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What was truly great about Indianapolis

October 16, 2007

It has been two weeks since the Forum Solutions Trabian Partnership Symposium and there is something that keeps me wondering why it stands out in my mind to such a great degree. The same thing applies for BarCampBankSeattle. Then today I was talking to Lisa Hochgraf at CUES and it finally dawned on me.
Passion. The Oxford English dictionary explains it as “to show, express, or be affected by passion or deep feeling.” And that expression and deep feeling was shown by every presenter during those two days. It was an experience that was there with every conversation you had with other attendees. It was what was core to the  Dianne  Denise/Ron debate. Everything during that time pointed to a group of people who had a passion for credit unions. You usually never experience this when going to the typical conference. You spend your bucks, sit at a table and hear numerous speakers over a few days. After every lunch break you try to stay awake always feeling sorry for the poor guy that is probably staring at so many closed eyelids. You come away thinking “didn’t learn much here, most of the same old thing.” You hear so few speakers with much passion. If you do see one or two you think the conference was ok.
Our credit union system is evolving with an incredible tendency to think that growth for growth’s sake is the prime strategy we need to follow. (Remember growth can sometimes hide a multitude of sins). That economies of scale is the only true mantra. But Indianapolis said something different. It said think smart and stay relevant to the member/owner. The energy and possibility of achieving what we set out to do is only going to be limited by ourselves. It was nice to be with so many people that saw so much opportunity and so few limitations.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 17, 2007 6:23 am

    Gene, quick — change “Dianne” to “Denise” before she sees it!

    And I agree completely — I was surprised at how much passion I felt from the attendees and speakers. I think another difference is that the conference hasn’t ended — the conversation carries on.

  2. October 17, 2007 6:25 am

    How’s this for coincidence? The blog post I read before this one, was:

  3. CU Communicator permalink
    October 17, 2007 6:31 am

    Gene –

    I couldn’t agree more. I left Indy thinking that the up-and-comers who participated at the Symposium have a great opportunity to shake things up in some very real and dramatic ways.

    Awesome post!

  4. October 17, 2007 7:26 am

    Gene, It’s the passion for serving others that you and other credit union leaders have that keep me going! I greatly appreciated our conversation yesterday.

    An old proverb says “may you live in interesting times.” And these are definitely interesting times for credit unions.

    An exploration of the idea that less could in fact be more will run in the soon-to-mail November issue of CUES’ magazine, p. 14. The article gives examples of credit unions that are staying focused on the things they have chosen to do best–rather than trying to be everything to everyone. CU blogger extraordinaire, Denise Wymore, also is quoted in the article.

    If you don’t get a print copy, you can find it on line at; it should be up by Nov. 1.

    Gene, I’m having a print copy sent to you!

  5. October 17, 2007 9:40 am

    And I think it’s up to us, as the passionate ones, to keep each other motivating in our quest (as Jeff Hardin would say) to make credit unions the “worst kept secret” in the financial services world.

    Thank you, Gene, for your passion – you are definitely a powerful influence.

  6. October 17, 2007 2:26 pm

    Thanks Gene, I so wish I could have been there!

  7. tinfoiling permalink*
    October 17, 2007 2:50 pm

    Matt – thanks for the note to change Dianne to Denise. But you know it is too late, she probably saw it and I am a marked man.

    Ron – you see great minds do think alike!

  8. October 18, 2007 10:48 pm

    Gene… I hope you come back next October as we need your passion. Also, we want the event to be driven by the participants so if anyone out there has ideas for topics, speakers, format, etc… we welcome them. We want to make the 08 version even better. Matt is right, the conversation is ongoing and we are honored to be a part of it.

  9. October 21, 2007 8:02 pm

    Dianne here — I mean Denise.
    No worries Jim, I mean Gene. I love that you love the passion.
    You get it and you rock!


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