Learn to leap

Moving to a new location will save us $6 million over 10 years.

June 30, 2018

In the well-known fable, a frog drops into boiling water and quickly jumps out to safety.  

But when the frog enters lukewarm water, the amphibian relaxes, swimming lazily and never realizing, until too late, that a fire rages beneath the pot and the temperature is steadily rising.

The moral of the story: Never get so comfortable that you don’t recognize when it’s time for a change.

After 15 years at 601 Pennsylvania Ave., we recently moved to a new office in Washington, D.C. Our location at 99 M St. is only two miles away, but it’s a bold step toward meeting the future needs of our members—not that this was an easy decision to make.

Our distance from Capitol Hill is the same, our access to power unchanged, and we’ll remain the only credit union trade organization with an office in the nation’s capital.

But moving your entire office and staff is disruptive and logistically complicated, requiring significant planning, coordination, and time.

And, after all, we accomplished a lot on behalf of credit unions at 601 Penn. People knew where to find us. Our employees liked the office. In other words, we were comfortable.

Now, I’m not saying if you’re comfortable you should panic and make a big change for the sake of change.  But you might want to do a gut check and take a close look at your priorities.

There are a few reasons we decided to make such a significant change, and they all revolve around our ambition to be a future-focused association.

As the champion of the credit union movement, we have some big goals we want to accomplish for credit unions, and a new office space in Washington, D.C., is one piece of our plan to meet them.

Over the next 10 years, the move will save us $6 million. These cost savings are not only financially prudent, they help fund strategic investments in our increasingly sophisticated advocacy, the development of credit union solutions, and the growth of our national awareness initiative.

More than that, we wanted a space that reflects our culture and promotes our values. One of our core values is collaboration, and we carefully laid out our new 22,000-square-foot office space on the third floor of Skanska’s 99M development to not only increase but enhance staff’s daily interactions.

Housed in a 234,000-squarefoot office building in the vibrant Capitol Riverfront neighborhood, D.C.’s fastest-growing area, our new D.C. home is open, modern, and modular.

With more than 20 rooms varying in size, style, and purpose, the layout both facilitates collaboration and accommodates different work styles.

The built-in technology gives us the ability to better communicate and coordinate with our Madison, Wis., office.

There are spaces throughout for quick impromptu meetings and focus rooms for heads-down work. Staff can move between them based on their needs and goals. They can even work from our rooftop, and folks, let me tell you the view up there is breathtaking. You can see the Washington Monument.

The next time you’re in the D.C. area, stop by. I’d love to show you around. There is an energy and vitality to both our new space and neighborhood that reflects our movement. There is even a trapeze school a block from our office—which I interpreted as a good omen.

We have so much we want to do for America’s credit unions and their 110 million members, but we won’t get it done resting on our laurels. Sometimes the best move you can make is to leap.