BC Young Leaders

As we approach the end of August, I will update you with the amazing progress on the BC Young Leaders (BCYL) Initiative. We have reached out to 10 credit unions, Central1’s HR and Operations Advisory Board with all giving us full support moving forward. On top of that, the most exciting news to share is how everyone has been willing to offer their resources, people and experience – that is the true cooperative principle in action.

This project does not need testing grounds or pilots as it has been done in other provinces with great success. These groups are our inspiration for what we could do. We’ve had formal conversations with Young Leader groups from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Canadian National Young Leaders Committee. This was a pivotal step in our planning as we learned what went well, what did not and what could be improved. The main take away from all discussions was to constantly communicate to key stakeholders, prove the return on investment and what funding model could fit best.

This project has the potential to reach 43 credit unions and 5,000 young leaders in the system. With over 33% of BC credit union employees reaching retirement age of 65 within the next 10 years, the need for leadership development, succession planning and knowledge transfer is a massive challenge. We see this as our greatest opportunity. BCYL will give an additional outlet for those wanting to develop their leadership skills outside of their credit union’s development plans within the relevant framework of the systems needs along the way. This will build leaders within the Credit Union with the ancillary benefit that these people will also be leaders within their communities. We will document our progress so we can build a turnkey solution for other provinces, states and credit unions wanting to start up their own young leader initiatives. This should eliminate some of the major stumbling blocks in the planning process.

Our Progress
Over the past two months, young leaders in attendance at the July planning session have continued work on a draft BCYL pitch document. This document is being developed based on the feedback we received in July, as well as the information we have collected from other provincial initiatives. The goal is to develop a pitch that provides a solid framework for a future BCYL initiative, and also allows for further refinement based on feedback we receive from key stakeholders.

Our Plan
We will focus on two key objectives for the remainder of the year: first, to develop a robust framework for a BCYL initiative that is reflective of feedback we will continue to garner from key stakeholders over the next four months. And second, to develop a groundswell of interest and awareness that can be leveraged once the BCYL initiative is launched.

In addition, we have secured two opportunities to present the draft BCYL pitch to key stakeholders; the first is the talent management network meeting (scheduled for September 22nd). We have also secured time at the Solutions Centre Conference (scheduled for October 6th). Both of these events provide us with fantastic opportunities to share our preliminary pitch with various stakeholder groups, to gather feedback, and to continue to build momentum and interest in BCYL.

Here is our project plan:

Measuring our Success
By completing our tasks on schedule, on budget, and with the right outcome we will have the given this initiative the momentum and success it deserves. Other critical success factors will be:

  • Participation levels of 80% of registered young leaders
  • Hits on website, number of tweets, shares and likes on various social media outlets
  • Satisfaction levels of 85% or greater from each event
  • Networks built from events

There are many key individuals in this initiative that have helped get the project to where it is today. My role is to help build momentum in this initiative. What I bring to the team is the ability to present at future planning sessions, facilitate feedback discussions and solicit more support.  I would also like to ensure the framework is followed and the goals are exceeded so we will be successful in the years beyond where the original team is in place. A personal goal of mine is to give each credit union, not matter their size, the same opportunities I have been given – to be in an environment that fosters the development and growth of young leaders.

Matt Beckett