Leadership / Jun 06 '19
Five Reasons We Can Do This Together
I have the privilege of witnessing the true power of i3 as the Director of Communities and Events for Filene. When I was asked to take over the helm, it almost felt like the chiefs were talking to someone else, surely, they did not mean me. I slowly began to digest what this new role would mean to me and was filled with energy. After a few hours, my lens completely changed and I was terrified. Filene’s i3 program is one of the most prestigious development programs in the credit union industry. This new role quickly shifted from, “What will this mean to me?” to “What will this mean for the credit union ecosystem?”
What I very quickly learned: it’s the people, community and mindset gained through the experience that matters. The final outcomes are worn like badges of honor, exclaiming, “this is what we did together!” i3ers can have this sense of pride because they worked hard for it. Their ideas are held to high standards and stand the test of real academic rigor. What they did, and what they can do, is change lives. That is the real power of i3.
As we embark on a new i3 journey, I want to highlight five reasons you or your credit union needs to participate in Filene’s i3 program. But don’t just take my word for it; I had the privilege of interviewing two wildly successful i3 Alumni: Crystal Long, CEO at GECU and Mary Beth Spuck, CEO at Resource 1. Crystal and Mary Beth share wise bits of advice and expertise from their experience, and they also dive into the ways i3 has helped to elevate their skills to make real impact at their organizations.
Five reasons to apply
1. You are concerned about the rapid pace of change. We all know the challenges ahead, especially when it comes to keeping up with technology. When resources are slim our people are our best investment. Providing the skills and tools needed to ideate and innovate in this rapidly changing world will not only help your organization retain talent, you may also see improvement in your bottom line.
“The world around us is changing and what worked yesterday simply won’t work in the future! The competitive landscape will continue to change, and the credit union movement is depending on us as stewards to create a nimble, sustainable model into the future!”
2. You are looking for a new challenge. If you have been in your role for a long time and are feeling stagnant, it’s time to shake it up. On the flipside, if you’re not as tenured but really looking to up your game, it’s time to take the leap. There is no other program that offers the content and experiences you get with i3.
Mary Beth’s experience:
“I was looking for something to challenge me, I was taking over as CEO of the CUSO and I was also the CAO of the credit union, I was wearing two different hats – we had to re-do the whole business plan. Going through i3 helped me get creative to solve problems, and view problems from another perspective”
3. You are looking to unearth your creative and collaborative talents. Professional development is an important part of success, it ensures we are continuously learning and growing. Creativity and collaboration are skills that can be taught and practiced.
Mary Beth’s discovery:
“I never thought of myself as a creative person, I don’t paint and I love excel spreadsheets! But, I do have the ability to creatively problem solve. i3 unearthed an innate talent I never considered to be a creative talent.”
4. There’s something missing in your professional toolkit. As I progress in my career, I’m learning more often than not, people lack confidence in their skills (I know I have!). Imposter Syndrome is real, but we can fight it together.
Crystal’s new perspective:
“I believe the program made me more confident and able to see the credit union from a different perspective – I learned to appreciate the enormity of the credit union movement throughout this journey.”
5. You know how important innovation is to the survival of your organization and credit unions. This speaks for itself.
Mary Beth’s call to action:
“If we don’t innovate we’re going to die as an industry. We’re all so busy running our organizations, it’s really hard to focus on the future, or to send your staff to gain that knowledge. Innovation is about the member experience, NOT just about technology. Everything from experience to how you do internal processes. Innovation pushes us to be better, to conduct better business.”
i3 brings the brightest minds together to think forward and change lives. Come with us on this journey! Apply for i3 today or nominate someone you know would benefit from this once in a lifetime opportunity.
Applications open June 1-30, 2019