Leveraging global co-operation to create new competitive advantages

This past July, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the WOCCU & CUNA conference (#CUinDenver2015).  Being in the same place with over 3000 credit union enthusiasts from over 61 countries helps you appreciate the diversity and passion for credit unions around the world.  My learning’s at the conference propelled my creativity to bring forward a project that has the potential to significantly connect our global network.

 WOCCU & CUNA Conference 2015

WOCCU & CUNA Conference 2015

My project focuses on leveraging the principle of co-operation among co-operatives to build advocacy on an international scale.  Advocacy in terms of collaboration in promoting each other as members travel, move and immigrate.  My project begins with a search platform that helps credit unions, employees and members find each other seamlessly from around the world.  Currently, WOCCU provides a list of member organizations (national/regional associations) and some countries do have their own co-operative locator/finder but there currently is not one to connect everyone on one platform.  The next part of my project is to use smart data to see where people are immigrating from, targeting credit unions in those countries to reach members prior to emigration – setting up a contact with a credit union in their new country, potentially even setting up tentative appointments prior to them leaving.  Essentially, maintaining them as a credit union member as they move, travel & relocate – creating a member for life!

 Servus & McClung Family Association (helping new immigrants integrate into new communities) 

Servus & McClung Family Association (helping new immigrants integrate into new communities) 

Current Progress Update
I’ve been involved in many projects and ongoing discussions around attracting new immigrants to Servus.  This has been a great benefit as I was able to team up and collaborate with my credit union as I gathered data and started to build a committee off the information for my NTCUE project.  I narrowed my committee down to those that would have insights in to the countries with some of the greatest movements in to North America (Philippines, India, China, France and the Korea).  I now have 7 passionate credit union leaders sharing next practices to help disrupt the way we’ve approached these markets in the past.  Our group has made significant connections with these communities and have partnered with organizations such as TSADA (a local organization helping new immigrants from the Philippines settle).  We connect with these organizations and their members to see which co-operatives they dealt with back in their home country.  The next step will be for us to start connecting directly to the co-operatives in these countries immediately.  We’ve also had great discussions around how collaborating globally and leveraging our networks could revolutionize how members transition.  For example, if we effectively partner internationally, is there a way we could utilize international credit bureaus to help members entering a new country access fair credit and enhanced banking services sooner?  I’m motivated by the knowledge, diversity and passion that my committee brings to this project.

 Servus reaching new immigrant groups through regular seminars 2015

Servus reaching new immigrant groups through regular seminars 2015

I’m also currently working with the brightest young credit union leaders in the Province through a Provincial young leaders group.  At this time we are working together on a paper focused on shaping the future of the system.  Our research focuses on the economy and technology, with a specialized attention on demographics – focusing our strategies on attracting new immigrants and foreign workers.  By working with leaders from various credit unions, we’re also able to bring some best practices and strategies when it comes to this demographic group.  Our project will be presented to the CEO’s of the Province’s Credit Unions in early 2016.  

Next Steps
The next step in my project is to take my committee’s recommendations and proposals directly to WOCCU as we touched base in July 2015 and corresponded that I would pass on my papers and research directly to the organization for review.  Part of this information is available online but having it all housed on one platform at an international level will change the way 57,000 credit unions find each other with reliability – not to mention the exponential increase in website traffic you would expect to experience – further connecting Credit Unions, employees and members together to the movement!

 NTCUE Project Timeline

NTCUE Project Timeline

 @jaekim780 at @CUES in #CUinDenver2015

@jaekim780 at @CUES in #CUinDenver2015

If you believe in co-operation among co-operatives and that there is a better way for us to connect, partner and advocate globally – please like, share and comment!

Cheers,
Jae Kim