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​Kick start your thinking

Looking for a new idea? Some inspiration? Check out these "Get Thinking" articles to stimulate your creativity about how to grow your credit union.

Branches remain a valuable component of member service
Branches are not going away, seriously. However, they are changing to meet the omni-channel access demands of today’s consumer. The Shared Branch concept is a course for future growth, as well as ideally suited to help credit unions meet many of today’s business challenges.
Tell your story to regulators and Congress; Hike the Hill, Sept. 13-15
People can’t understand what they don’t know; and once learned, they don’t retain it unless it’s repeated often (hence, why McDonald’s still advertises). To keep federal legislators’ and regulators’ attention turned to credit unions so they make policies that empower serving your members, join your Ohio peers on Sept. 13-15 for the 2016 Hike the Hill. This quick trek to Washington, D.C., is your opportunity to meet personally with federal regulators and Congressional offices on behalf of your credit union, its members, and the Movement.
How to get your share of this year’s mortgage market
Some key economic drivers point to a strong spring/summer home-buying season for credit unions in 2016 … if you’re ready to take advantage of it. CUNA Mutual Group’s Ben Weismer offers some proactive steps your credit union can take to spur more mortgages and other loans, while protecting members and your bottom line.
League membership perk offers smaller-asset CUs access to success tactics
League-member credit unions with assets of less than $50 million now have membership access to the Filene Research Institute, thanks to a partnership with the institute. Filene is dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis of issues vital to the future of credit unions and consumer finance.
Leadership lessons you can glean from 80s rap
The fundamentals of leadership can all be found in 80s rap, explained InVest48 speaker Eric Watts. At the core: leadership is all about relationships, and in order to build it, there are several key ingredients that when present together also explain why certain 80s rappers found such impressive success.
Want to inspire everyone to join your CU? It’s all about the “why”
When organizations focus exclusively on “what,” they see short-term results; those companies that enjoy long-term success, like Harley-Davidson, put “why” first every single time, said closing InVest48 keynoter David Meade of Start With Why. “What” and “how” don’t inspire people personally and don’t inspire them to do anything. It’s the “why” that gives people something in which to believe, and people want to be around people and do business with people who share common beliefs. Taking credit unions as an example, Meade explained that using “why” as the focal point for a vision/message would be, “We believe in elevating people’s quality of life, one person at a time. We do it through cooperative principles to deliver fair financial services. Want to try us?”
It’s all about thinking, doing, and leading at InVest48; get registered so you don’t miss it
Breakout sessions. They’re one of the main reasons you come to InVest48, and the Ohio Credit Union League has worked hard to put together a roster of breakout sessions around the topics keeping you awake at night. Credit unions have to deal with what’s right in front of them while also planning for the future; so we’re getting right to the point with sessions on strategic endeavors (the “Thinking” session track), operational tasks (“Doing”), and preparing the next generation of credit union leaders (“Leading”).
2016 prime for intense regulatory, legislative advocacy journey
Advocacy is how credit unions make their voice heard and set the legislative and regulatory agenda. The payoffs of the hard work in 2015 (risk-based capital rules were weakened, the National Credit Union Administration proposed looser member business lending rules, privately-insured credit unions now have access to the Federal Home Loan Bank, etc.) sets the stage for an even-more aggressive 2016 agenda. And despite the shortened legislative calendar this year, the League will continue its intense pace of leading advocacy for Ohio’s credit unions, representing you and furthering your interests.
A note of gratitude and thanks from Becky Hart
Thank you, Ohio credit unions.For 24+ years, I’ve had the privilege of working for you, with you, beside you. Though I really didn’t understand what you were when I began working for the League in 1991, I quickly became a fan of yours, an admirer of what you stand for, and most importantly, of WHY you do what you do. I got to know your leaders, and the more I learned from them, the prouder I became of working for co-ops with such a noble cause.
Did you know this about Facebook?
