and their dog is innovating these days. But do the claims lack teeth—and does it matter in financial services?

When one thinks innovation, traditional industries like financial services aren’t the first to come to mind. That’s often reserved for technology-based business or manufacturing. But as of late, the marketplace is seeing more and more claims of innovation—and from all corners, major financial players and credit unions...

March 20, 2013

3 reasons membership growth should matter to your credit union

As Chief Financial Officer, I spend a lot of time examining indicators of financial health—the things you’d expect from the head finance guy: ROA, expense ratio, operational efficiency, the bottom line of course, and others. But there’s one number that I’ve learned to pay equal attention to over the last few years because it’s a vital sign for any credit union—membership...

January 25, 2013

Launi Skinner's top three predictions for the credit union industry in 2013

When it comes to predicting the long-term future of the credit union system, there is no magic crystal ball to consult. But having travelled across the country and met with dozens of leaders of both big and small credit unions, I’ve gotten a feel for the major themes influencing the plans for these organizations in 2013.

Many will continue to focus on tried-and-true elements...

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...