Success Through Influence

I have now been a guest on a talk show. Didn’t see that coming! Last week I was interviewed along with Amy Grothaus and Ronaldo Hardy on Carla Day’s CU Chat Up BlogTalkRadio show (thanks again, it really was a great experience). I enjoyed meeting and hearing the finalists share more on their projects and their reasons for entering the Next Top Credit Union Exec contest.

As a Canadian, I don’t often speak with staff from US credit unions, well actually – I have never before this week, spoken with US credit unions. It is remarkable that we are all so committed to our Credit Unions, our staff and our members. Some finalists had started with a bank (yikes the “b” word), some had left and then returned to the Credit Union and some have never left the system.  Yet, we all feel like this is where we belong and are provided the opportunities as young leaders to make a difference. I think this is truly a compliment to the strength of our past and current CU leaders.

After hearing more about the finalists’ projects, I began to think about how Process Excellence could contribute to each type of project. I believe Process Excellence (PE) provides a foundation that ensures an organization has the resources (human and financial), methodology and focus on the member/customer, required to be successful in projects like those of the other finalists. Process Excellence contributes to a culture where staff is excited, motivated and empowered to excel at their jobs. Through a methodical approach to innovation PE takes into consideration what the members/customers want and ensures the work an organization performs adds value in the eyes of the member or customer.

Not surprising, success for many of the projects requires change - changing attitudes, habits, and business direction or focus. Everybody knows – change is scary and most people avoid it. The “WIIFM” of this blog is the concept of “influence”. I highly recommend the book “Influencer, The Power to Change Anything”, particularly for my fellow finalists. We all want the same thing, we want others to buy into new ideas and new ways of looking at their work and/or personal lives. I cannot come close to sharing all the learnings from the book, but I will share how the book has “influenced” how I continue to roll out PE at Assiniboine Credit Union (ACU):

  • I want to provide the staff with stories of successful change that they can relate to. Preferably from other ACU staff that have worked on and benefited from the improvements implemented through their projects. Better yet, I want to provide staff with their own opportunity to identify and develop their own improvements
  • I want to work with other initiatives within ACU because PE is not the only solution or driver in an effort to shift a culture
  • I want to better understand what motivates people to change and make sure we have the structure in place to ensure the staff are successful

Change is scary, but it is vital to the success of any organization. Every day I am learning more from the CU leaders around me and now from my larger network of young and experienced leaders. I look forward to sharing with my fellow finalists how we are successful with the changes we hope to achieve through our projects.

“Influencer, The Power to Change Anything” was written by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan and Al Switzer.

“WIIFM” – What’s in it for me

Regional Finalist – Canada