At the staff meeting this morning it was decided to release our new SM (social media) site to the outside world. We have shared the URL with the staff, board, some families and friends but we wanted to make sure we were satisfied with the look and feel of the site before telling everyone.
The whole project started a few months ago with a half day session. All of the staff met with Nala and Tim from Currency to discuss and plan the future of our credit union. We were open to anything and came to the conclusion that if our credit union was going to have social media as part of its culture it had to be done by everyone. Everyone. If all the staff were the face and personality of the credit union then the only authentic method to show that to the Internet world was those exact faces and personalities. We also wanted this to be a community site. We have been part of this neighbourhood for 67 years and wanted everyone to be part of this. This site is who we are and who the community is that we live in.
We bought the cameras and software and everyone dove in. There wasn’t and still isn’t a lot of structure as everyone contributes in some fashion. Everyone has as part of their job description now the responsibility of spending 2 hours per week on communicating through the credit union’s social media channel. The key understanding is simple, use your common sense. This is the result – The Mount Lehman Show.
We don’t know where this will take us or how it will end up, but the the journey so far has been unbelievable. Never in years of managing a credit union have I seen such energy and concern for a project. This site shows us and it shows some of our community. We thought we would run out of ideas. Wrong. We have more ideas that we could imagine.
Why is it working? I think a number of reasons. We have had a culture of innovation here so there was little hesitation to take this leap of faith. Technology is not a stumbling block, every staff member has an iPhone which really helps and we are a Mac credit union. But most important is that we all see the value in trying something like this. It adds to what we are by extending our relationships to members and people in the community. It really creates meaning for each of us in what we do and this is just another extension of that. It adds that important human dimension that we all seem to want in some form or fashion.
It is like climbing the first hill of the roller coaster. The ride has started and it is a lot of fun. We are learning more about each other as co-workers and as part of one team. Please sign up and be a friend. We are giving away an iPod shuffle to one person from those that sign up in the month of June. (We will be giving away some more neat stuff as soon as I get the order in). We hope you too can be part of this journey with us.