With social media continuously evolving and reinventing, when was the last time you explored the various features of Facebook? Whether creating a page for the first time or looking to revamp your existing page, consider one, or all, of these functions for additional ways to interact with members.
How do you measure and elevate the momentum of a board?
Looking to inject some energy into your credit union’s board of directors in 2016? There are three core challenges to elevating and sustaining the effectiveness of the board, according to “Entrenched or Energetic? Improving Credit Union Board Renewal” report by the Filene Research Institute. Learn about the three keys and how to test whether your process is effective.
How does “optionality” mean interdependency?
Change is inevitable. Value is king. And commitment means focused partnerships. All of these factors led the state credit union leaders who comprise the Ohio Credit Union League’s board of directors to make a bold move, unanimously voting to accept into membership a credit union regardless of its membership in the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Rather than a loosening of the Ohio League’s commitment to CUNA, this move is a doubling-down on its belief in the CUNA-League system. We believe that this move to conscious and intentional interdependency, rather than a mandatory coupling with undefined expectations, results is the strongest value proposition for Ohio’s credit unions.
Don’t miss a social media slam dunk in the fourth quarter
Do you ever feel benched when trying to brainstorm new social media content? Sometimes it can seem as though you’ve thought of and shared everything, and generating the next groundbreaking post is out of reach. But fear not, here are three tips to keep your social media game strong.
Pop quiz: What’s the “why” behind your job?
Can each member of your staff answer: “What is a credit union?” Do they understand why they do what they do? Is the mission, purpose, and philosophy of credit unions alive and in practice as you serve your member/owners?
Tips for shining like a rock star in the workplace
What causes people to stand out and to rise professionally? As Paul Mercer, President of the Ohio Credit Union League, sees it, there are five major ways that anyone can out-perform the status quo, and he shared those fundamental differentiators at the “Rising Stars: Mingle and Mentor” event hosted last week by your state trade association.
Better at learning by watching? Check this video out
As credit union vanguard Edward Filene famously said, “Keep purpose [those seven cooperative principles that are as true today as they’ve ever been] constant,” and use this video to stoke the cooperative flames within your staff and volunteers is a great way to do so.
Easy tricks for getting reporters’ attention
Traditional press kits and printed press releases are no longer enough to get the media attention you want. Your credit union’s press releases need to be concise and attention-grabbing in the first 30 seconds of reading to entice the reporter to continue and ask questions. It’s easy to forget that your press release audience is reporters and editors, who decide whether the information is worth sharing, not the consumer. Here are some tips to ensure your press release isn’t lost in the pile.
Smoking out the risk – Marijuana and financial institutions
Credit unions believe in building better communities and empowering individuals with the financial tools needed to shape a bright financial future. But, what if providing help to members who need it the most means breaking a federal law? That’s the conundrum of credit unions with members laden with cash from marijuana-related businesses. What are the rules, and how can a credit union step up to help?
Start everything with “why”
Why are some people or companies more successful than others? There’s actually a pattern, explained Simon Sinek in his 2009 TEDx Talk. They talk about “why” they exist.
Half as many CUs, serving twice as many members!
In 1990, 12,861 federally-insured credit unions were serving 55.6 million members, according to data from the National Credit Union Administration. At the end of March 2015, there were only 6,206 federally-insured credit unions and, here’s what is impressive and exciting: they now collectively represent nearly 100 million memberships nationwide! While the dwindling population of credit unions might seem a cause for sadness, the trend has clearly not been to the detriment of the Movement or expanded consumer participation in credit unions. The institutional decline of 51.7%, which has been and remains largely voluntary in order to achieve economies of scale, is more than offset by membership growth of 79.6%.
Looking for more ideas?

Filene Research Institute
Self-declared the "think and do" tank of the Credit Union Movement, the Filene Research Institute searches for new ideas and ways to put them into action. Check out the i3 concepts for totally new sparks to ignite the fire of your credit union's success.