Eating the Elephant: Health Care Costs

We all know the expression “the elephant in the room”. It’s a big, obvious, uncomfortable problem that everyone’s trying to ignore. In our “Eating the Elephant” series, we’ll take a good hard look at some of the elephants jostling credit unions and their members. We’ll also discuss some ways credit unions could play a role in taking…

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Minimalism: Love people. Use things.

Last summer my wife and I were partially successful at simplifying our lives. We moved from a 3000 sf home in suburbia to a 1700 sf condo in the middle of town, cut out 40 minutes of drive time and replaced it with a 10 minute walk to work along a fitness trail surrounded by a…

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The bubbles you build around yourself are the strongest.

When you see a bubble, pop it.

If nothing else, the 2016 election has made one thing very obvious: many of us live in a “information bubble”, where we only pay attention to information that reinforces what we already believe. These bubbles, together with the speed and reach of social media, created an unprecedented opportunity for fake news — just create a…

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No "vision" or "mission" gobbledy-gook.

Where’s your Master Plan?

Elon Musk, best known as the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has a very interesting document on his company’s blog — the second half of his “Master Plan”. He’s achieved or is close to achieving the goals he laid out in the first half of his Master Plan, and he’s now working on the rest.…

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The credit union difference

Explaining the CU Difference. Again.

Every time I begin to think that people understand the difference between credit unions and banks, I keep getting reminded that it isn’t as obvious to the average person. Of course you know why CUs are great — you’re soaking in CU goodness. But you simply can’t assume that consumers have any idea what a credit…

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It's not that he's a slacker or a bum. He's a millennial.

Millennials: No Car, No House, No CU Income?

My youngest son sort-of-hates cars. Sure, Grandma’s-hand-me-down-Buick helps him get around town when he comes back to visit family. But that’s also a big reason why he plans to always live in a city with a decent mass transit system. He doesn’t want to own any car, or make monthly payments for it, much less pay for the gas, insurance, and upkeep.…

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Gosh, isn't it sort of mean to make Grandpa buy a new computer? This one's only ten years old...

Take an active role in member security

When we build a credit union web site, we get a lot of security questions related to compatibility with older browsers. Depending on who you ask and what numbers you believe, somewhere between 2% to 8% of the general public is still using very old versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Naturally, credit unions don’t want to leave…

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Time + attention + money = total resources

Money isn’t everything – budget time and attention too

What’s your total marketing resources? No, not just the number of dollars you spend on media, services, and clicky pens. I’m talking about the other parts of the equation: time and attention. Time + attention + money = total resources. Time, of course, is a combination of staff time (how much time can and should you…

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Every credit union has a unique local flavor

Can you taste the local difference?

Last week, I noticed a cool new package in the freezer at the grocery store. No-nonsense, retro-yet-high-tech, and irresistible next to the generic plastic bags. Priced only a little bit higher than the generic sweet corn from who-knows-where. What it contained was sweet corn. Indiana bicolor sweet corn. I visited the company’s web site (,…

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Everyone can provide a plain old ordinary checking account or car loan for plain old ordinary average people.

Go find some weirdos

Quick, tell me about your members. No, not the average members. They’re boring. And you already know plenty about them. And so does everyone else. Find some weirdos. People out on the fringe. The ones who were in New Guinea last week, and are currently somewhere in Kazakhstan. The family thinking seriously about what kinds…

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