Tuesday, October 31, 2017

What stops people from doing awesome work are BS corporate policies!

Credit Unions: Get the *$%& Out Of the Way

How do you take a company in transition (or a fledgling credit union) and transform it into a force to be reckoned with? The CEO of T-Mobile has a few ideas. When John Legere took over T-Mobile’s top spot five years ago, the AT&T merger had just collapsed and the company was losing customers left and right. They had no iPhone, no LTE, and they were ranked fourth (out of four) in customer service and market share. But rather than throwing up his hands or looking for scapegoats, Legere accomplished what many experts considered impossible. Not only did he salvage a wireless company that many had written off, he built a brand that has AT&T and Verizon scrambling to stay competitive.
Today, many credit unions find themselves in the same boat T-Mobile was rowing just five years ago. “Will we survive? Can we survive?” The answer to both questions is yes. However, that survival may require uncomfortable steps like changing leadership or sacrificing some sacred cows. If you’re a credit union struggling to hold on, there’s a good chance you have a culture of paralyzed office decorations instead of passionate volunteers and staff. You’re most likely focused on what worked in the past instead of what’s working today.
When faced with similar challenges, Legere harnessed the energy of a passionate staff to fuel T-Mobile’s turnaround. They embraced the “Un-carrier” philosophy internally, and that empowered 50,000+ employees to be the primary drivers of the Un-carrier movement. His people built the revolution and pushed an entire industry to do better for its customers. Wondering if you could do the same? Is there a fire burning inside you—maybe one that wants to stick it to Wells Fargo by providing real solutions for your members and community?
With his characteristic candor, Legere’s recent blog post highlights five points every executive should keep in mind when trying to revive a dying organization:
Lesson #1: Shut Up and Listen
Ok, I say this all the time – but I can’t say it enough. The most powerful formula for success is three simple steps:
  1. Shut up and listen to your customers and employees.
  2. Do what they tell you.
  3. Repeat.
This is not a secret. Tons of research and experts back it up, and other top brands and leaders get it. But, too many companies think listening to employees is about surveys or BS “listening tours.” It’s not. Listening must be part of your culture… at all levels. And, it’s got to be direct — not filtered through hierarchy or other media. And, it’s got to be something you’re willing to follow through on. In short, to listen without taking action is nothing. To listen and take action is everything.

At T-Mobile, we’ve cut through the layers — and hierarchy — to listen to employees directly every single day. Anyone can email me or my senior leadership team anytime, and we spend hours each day on social media with customers and employees. In my five years here, I’ve personally flown over a million miles to visit our call centers and retail stores — because it’s so important to cut out all the layers and hear directly from employees. Plus, I’d rather be talking to people directly than reading surveys in a stuffy dark conference room.

And, the ROI is indisputable. Our team and our customers are the main source of our Un-carrier ideas, and those ideas are at the core of our competitive advantage.

Lesson #2: Stand for Something
The past five years have really shown me the difference between a company and a cause. It’s the difference between business as usual and an all-out, no-holds-barred, industry-changing revolution.

T-Mobile’s cause — changing wireless for good – was an easy call from the start. Because this industry has been treating its customers so badly for so long. This Un-carrier mission unites our team in changing one of the most impactful industries and the most important technology of our lifetime.

To give that cause voice, we wrote the Un-carrier manifesto and gave it to employees. The manifesto is both a rallying cry and a clear statement of who we are and what we stand for. And, with every Un-carrier move we make, we deliver on it. And we make a point of talking with customers and employees about how it moves our cause forward and how it changes wireless for good.

People want their work to mean something more than a paycheck or ‘shareholder value.’ It’s our job as leaders to help our teams connect their work to the good it brings to the world. And, for me, in the end, the cause makes the company.

Lesson #3: Get the F#$@&% Out of The Way
T-Mobile employees want to do awesome work. Everybody does. What stops people from doing awesome work are BS corporate policies, outdated management structures and a lack of imagination.

