Organizers of the inaugural CUNA CEO Council Conference in San Diego wanted to create a cauldron of conversation about pressing credit union ideas.
Moderator Randy Harrington challenged attendees to engage in a fast-moving “popcorn” conversation Monday, and the 70 CEOs delivered kernel after kernel in a wide-ranging and inclusive discussion.
The first big question focused on challenges CEOs are experiencing. Responses ran from disengaged employees to increasing health care costs and board governance.
A broad theme in this conversation was how quickly a seemingly balanced work environment can veer off-kilter. “These problems, pop up, sometimes overnight—and they can be tremendous distractions,” one CEO says.
Other ideas attendees offered on how to get in front of problems before they develop:
Participants say they are more interested in finding innovative solutions than merely citing problems, such as keeping health costs in check by creating wellness programs and managing insurance premiums, and developing employee leadership and accountability on a budget.
Other topics discussed include specific governance models and the challenges of changing or implementing them; concerns for the future of the industry; disintermediation; and the need to adapt to a new economy in a new world with employees who don’t know what it was like “before”—when there was real margin in the interest rates.
The conversation served as motivation for CEOs to connect and collaborate at new levels.
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