“I haven’t heard anyone else describe it that way,” is a common comment received from attendees after Jim speaks on industry topics.  This is by design, because from the beginning Jim vowed to bring a different approach to common topics.  His experience as a credit union CEO provides him a practical perspective on the issues facing credit unions today, and he presents keen insights in an entertaining and humorous way.

From one-hour breakout sessions to general session keynotes to day-long training sessions; Jim provides audiences with an enjoyable and educational experience.  Read below for brief descriptions on his most popular topics.  If you don’t see a topic you need, just request a consultation.  Jim will meet with you to understand your needs and will propose a session that exceeds your expectations.

Understanding Millennials: It’s More Than Just Delivery Channels & Social Media

Many credit unions need to attract and serve a younger membership demographic.  Unfortunately, many of these same credit unions believe that providing some electronic delivery methods and having a Facebook page will accomplish this.  To truly succeed in serving this growing consumer base, product development, pricing, communications, education, service delivery, and more must be evaluated and improved.  In this session, I cover the major areas requiring attention, supported by results achieved at Darden, where 90% of potential members are younger than 45 years old.

The New Old School: Executive Business Development for SEG Credit Unions

For years, credit unions have bemoaned the loss of sponsor support which led to a diminished field of membership and declining performance.  What credit unions often fail to acknowledge is their own responsibility in the deterioration of the relationship with the sponsor.  For too long, credit unions have defined “business development” as tabletop presentations in employer’s break rooms.  In this session, I discuss the importance of building a mutually beneficial relationship with the sponsor at the executive level – CEO to CEO, and how nurturing such a relationship propels the credit union to unprecedented growth opportunities.

Why Community Charters Aren’t the Answer

The idea of converting from an employer- or association-based charter to a community charter has become the go-to strategy for struggling credit unions.  Credit unions somehow believe that simply opening their doors to serve the community at large will solve their problems, even if they have spent their first decades serving a known, closed field.  In this session, I submit by converting to community, credit unions willingly give up their single best competitive advantage – the affinity they gain through a sponsored relationship.  Before converting prematurely, credit unions should strengthen their sponsor relationships (see “Executive Business Development”), enhance their affinity, and embrace their brand to reengage their legacy membership base.

Improving Your Bottom Line by Serving Your Sponsor

Traditionally, credit unions view their sponsors as only vehicles to deliver potential members, and they have established relationships with employers based on the credit union delivering “no-cost” benefits to the sponsor’s employees.  Over time, this message has shifted from “no-cost” to “no-value” for the sponsors, and they now view the credit union as a non-entity or nuisance.  Instead, credit unions must establish their relationship with the sponsor as a business partner.  In this session, I share examples of how credit unions across the country have developed these service-provider relationships with sponsors, and how those relationships have yielded significant benefits to the credit union.

Gauging Member Loyalty: A Definitive Survey that Delivers

Most credit unions engage a company for an annual member satisfaction survey, but what value are they getting from this investment?  Member Satisfaction is only the first stage in true member advocacy, which is what credit unions are really after.  The annual surveys sold by most companies in our industry leave much to be desired.  At DCU we developed a unique Member Loyalty Matrix that takes into account multiple factors to determine loyalty.  Included with the traditional member satisfaction metrics, credit unions should measure Customer Effort (how easy or difficult is it to do business with your credit union?), Net Promoter Score (how likely is your member to engage in future business with the credit union?) and both Attitudinal Loyalty (how a member feels) and Behavioral Loyalty (what a member does).  Include deeper analysis on why members provided specific rankings for these areas and the credit union receives actionable data to make improvements, increase loyalty, and improve financial results.  In this session, you’ll learn about the importance of each of these areas and how your credit union can gain this invaluable data.

The Virtual Model: Dealing With Member Ghosts (Members You Can’t See, But You Know They Are There)

For years, credit union prognosticators have warned of the death of the brick and mortar branch, and of the virtualization of financial services.  How will credit unions adapt to serving members they rarely, if ever, see face to face in a branch environment?  If, in fact, credit unions continue to hang their hat on service differentiated from the banks, how will they demonstrate that to members they never see? At DCU, we built an entire virtual delivery system to serve members across the country.  From account opening to loan closing, delivery is accomplished without paper.  In this session, I discuss the unique opportunities and challenges tied to this future business model, as well as cover all the things credit unions must consider to do it well.

The Future is Here: Helping Your Credit Union Remain Relevant for Years to Come

The U.S. population is the youngest it’s been in fifty years while the average age of credit union members has never been older.  Credit unions must become relevant to today’s younger consumer, and your support as a director is critical to its success. In this session, created specifically for credit union directors, you’ll learn more about the challenges your credit union faces to attract and serve these demanding younger consumers and what credit unions are doing successfully. You’ll be better able to provide meaningful support to your management team during this profound shift in the financial services landscape.

Best Practices for Board/CEO Relationships

Perhaps there is no relationship more important to the success of the credit union than that between the CEO and the Board of Directors.  Poor relationships can limit effectiveness, cause personal and professional stress, and prematurely end promising careers.  In this session, you’ll learn about the four behavioral dimensions identified by organizational psychologists as critical to success: Trust, Micromanaging, Clarity, and Communication.  We’ll discuss best practices to employ within your own credit union to strengthen and improve this important relationship.

Getting the Right People in the Right Seats on the Bus

Walt Disney reminded us that you can create the most magical place on earth, but it takes people to make it a reality.  Leading a credit union today is no different, and it all begins with the selection of the CEO – the one to whom you’ve handed the keys to the bus.  According to some sources, half of credit union CEO’s will be retiring within the next decade.  Whether you are currently considering a new CEO or are building a succession strategy, this session may be ideal for you.  In this session, we will discuss how to translate your credit union’s unique mission into tangible traits and characteristics of your ideal CEO.  The goal is to help you assess if the person driving your bus will ultimately get you where you want to go.

The Five Most Important Roles of the Credit Union Director

Most of us are familiar with the standard roles a credit union director must play, and regulators pay particular attention to the financial literacy and fiscal responsibilities attached to this critical volunteer role.  While those functions are important, focusing solely on those duties is a disservice.  In this session, we’ll discuss the five most important roles of the credit union director: Artist (who paints the picture), Recruiter (who hires the right CEO), Inspirationalist (who sets high goals), Enforcer (who ensures accountability), and Salesperson (who engages in developing business).  We’ll discuss best practices to employ within your own credit union.

Strategize. Plan. Execute. Win.

Most credit unions host annual strategic planning sessions, but few have a comprehensive strategic plan to use as a roadmap for the next 2-3 years.  Does your strategic plan define your business model?  Does it identify, quantify, and qualify those you serve?  Does it accurately define your value proposition in terms relevant to your target market?  Does it have a well-defined strategy to attract and serve younger members?  In this session, Jim will share how to craft a dynamic written plan that will become a living, breathing part of your organization, and that will provide a roadmap for your leadership team to ensure successful execution to exceed your goals.

From Marketing to CEO: Your Personal Roadmap to CEO

Most professionals who become CEOs of credit unions do so through one of the more traditional disciplines, like finance or operations.  As the industry matures and gains its footing in the age of the Millennial, opportunities will arise for marketing professionals – those who arguably know the members better than anyone else in the credit union – to take the reins.  Are you ready to grab the opportunity when it’s presented to you?  Jim Kasch rose from the marketing department into leadership, and was selected by Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, et al) to be the CEO of its start-up credit union in 2010.  In this session, Jim will define the skills and traits most boards are seeking, help you recognize your own gaps in skills, and to develop a personal roadmap for you to become the Chief Executive Officer.

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