Near the end of the Saturday session (someone correct me if I am wrong) we got into a great debate because of Jesse’s two teller conundrum. I mentioned that every GM should have the 7 Co-operative Principles tattooed to their butts. From that point it moved into some laughable circles. But the interesting point was that most did not know about these principles. Maybe they did, or had read them, but they weren’t at the top of my mind and I couldn’t repeat them verbatim. One quick point – on the link above there is a bold comment at the end “We embrace and live by these principles”. Wow, those are tattooing words!
Today I was looking at Denis Wymore’s home page and what is there — a note about her book “Tattoos: the Ultimate Proof of a Successful Brand”. This is now getting to look very different. Successful brands have tattoos but we who consider ourselves credit unionists can’t repeat a single cooperative principle. What does that say about our brand? We talked about creating a manifesto from the weekend’s meeting. Each of these principles could be wordsmithed into an understandable, concise language that would fit what we talked about. So here is one feeble attempt at it.
Open Membership – open to everyone willing to accept the responsibilities of membership. Since when did any of us hear of a “responsibility of membership”? What is it? Maybe we have been thinking to much of “me” and not enough of “we” when decided responsibilities.
– one member, one vote. Interesting. No proxies. Someone once told me there are 4 ways to make a decision
- Consensus, the best way but very time consuming and we never have time for something like this right?
- Compromise, the politician’s way when you get something, I get something and the guy at the end of the line gets nothing.
- Vote, yes our democratic principle that means those that have the biggest teams, armies or mobs get to decide usually with the big group controlling the agenda and deciding who gets #4.
- Crucifixion – I will leave it at that.
So which even if we do vote to make decision why does everyone feel like someone got dealt #4?
Democratic member control – members who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions. Now there is a time bomb. Since when did any CEO and the senior VP team listen and act in direct concert with members in “setting their policies and making decisions”. We have listened to regulators, consultants, economists, politicians, bureaucrats, bankers (of course) and everyone who is NOT a member it seems, in setting policies and making decisions. Notice it says their policies. Policies of the individual and autonomous and system minded credit union.
In the next post I will pick up on a few more of these tattooable items.