Earlier this week, more than 70 credit union professionals and business partners gathered at the historic Black Leg Ranch for DakCU’s annual New Ideas Conference! As promised, this year’s event left attendees excited, invigorated, and inspired with new concepts, as well as actionable steps and key takeaways they can begin to implement at their organizations immediately.
“I have been to many of the New Ideas Conferences, and I have never been disappointed,” stated Nanci Wilson, Marketing & Community Engagement with University FCU (Grand Forks, ND). “New Ideas encourages you to think outside of the box and collaborate in a comfortable atmosphere among professional peers. It's always one of my favorite conferences and this year once again secured that very fact,” she added.
Steve Delap, President of Vue Community CU (Bismarck, ND) also found the conference worthwhile. “I thought the New Ideas Conference was wonderful for member engagement, and especially for communication with staff and improving the overall culture within your own credit union,” he remarked.
Tiffanie Kouf, Marketing Coordinator at M-O Federal CU (Huron, SD) travelled all the way to Bismarck to attend this year. “I haven't been to a New Ideas Conference in several years – but this was one of the best conferences I've been too. The presenters, the ideas, everything! DakCU did a great job organizing this event,” she said.
With an impressive speaker lineup, including special guest and emcee, Chris Lorence from CU Awareness LLC, it’s no wonder attendees felt this year’s conference was especially valuable. Below is a review of key takeaways from each of our presenters.
Jay Doan from Black Leg Ranch illustrated his firsthand knowledge about the importance of diversifying as well as the concept of regeneration. He emphasized the value of sweat equity, opportunities for youth, and having a sound strategic plan. “When you do things differently, people may look at you funny, but you have to prove them wrong,” he stated. “Give them a reason not to do things like we are used to or like we always have.”
Patrick Metzger from EOS Worldwide provided effective communication skills to keep your team involved and informed and how to tie that into your organizational goals, strategic planning, and internal communications. He discussed the importance of having a company vision, which is critical to getting everyone on the same page with where the company is going long term, and how the company is going to get there. He also mentioned the importance of getting the right people in your organization that fit your credit union’s culture and values, getting them in the right seats to be the most successful. “We must learn to have open, honest, and healthy discussions on how to solve issues throughout the organization, and clear, understood processes to create consistency and scalability. Finally, we must consider the hard facts – the data.” Unbiased by feelings and opinions, good data allows an organization to have clear priorities and goals.
Jack Stahlman, the “Don’t Flinch Guy,” explained how weaving in life lessons, thinking outside yourself, and seeing the world through the eyes of others, one can gain a new appreciation for decision making at all levels within an organization. Are you aware of how others perceive you? Are you willing to make a shift, to change when necessary? Are you constantly seeking, tweaking, and saying “yes and…” to make your organization better? Finally, if you can make your teammates and your customers feel like they are important, you become more important in their eyes. That’s invaluable, and it costs you nothing!
Sean Raboin from HTG demonstrated how traditional ways of delivering financial services are a thing of the past – and how a new approach and the right physical environment can separate you from the competition and enhance relationship building strategies. He explored how the relationship experience is your ultimate delivery – and the importance of evolving from transaction based service to relationship based.
Last but not least, Ted Brown with Digital Onboarding explained why acquiring a new account can be expensive, along with recommendations to turn new and existing members into deep and lasting relationships. Did you know the average length of time a customer has their primary checking account is 17 years? He stated that a credit union’s goal should not necessarily be acquiring more members, but having more active, engaged, loyal, profitable relationships with your current members. Are you solving problems for your members’ households? Relationships is where all the value resides; the key is to marry the convenience of technology with service AND relationships.
DakCU would like to thank all the attendees, business partners, and presenters for helping us to host such a successful event. We trust you found the conference valuable and left with some great New Ideas to take back to your credit unions!
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