‘Top-Level Thinking, Bottom-Line Success’

CUNA conference helps CFOs ‘build a better bean to count.’

June 14, 2011
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Other great speakers:

• David Hilton, D. Hilton Associates Inc. outlined what it will take for CFOs to make it to the very top. He addressed what CFOs should and shouldn’t do in an interview, and how CFOs should prepare to become the CEO.

With a significant number of CEOs retiring in the next five years, CFOs need to be ready to lead. This session went a long way in planting the seed of preparation.

• Mario Shiliashki, MasterCard Worldwide, discussed “Innovative Payment Solutions” and the need to be relevant in technology. With the move to mobile payment technologies, EMV cards, and the digital transformation of business, credit unions must invest in technology and stay ahead of the curve.

Credit unions have the opportunity to use technology to know our members' spending behaviors. This will allow credit unions to target-market, offer targeted rewards programs, and improve member loyalty.

• Clifton Gunderson presented a mini workshop on merger accounting, including a step-by-step guide to completing due diligence, conducting a valuation of the acquired credit union, and the changes to the accounting rules.

• Lisa Renner, CU Holding Co., detailed the importance of collaboration and how it can drive the bottom line and improve value for members. She says the credit union model is at a crossroads, and in order to make it to the next level, credit unions must collaborate! She presented several examples currently in the industry, and then challenged attendees to think of ways their credit unions could collaborate.

• Bill Cheney, CUNA president/CEO, presented an update on the industry, including key regulatory and legislative issues.

• Tina Gibson, president of So Savant, led a breakout session on the principles of leadership. This engaging and interactive session was well received as Tina reminded CFOs of the power of strong leadership. She says time doesn’t change the principles of leadership.

• Ryan Hayhurts, The Baker Group LP, discussed “Investment Strategies for 2011 and Beyond.” This packed session was something all CFOs wanted to listen to.

With market rates at historic lows, coupled with historically low loan growth, the investment portfolio has become an increasingly important part of credit unions’ balance sheets. Ryan explained how to increase portfolio yield while minimizing interest rate risk.

Next: Out of the ordinary

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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