Friday, December 28, 2007

Evolution of the Committee


There is an interesting conversation going on over at The Life and Times of a Credit Union Employee about allowing your members to create products, services, and feedback as a community.

For generations, the way businesses got feedback and made group decisions was to form a committee. This group would get together periodically, discuss their topic, and form a report. The business would then make changes based on their report and hope the committee was a good sample of the general public.

I've read countless articles that berate the Gen-Y crowd for being apathetic and uninvolved. I think they need to reevaluate what it means to be motivated and involved. Gen-Y IS involved in the community, but in a way that isn't recognizable by "the suits" who look for a report to judge success. It's all about knowing where to go and where to look.

Take this Facebook group supporting the American Cancer Society. There are 300,000 people supporting this cause and a lot of them are engaged in active discussion about the effects of cancer on America and ways to help. What if you could have this kind of support around your credit union. You could consider it the largest credit union committee ever formed. A committee with an ever evolving report. A window into what your members are looking for. The trick is to present yourself as something people can be passionate about. Be more than a financial institution! Be a cause, a co-op, a non-profit, a charity...anything but a bank that calls itself a credit union.

In closing I'd like to make one final point. Perhaps it isn't that Gen-Y refuses to get involved, but that we have refused to get involved with Gen-Y.


Robbie Wright said...

You are right, is is not that Gen Y is not involved, they are just not involved as "the suits" think they should be. We won't do focus groups and any results anyone gets will be bunk. You have to get Gen Y to participate on their own time and if you can get them to do that, you'll get great info.

Andy said...

Exactly, sitting in a meeting at a credit union isn't my idea of a good time. If I didn't work at MSCU I wouldn't go to a committee meeting, free meal or not! I'll surf facebook groups and talk there for hours though.

Jeff Hardin said...

Andy - couldn't agree more. A good example of how credit unions have to create a dialogue that younger people want to participate in is Young & Free.

They didn't force the issue with Y&F, they just created the possibility of a conversation by inviting young people to be a part of the campaign.

And it sure looks like it worked!!!