CUSOs: The Will to Speak, to Invest, and to Be – More

Special: NACUSO Platinum Sponsor, Randy Karnes, CEO, CU*Answers, Gets Ready to go Underground!

NACUSO attendees, I look forward to seeing you at the Underground Collision event. I hope you are considering why and what you will contribute to the conversation. For every comment or Call to Action I hope someone in the room throws out a counter, because for Underground Collisions to create change, ideas must collide and conversations need to shake people into active consideration of what to do next. And since this is a CUSO event, I am more engaged than normal. All CUSO leaders should be.

If you wonder if I am just spouting off about what CU leaders should think about, I am not. I am spouting off because I believe every CUSO leader should have an active voice and active opinion about everything structural in the credit union business universe. Every day the ability of credit unions to be the masters of their own universe slips a bit. While they are suited to be the relational leaders that draw 100 million members to their organizations, they are potentially not ready for the task-based portfolios of projects to respond to the dynamic effort to redesign the industry for the future. While they seem to be flush in liquidity, it is spoken for and not always readily available to venture investment. While credit union leaders are talented lenders and evaluators of ROI, few are as ready as CUSO leaders to look past the need to worry about a perfect prediction of ROI and just go for it. And while they are political beasts, they are too ready to stay in their own lane and comply with the politically appropriate response to every change the NCUA casts upon them. CUSOs cannot be compliant business people, they must be agitators and disruptive political beasts. They must be leaders to think big and even dare to believe they can change the very board members that are picked to lead the NCUA and other key pulpits that affect our futures. 

Want more frequent interaction that raises credit union roofs? Join the Underground Community!

None of this is an attack on our credit union leaders. Just the opposite, in fact. I just believe we need to be the second most important column in pushing our industry toward the future. But we have to think bigger than we have in the past. We have to demand the chance to influence leaders or just be the leaders ourselves. We have to look up from our lanes, from our independent tactical tracks, and add some BIG GOALS for the industry beyond our individual focuses. 

We need the will to speak, the will to invest, and the will to be more. At the Underground Collision on April 14 in San Diego, I hope we envision such a call to action that would move you. Move you to act. Move you to disagree. Move you to nominate a direction. Move you to think.

If you are looking for energy as inspiration, or looking to create energy for your organization, or simply looking for a collision of ideas like a roadside gawker, I hope to see you in San Diego at the Grand Hyatt on April 14.