What is a risk? A risk is defined as exposure to the chance of injury or loss; a hazard or dangerous chance.
Just reading that definition is a little scary, huh? Honestly, taking risks can be very scary. It’s that element of fear that quite often causes people not to step out and take a chance on something. Many times people have great ideas and/or dreams, but never act upon them for fear of failure. Could the same hold true for the credit union industry? Sure, we take risks on loans every day, and even on investments, but could we be avoiding making other decisions based upon fear?
I’ve read and heard about many industry professionals of all different disciplines who fear stepping out to attract Gen Y’ers. There is the perception that they are not loyal, that they are fickle, and that they will even hurt your bottom line. It’s these types of fears that have caused some to stand back and not work to attract this generation.
I’d like to look at the other side of that risk. What if Gen Y’ers are more loyal to the financial institutions that they start out with, which is my personal belief? If your credit union has not worked hard to bring them in now, it could run the risk of not having them in the future. We have to stop and think about whether or not we can afford to sit back, as an industry, and not pursue this new audience. Gen Y’ers represent a wealth of opportunity for our industry, particularly in lending. They are the next wave of borrowers, and we need them.
I recently had a conversation with one of my favorite mentors. We discussed the importance of taking risks in order to be successful and he made one powerful statement. He said, “To be successful, you need to take risks. But you also need to know how to manage them.” This is a simple statement, yet true. This means that we should think long and hard about what controls are necessary to achieve the greatest results and realize that failure is okay because it allows us to learn. Remember, not taking a risk can sometimes be more risky than taking a chance. I want to leave you with a few powerful quotes that will help you to “Take the Risk!”
Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first. ~Frederick B. Wilcox
Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at. ~Author Unknown