Sep 04 '18

Progressive Thought + Tested Ideas + Connections = A Worthwhile Investment

Mel Gillen
Mel Gillen
Senior Growth Director

As Filene’s Senior Growth Director I am fortunate to meet with credit union and industry leaders across the country and am consistently blown away by the level of passion, talent and drive for providing meaningful, cost effective financial services to help consumers attain financial wellness.     

Mel Gillen
Mel Gillen
Senior Growth Director

When I joined the staff at Filene earlier this year, I started making calls to some of our members.  The level of support and investment they provide to Filene is significant and I was curious about their perceptions and realities in working with us.  When asked – why do you invest in Filene, I heard things like:

“Because the CU’s that are engaged with you are some of the smartest and most progressive – we are connecting them with like-minded, “faster fish in the pond”.

“Filene makes sure the CU movement is attached to the real world”.

“Filene is known for an unbiased view and providing ideas that have been tested and proven relevant”.

“Filene is a connector and you open doors to allow us to meet and engage with institutions such as Harvard and Stanford Universities.”

“We can’t afford not to – our future and relevancy are at stake”

    Three key attributes came across - progressive thought, tested ideas, and connections.

    Progressive Thought

    Filene's five Centers of Excellence deliver cutting edge research tackling the challenges facing credit union CEOs today backed by academic rigor. The talented team at Filene works with companies and thought leaders both inside and outside of our industry to bring cutting edge ideas to the strategic dialogue table and enable credit unions to challenge their own products and services. Our latest research is just one example of how Filene encourages credit unions to take their financial literacy offerings to the next level by helping us all understand that despite being fully educated on the dos and don’ts of spending and saving – emotions still dominate our good sense. This study shows how to help members gain even stronger control of their financial futures.

    Tested Ideas

    Filene’s renowned communities take our research and use it to build and test ideas that solve real-world problems to help credit union’s better serve their members. Through an innovative methodology our expert i3, Incubation teams, and partners are able to bring these ideas to life. For example, credit unions can dig into a feasibility study to learn how to collaborate with employers in their community to provide safe, affordable loans to hardworking employees. This Employer-Sponsored Small-Dollar Loan program takes it one step further with a ready-to-use implementation guide and marketing materials toolkit. Filene is also currently wrapping up the testing Will Be Done, a will creation tool to help the 64% of Americans who don’t have a will. By partnering with credit unions to test this interactive tool, we are learning that there is both a strong interest from members and a consumer need is being met. 

    Connections

    If you haven’t been to a Filene event, you truly do not know what you are missing.  Filene events are like no other.  Having three Research in Action events under my newly fitted Filene belt I can speak first-hand about the scholars challenging traditional thinking, industry leaders sharing their experimentation of new concepts, and the invaluable insights from those outside of the financial industry like Google, Uber and soon to be Starbucks to name a few. We bring a community of the brightest minds together for invigorating dialogue and industry moving insights. Let us connect you with these leaders on September 27th at our Center for War on Talent at the University of Texas, Austin. We are digging into the ever present challenge of retention and attraction of top talent with ideas around utilizing your own data and analytics to ensure you are getting and keeping the very best candidates.   

    Lastly, I leave you with one additional item to add to your list of “I can’t afford to miss this” items.  Filene’s signature event big.bright.minds in December brings the best and brightest minds from each of our centers of excellence.  Join us to hear about the PROGRESSIVE ideas being put into action. Experience the i3 teams brilliance and help us determine the next set of IDEAS TO TEST. And, CONNECT with big bright minds from each of our Centers of Excellence, consumer finance groundbreakers, and outside industry pioneers. Your investment in Filene gets you a spot, so secure it today.  I hope to see you there!