One of the first and best things we did at T-Mobile was to get out of our employees’ way. In fact, most of the ideas for Un-carrier were already being hatched inside the walls of T-Mobile. The teams knew the “me too” strategy wasn’t working. That customers hated contracts and BS fees. They just needed someone to give them the okay and then get out of the way so they could execute. The rest is history.

In customer care, we had BS metrics that incentivized employees to stop customers who wanted to switch away from T-Mobile. That created a bad experience for customers and for employees who tried to avoid those calls. We got rid of that and set goals around customer happiness. A few months later, we jumped from #4 to #1 in customer care satisfaction. Now, a few years later, we rank the highest on customer satisfaction. Just by getting out of the way.

Lesson #4: Share the Success
A job has got to be about more than a paycheck. It’s got to be about feeling valued and doing great work. Tons of research backs this up. When employees can reap the rewards, and participate in the success of an organization – everyone wins. Most companies offer full benefits only to management or full-time employees, overlooking hourly and part-time workers. That’s total Bullsh*t!

From health plans to stock grants, every benefit we offer is available to employees across the ENTIRE company. Frontline retail and customer care workers, whether part-time or full-time, get the same access to the same great benefits as our senior management. Our part-timers have the same medical, vision and dental options that I do — and they’re pretty freaking good. The same is true for employee recognition at T-Mobile. Traditionally at most companies, the best awards are reserved for sales employees. But we don’t work that way. Our amazing Winners Circle and PEAK events recognize top performers from across the entire company.

We’re also one of the few companies in America to give EVERY employee stock. And among retailers, we’re in a very small group. The result is that our people work like they own this company. Because they do. And that’s how they engage with customers. I see it in stores and hear that on calls every day. And it is a beautiful sight to see.

Lesson #5: Enjoy!
Do these first four things and stand back. Because you will be amazed! A company and culture unleashed in this way is a company and culture capable of incredible things.
While some of these ideas are specific to the wireless industry, the underlying principles can be game changers for your credit union. Instead of trying to polish outdated business practices, why not follow the “Un-carrier” example and develop an “Un-banking” philosophy of your own? A fresh approach can be the key to unlocking your team’s enthusiasm and uncovering a bold strategy that gives the middle finger to the banks and predatory lenders currently eating your lunch.
Want to talk more about getting out of your own way and breaking your mold? Email bo@yourmarketingco.comto start the conversation!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Videos Educate Credit Union Boards about Understanding Key Ratios

New NCUA Videos Educate Credit Union Boards about Understanding Key Ratios

If you are a credit union board member, you can learn more about key ratios and how they directly affect your credit union’s bottom line in a new video module released today by the National Credit Union Administration.
Understanding Key Ratios, available now on NCUA’s YouTube channel, examines four key ratios, what they measure and what trends signal improving or declining financial health. If you pass a quiz at the end of the series, you will receive a certificate of completion.
The five-part module is a follow-up to NCUA’s Understanding Financial Statements video module, which explores key line items of a financial statement. Understanding Key Ratios explains how those line items, when combined into ratios, provide quick snapshots into your credit union’s financial health.
Taken together, the two video modules will help you effectively engage in financial discussions, trend analysis, and decision-making during your credit union’s board meeting.
NCUA regulations require federal credit union directors to have a working familiarity with basic finance and accounting practices. This knowledge includes the ability to read and understand your credit union’s balance sheet and income statements, and the ability to ask substantive questions of management and auditors.
Understanding Key Ratios is part of a comprehensive series of educational videos developed for credit union board members by NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives. All the videos are available on the NCUA’s Small Credit Union Learning Center webpage.
NCUA’s Office of Small Credit Union Initiatives fosters credit union development and the effective delivery of financial services for small credit unions, minority depository institutions, new credit unions and credit unions with a low-income designation. The office also publishes FOCUS, a monthly newsletter with helpful information for all credit unions.

Friday, October 27, 2017

More Charlotte Photos, Speaker Presentations & Pre-Registration

More pictures have been added. There are over a 1000 unedited so sit back and enjoy.

Thank you for making Charlotte such a great event!
The following link will take you to Charlott's photos and speaker presentations. There are over 300 pictures, so get your favorite beverage, snacks, sit back and enjoy!  

