Big Time Thursdays: Switching Perspectives

This entry was posted by Thursday, 14 April, 2011
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“When You’re Finished Changing, You’re Finished.”

-Benjamin Franklin

Courtesy of David Reece

Say the word “change” and you are bound to get a strong reaction from people.  Whether you love change or hate it, it is one of the only true constants in life. Not only are we changing as individuals on a daily basis, we are changing the way we socialize and the way we conduct business in the 21st century.

Technology is instrumental in many of the changes occurring in our personal and professional lives. It is changing the way we provide account information to our members, the way we capture their attention and they ways in which they interact with the credit union.

Today members have their paychecks automatically deposited and their bills automatically debited. They log on to a web branch from their iPhones to check their balances and transfer funds. If we are doing a good job in providing them the services they need in a timely, courteous and friendly manner, they may even “like” us on Facebook.

While some of us embrace all of this change wholeheartedly, others would like nothing more than to go back to “the way things used to be.”   In their new book,  Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, Dan and Chip Heath investigate the reasons people often fear change and how to go about making the hard changes in life a little easier to manage.  Often we become focused on all the things that are wrong and “analysis paralysis” kicks in. We know that a change must occur, but we are unable to take the appropriate steps to make it happen.

To succeed in changing, the Heaths propose that, “We must look for bright spots — the first signs that things are working. We need to ask ourselves a question that sounds simple but is, in fact, deeply unnatural: What’s working and how can we do more of it?”

This seemingly simple “switch” in perspective has big implications, as the anecdotes included in the book illustrate. Whether you are attempting to make a personal change, or a change within your organization, this is an insightful, entertaining and educational book to add to your collection.

In June Dan Heath will keynote America’s Credit Union Conference in San Antonio where he will share more insights on this “switch” in perspective and how it relates to credit unions.

BIG TIME Thursday CONTEST: We want to know: How have you successfully implemented change at your credit union? What is working at your credit union and how are you finding ways to do more of it? Answer this question in a comment below and we’ll do a random drawing on April 21st of all commenters to give away a copy of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, and a $10 donation to a charity of the winner’s choosing through (  If a choice is not provided within three months, the donation will go to the default charity (currently the Red Cross – for Japan Earthquake Relief).

UPDATE (04/21): This contest has ended – congratulations to our winner, Stephanie from NRL Federal Credit Union. She won a copy of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard, and a $10 donation to a charity of the winner’s choosing through (  If a choice is not provided within three months, the donation will go to the default charity (currently the Red Cross – for Japan Earthquake Relief). THANKS TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

CONTEST DETAILS: Contest begins today and ends on Wednesday, April 20th at 11:59PM (ct). No purchase necessary to win.  Make sure you leave an email address where you can be contacted.  The winner will be notified via e-mail and will also be announced on the blog.  Multiple comments are allowed as long as you have a valid idea in each comment. (No duplicate comments) The odds of winning depend on the number of entrants received.  Void where prohibited.

This competition is offered by Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and is open to anyone who comments on this post and is at least 18 years of age. Employees of CUNA and family members of such employees are not eligible to enter.

CUNA shall not have any liability for any malfunction of or damage to the prize. The award winner may be responsible for applicable state or federal taxes on the value of the contest prize.

4 Responses to “Big Time Thursdays: Switching Perspectives”

  1. Elizabeth Aldridge

    We have successfully implemented change here at Alabama Telco by presenting change in a positive light and by making it exciting, fun and rewarding. Goals are geared towards product changes, with the possibility of incentives. Big CU changes are presented to all staff as a positive change.
    If the Credit union didn’t change with the times, I would have to make a change with mine!!!!

  2. Stephanie

    We currently are a small Credit Union which makes it difficult for staff to move up within the organization. To keep several of the employees motivated we made several changes in the Training Department. Our biggest success was giving our employees the ability earn certifications. We developed in-house certifications where employees are recognized by the entire Credit Union once they have completed a certain number of particular classes. We also signed up with CUNA and other organizations to provide self-study manuals and examinations where employees can earn a nationally recognized certification. It has motivated several employees to work towards building their portfolio and has made them very proud of their accomplishment.

  3. When it’s time to implement change we give staff the ability to be a part of the decisions involved in the change. This way they are owners of the change that will be taking place.

  4. Thanks so much for the great comments. Congrats to Stephanie for winning this week’s Big Time Thursday contest. Stay tuned for the upcoming contests – rumor has it the prizes are only going to get bigger and better.

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