Above: Author and innovation expert Navi Radjou advises Wednesday's keynote audience to offer products and services with four qualities: affordability, quality, simplicity and sustainability. (CUNA Photo)
DENVER (7/16/15)--People across the globe dream of a more socially equitable and less wasteful way of life, and credit unions may be uniquely positioned among all financial institutions to make that a reality.
That was the message presented by concluding keynote speaker Navi Radjou--recognized internationally for his work in innovation--at this year’s America’s Credit Union Conference and World Credit Union Conference co-hosted by CUNA and the World Council of Credit Unions.
Describing an emerging global marketplace that reflects a shift of values across the world, Radjou said that credit unions could be the most prepared to answer the changing demands of consumers.
Conference attendees have heard from several inspirational keynoters during the conference, including Alan Mulally, a former president/CEO of Ford Motor Co., who led its transformation to the No. 1 automobile brand in the United States, and Luke Williams, executive director of New York University Stearns School of Business, who’s renowned for his insights into disruptive innovation.
In Radjou’s presentation Wednesday, he said that, worldwide, people are becoming more frugal. They seek discounts and better pricing on goods and services, and express a willingness to live with less.
Citizens, he said, are concerned about social inequality, worry about resource scarcity, and are “values” conscious.
Radjou described the existing economic system as “wasteful, inflexible, and disconnected from (consumers’) real needs.” He said big banks are a good example of this model that is “complex, costly, and slow to respond to customers’ needs.”
It is time, the innovation expert said, to do more and better with less; to create more value for more people in a sustainable way. Emerging markets are pioneering frugal innovations by adding value while simultaneously reducing resource cost. In the financial services arena, frugal financing is disrupting the marketplace with availability of crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.
He offered to the credit union representatives in the room four key takeaways that will help them thrive in the future:
Radjou’s final piece of advice was that credit union leaders must evolve from “smart” managers, who are all about ambition, to “wise” managers. This transformation will lead to a “noble purpose” for a credit union and unleash the potential of the entire organization.
For more conference highlights, click here.