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Collaboration in Practice: 11 Credit Union Case Studies

Collaboration in Practice: 11 Credit Union Case Studies

Collaboration is one of the first solutions offered by roomfuls of credit union CEOs and leaders: “If we would just collaborate, we could...” Insert your own answer: gain market share, drive down expenses, become consumers’ favored financial institution. The list is long, and each goal comes with a grain of truth. We can do these things, but it’s more fun to envision the payoff than to plan for the many intermediate steps collaboration requires. This report exists to map out those intermediate steps.

In preparation, Filene interviewed leaders from 11 separate credit union collaboration efforts. In addition to their case studies, we synthesized their experiences into a checklist that both long-time collaborators and first-time cooperators can use. In the end, effective collaboration is hard. It requires participants to work outside their comfort zones and almost always involves compromise. It takes time. And, frankly, it doesn’t always work. But here are a few of this reports takeaways for successfully achieving credit union collaboration:

  • Think broadly. Accept that credit unions aren't each others' greatest threats and that collaboration won't always save you money.
  • Choose the right partners. Find a shared problem and get the right people in the room.
  • Overcome objections. Get a CEO mandate and be flexible.
  • Get beyond the plateau. Stay committed and don't fear failure.

Filene thanks our generous supporters for making this important research possible.

Categorized: 'Strategy'

Tagged: 'problem solving' 'revenue generation' 'service improvement' 'collaboration' 'credit union strategy'

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Comments on this Report

      Collaboration has always been an attractive word to talk about, but a hard route when you start walking it. The Credit Union Movement is in desperate need of collaboration. If we can put our egos aside and focus on real solutions to problems, collaboration will be more than just a buzzword and will be a manifestation of what the Credit Union, and Co-Op movements are all about!

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