Friday, February 9, 2024

SECU: Consider This - Chapter 11: How Would You Create A Unicorn? How You Wouldn't! ... first Kleenex, now unicorns?!

😎 Sorry, keep getting distracted by the infighting and financials... those will play out over the next few months, lets try to stay focused on the longer term.

A couple of key issues have been discussed: 1) Credit unions were created to be different from banks and everybody knew that [Chapter 4 link], 2) as time passed, people forgot that original difference and came to view credit unions as just another bank [Chapter 3 - Kleenex], 3) many credit unions started acting like banks which heightened the problem [Chapter 7 - Greed], 4) is it too late to change the "credit union is a bank" perception?  [Chapter 6 - Unicorns], 5) if so where is the opportunity? [Chapter 9 - Piggy Banks].

Also in Chapter 10 [link] "What do members want?", we found a pretty simple answer: They want what you want as a consumer - convenient, consistent,  high quality service at a the lowest possible cost. Easy enough, no problem - right? Well, how would you do it, how would you create a unicorn?

You might start by considering the advice of one of the most highly regarded theorists on business strategy in the world, Michael Porter [Harvard and all that you know!] Here are some key bullet points from his famous essay "What is Strategy" in the Harvard Business Review:

What is Strategy?

  • "Competitive strategy is about being different. It means choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value."
  • "A company can outperform rivals only if it can establish a difference that it can preserve. It must deliver greater value to customers or create comparable value at a lower cost, or do both."
  • "Choosing to compete in one way and not another makes organizational priorities clear. Companies that try to be all things to all customers risk confusion in the trenches as employees attempt to make day-to-day operating decisions without a clear framework."
  • "The strategic agenda demands discipline and continuity; its enemies are distraction and compromise."

If you change the word "company" to "credit union" and the word "customer" to "member", you will see that creating a unicorn at SECU is not only quite possible, but is in fact a necessity. 

Seeking to be "industry standard" at SECU is a sure formula for failure - as it would be for any business. The Legacy 8 SECU Board doesn't appear to understand how to create a basic business strategy, nor the importance "There is a Difference" has been to the member-owners - and to the financial success of SECU. That lack of understanding by this group is what this struggle at heart is about ...

Mona Moon Image Stelfanie Williams Image Jennifer Haygood Image Chris Ayers Image Bob Brinson Image Mark Fleming Image  Ben McLawhorn Image McKinley Wooten, Jr. Image

The "Leg 8" - Mona Moon, Chair, Stelfanie Williams, Vice-Chair, Jennifer Haygood, Sec-Treas, Chris Ayers, Bob Brinson, Mark Fleming, Ben McLawhorn, McKinley Wooten, Jr.

At SECU are "organizational priorities clear", is there "confusion in the trenches", are "operating decisions without a clear framework" being made, are the "demands of discipline and continuity" being practiced?

😎 Good news! Next 5 days, examples of a unicorn in action!







  1. In answer to the duck, hell yes and getting worse for employees. bad rates spotty service for our membrs

  2. Workers should be voting who our CEO and exec team is. You know…like in some European countries…time to kill this top down system. They don’t know anything about the credit union. Workers know. We are in the trenches and deal with the membership daily

    1. They think they’re smart which is funny. Anyone else read Jim Hayes’s emails and wonder how he got a degree at Stanford? Daddy’s money.

    2. Mail order degree not Stanford. Piece of work out here in California. also piece of what you east coasters found out. Dumbest board choice in cu history.

    3. Yes. That is NOT just SECU history, That is nation wide Credit union history. #1 Reason to fire all 8 of this board. Those 8 grinning people pictured above hired the most incompetent person in the history of credit unions to run the best credit union in the USA. They are still fools. Nothing has changed. Those 8 are more incompetent than Hayes.

    4. A great book called “Americas war on credit unions”. Great read. They’ve been systematically destroying the credit union movement for years trying to turn them all into banks. SECU is the last stand. We must hold strong for the credit union movement

    5. @10:15am yes! Exactly! This is bigger than us! Bickering over who has a harder job is just flat out STUPID and small minded. We must realize we are fighting something bigger than your “specialized skillset”. We are fighting for what a credit union actually is

    6. Every worker at SECU should study what a credit union is and how they are brought about. They aren’t mean to do business lending, reward credit cards, RBL, etc….it’s not in the philosophy. Local business lending is meant for the community banks. Corporate lending is meant for the large national banks! Credit unions are meant to serve people with modest means!!!!! It’s so simple folks! STUDY. READ BOOKS!!!! DONT BUY INTO THE BANKER PROPAGANDA!!!! They are here to sell you and the members out for a huge paycheck!!! They don’t give 2 sh*** about you!!!!!

  3. Board is clueless. hearing what they want while ignoring the obvious. Watching the slide to industry standard, doing nothing.

  4. The Board gets full credit for the mess and should accept responsibility for the mess.

  5. There is a reason boards are involved in corporate America. They help keep the status quo. Those days are over. See you at the annual meeting.

  6. 8 in 24!! Let's roll!!