Work exemption

So what happens when you start a month long holiday? You begin a long list of things that you want to do. This list proceeds to be longer than one page and seems to grow like a bad fungus. One the second day of your holiday you realize something. You are using typical work processes, such as lists, to begin to define the time you will spend on a series of supposed important events. You question yourself as to why are you doing this. This is a holiday. It is meant to be something that isn’t work.

Here is one of the OED’s definition for holiday:

  1. a. A day on which ordinary occupations (of an individual or a community) are suspended; a day of exemption or cessation from work; a day of festivity, recreation, or amusement.

That said, how many of us can quickly flick on the ‘no work’ switch? It seems to me we are creatures of habit and when you are constantly refining your scope of work for a year you tend to get habitual in what you do. The question will now be how long will it take me to move from these structured work patterns to one of ease and serendipity. (Even that question has the attribute of a business decision – how long?).

Then there is the defining moment. Does it really matter? Time for another coffee. It’s work exemption day!

Basic fundamentals

My good friend Morris over at everythingcu.com cc’ed a tweet to me about a discussion they were having about CUs and Cooperatives. I was reading it and didn’t think there was much to say  until someone writes from the viewpoint that “we need to make money”. That led me to respond.

It does seem a little crazy that whenever the topic of the 7 cooperative principles is brought to light, people will point to what they see as the greatest need –  “to make money” and neglect what the real debate is about. It is like someone asking how you are today and your first statement is “I need to breathe”. Of course we need to breathe but does that end the discussion?

Here is the post.

I think there is an elephant in the room and it never gets invited to leave.IF you read the 7 Co-operative principle on which most CUs were founded years ago they were important in the structure and culture of the credit unions. As the financial industry has advanced somehow those principles have been forgotten, neglected or just unknown.

If one makes a decision about anything there are some fundamentals that act when arriving at that decision. Without the knowledge of these principles then the decision gets hijacked by being made outside those principles. If we bring to focus these absolutes that are a given i.e. we need to make money, we need to compete and neglect to discuss and bring forward how we incorporate these values (principles) in our CUs we do an incredible disservice.

Of course we need to make money, I don’t think that is a principle that needed discussion when CUs started. Of course we need to compete, they started because they could compete. But what about democratic owner control? What does that mean in todays CU? Or the education principle? I think we don’t want to discuss those. Why? To be honest because we have failed to bring these to the important level they need to be, we have been too busy making sure we make money and are moving forward in the marketplace.

I look at a CU like a car. You get it into shape. You tune it up. You keep it working well. But is that all? No you then decide where you want to go with it. What destinations are available and when will you get there. You always pay attention to the operation of the vehicle otherwise you won’t get there. Just remember you have seven places to arrive at and the journey can be exciting and very interesting. Remember we do have GPS to get us where we are going these days! 🙂