post archives

April 10, 2012

Never-quit attitude takes former teller to the president’s chair

There’s something disarming about first meeting Shelley Besse. Maybe it’s the kindness in her voice or her down-to-earth demeanor. But it’s more likely the sense that this forty-something credit union star already has more than a lifetime of experience.

“Everyone has those pivotal moments, those life events that shape their future,” shares the new president of...

April 9, 2012

So why Lean? There are many reasons, but let us give you just a few really good ones. The first comes from experience—we found the traditional, top-down approach to process improvement—where a small, centralized team of process experts looks for and implements efficiencies—wasn’t right for us. We needed the engagement and expertise of more people, from the front lines to the back office.

That leads into the second point: Lean aligns with ...

April 2, 2012

What we did (and could have done better) for our team members during B.C.’s largest ever credit union partnering 

Many organizations today need mergers to achieve economies of scale, accelerate growth, diversify risk and secure other benefits that can’t be gained organically. Still, the facts on mergers indicate that the true measure of success is satisfied customers and employees. So the real puzzle is not how to do a merger, but how to do it right...

April 2, 2012

People often ask us “what made you start looking at Lean? What end-result are you looking for?”

In a word, value. It’s really all about creating value for our members through the elimination of waste. But going Lean isn’t a flip-the-switch deal—it’s a journey. Our Lean for Service trailer highlights the other benefits of a Lean journey.

See our more in-depth...

March 8, 2012

Over the past two years or so, the team here at First West has been on a journey to create something new among financial institutions in Canada, especially credit unions. We’ve learned that it takes courage to be different and to lead.

I was reminded of this recently when I received a forward of this video interview of Seth Godin. He also touches on many elements of servant leadership,...

March 8, 2012

First West CEO Launi Skinner was recognized as one of Business in Vancouver’s Influential Women in Business on March 6, 2012. Here are her brief remarks on leadership, courage and inspiring others.

Good afternoon everyone and thank you so much for this honour.  It’s a genuine privilege to be counted among these exceptional women—women who have contributed to the betterment of our city, region and province.

A few days from now, we celebrate...