Don't forget to Pre-Register for Seattle, 9/19-22/2018, and SAVE $50 of the Early Bird registration.  
2018 Pre-Pay Event Registration  (expires 12/20/17)

Hotel reservations are at the Renaissance Seattle, you can register On-Line HERE

Hotel contact for group reservations or questions
T 206.694.4944   F 206.624.8125

Plan on arriving early and staying late, 69 Things to do in Seattle

Grant Sheehan CEO

National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

NBC Featured an In-depth look at firefighter cancer.

BOSTON —  NBC Nightly News segment featured an in-depth look at firefighter occupational cancer.

The segment featured an interview with a Boston firefighter who is battling blood cancer and Fire Commissioner Joseph Finn, who called cancer rates in the fire service an "epidemic." According to the segment, three active or just-retired firefighters are diagnosed with cancer each month.

Cancer, according to the International Association of Firefighters, is now the leading cause of death among firefighters. As a result, Boston, New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Toronto and Calgary fire departments are tracking and reporting cancer rates.

Incident commanders, according to the report, are now ordering firefighters to keep their masks on until they are out of the smoke. They also want all firefighters to be washed down by decontamination teams on the scene. Additionally, firefighters are being told to change into the second set of turnout gear while their dirty gear gets cleaned. 

Watch the NBC segment below;

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

NCOFCU 2017 Charlotte Conference Review

Charlotte, NC 2017 - Credit Unions serving firefighters and first-responders from across the country met in Charlotte, NC on October 4-7 to discuss issues facing their credit unions.This was the 5th annual meeting and conference of the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc. (NCOFCU) and the 17th year they have been meeting as a group of credit unions serving firefighters and first-responders.

NCOFCU's CEO Grant Sheehan said this was one of the largest attendance since NCOFCU incorporated five years ago. Sheehan also added, “This is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill conference. It’s unique in that all attendees have a common bond in serving their select group of members – firefighters and first-responders.”

Key topics discussed included the national economic outlook, Credit union legislation, NCUA regulatory updates, technology coming to CUs, case study marketing programs and implementing social media programs.  Speakers included J. M. McWatters Chairman NCUA, Dan Berger CEO NAFCU, Steven Rick Chief Economist Cuna Mutual Group, Kevin Smith Tim Harrington Group, Sundeep Kapur President Digital Creedence, Joe Woods CUAliance, Bernie Winn CEO Boston Firefighters, Brian Cyprian Special Agent FBI, Dixie Abramian CEO Firefighters First CU, Shanon O’Neill Marketing Manager Dayton Firefighter FCU.

Special events included a tour of Hendricks Motor Sports, Charlotte Speedway, Billy Grahm Museum and the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Museum.

Special thanks to our conference sponsor *CUAsterick (CUSouth, CUNorthWest & CUAnswers) and corporate sponsors, AutoLink, BFB, Royal Administration, SmartStep, IWS, AffirmX, Corporate America, CUAliance (CU24), Visa, Cuna Mutual Group, CUES, 
Co-oP, Members Trust, Callahan & Associates, MyBoardPacket, Shutts & Bowen LLP, Credit Union Digital University, Ewart Technologies.

NCOFCU's 2018 conference will be in Seattle, WA September 19-22, 2018 at the Seattle Renaissance.

About the National Council of Firefighter Credit Unions Inc (NCOFCU)

The National Council of Firefighter's Credit Unions (NCOFCU), was founded October 16, 2010, by representatives of the nation’s credit unions primarily serving firefighters and first-responders.  NCOFCU is the only organization exclusively representing these credit unions that collectively serve over 750,000 members and control more than 13 billion in assets.  NCOFCU’s  purpose is to provide its members with the knowledge, skills, tools, resources and educational and informational exchange opportunities necessary to ensure their ongoing professional development, and the ability to deliver exceptional value to their organizations. Information is available from the Council’s website at www.ncofcu.org  or by contacting Grant Sheehan at 305-951-3306, grant@ncofcu.org