Be A Jet Ski

Chris Blough (CEO of Wayne County CU) had a brilliant quote on Liquid Lunch,

{Small Credit Unions need to be like jet skis. We’re not the Titanic. A jet ski would see the iceberg.}

I love the spirit of innovation in that statement. Small is nimble, and with the right thinking and some iron will, can speed right past all the other boats in the ocean.

Are you a Titanic or a Jet Ski? Is the spirit of innovation alive in your credit union?

Here’s your test:

Are you a Titanic?

You are trying to serve first class and third class all on the same boat. You believe you should be all things to all people. After all, with 17 CD options and 6 Checking Accounts, you’re bound to connect with someone.

You don’t take action because you think you are too big to fail. You have meetings to have meetings. Sub-committee has become code for “vacation in my head”.

You fail to plan for enough lifeboats. You don’t know how to react in an emergency.  I mean “growing income” isn’t on the marketing calendar this month?

Or are you a Jet Ski?

You’re not afraid to get wet. You know that perfection is a mirage and experiments can be messy, but you’ll jump in and try because that’s the only way to discover your true potential.

You easily maneuver around obstacles. You’re a creative problem solver. Behind every challenge you see opportunity. While others wait for the water to stop rocking, you speed past them. Decreased budget? More regs? Bring em’ on. Big waves just make you jump higher.

You get right back on as soon as you get knocked off. You realize that it takes hard work and action to get results. You realize that mistakes help you learn and grow.

But most importantly, you aren’t afraid to make waves.


About giraphcu

Greetings and salutations! Welcome to gira{ph}, a strategic marketing firm that helps credit unions amplify their greatness to create chemistry with consumers. The credit union movement has given so much to us. This is our way of giving back. Enjoy!
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3 Responses to Be A Jet Ski

  1. Andy Janning says:

    Absolutely brilliant insight and imagery!

    To extend the analogy further, the iceberg that killed Titanic didn’t rip a 300-foot gash in her side. Instead, all it did was pop a number of rivets in her hull under the waterline. The entire surface area of the holes? About 20 square feet. That’s what brought down the largest moving object ever made by man at the time. Big things sometimes die not because of one cataclysmic event but because of a 1,000 small things that add up.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom. I look forward to reading more from you soon!

  2. I love this analogy too. I heard this guy talking about management teams of the future. He said “For years credit union leaders have been paddling a canoe across a calm lake. Not a care in the world. Nothing dangerous that could tip them over. Today’s leaders are in white water rapids. There isn’t a lot of time to talk and ponder and deliberate – the person at the head of the raft needs to yell – paddle right – paddle left- and everybody better do what he/she says and now! Or, you dump and spill the beer.”

    (okay, I added that last sentence from experience….)

  3. giraphcu says:

    Denise – you crack me up. You are so right. Unfortunately, so many management teams are in those rapids pretending they are still on that calm lake. I think you just solved it for all CU executive teams – more beer!

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