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The “Secret Sauce” of Partnering…

July 16, 2018
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of fraternals looking for ways to form partnerships, alliances, or shared services arrangements in order to create the scale and scope needed to be a relevant player in the financial services market. Successfully fulfilling our social mission – the characteristic that separates us from all other financial services providers – is heavily dependent on our ability to generate the revenue that allows us to directly fund causes and programs that reflect our members’ shared values. More importantly, it allows us to facilitate members’ engagement in volunteer service activities that enhance the quality of life in the communities where members live and work. The only way to do this is to attract and retain new members and grow our organizations. And fraternals’ efforts to do this over the last half-century have not been the subject of best-selling business books. So, we need to change. And learning from others is a good place to start. Check out this article on the success of a collaborative agreement between four credit union CEOs to create one of the largest shared efforts in retail financial services. It was written by Vim Anand, the consultant who worked with the credit union CEOs on the project and who, coincidentally, worked with the Alliance Board on our strategic planning initiative that led to us adopting a new association management operational model. I know, I know, fraternals ARE NOT credit unions! So, spare me the emails pointing out the differences between our two types of organizations and focus on the principles behind this shared services agreement. The words that captured my attention? Take a look (and substitute “fraternals” for “credit unions”): “That the synergies from collaboration can provide significant benefits is intuitively clear to everyone in the credit union movement. Now, more than ever, credit unions need such collaborations. The tsunami of digitalization propelled by the staggering investments that the large banks are making, the entrance of Fin Techs, and the shift in consumer preferences from the millennials, is causing unprecedented disruption in how financial services will operate in the future. No different to the disruption that the Amazons have done to retail, consumer products, groceries, health care…” I hope you enjoy the article and post your thoughts on it below.