Article

Avoid Obsolete Wisdom

old laptop disintegrating
Contributing Writer
member of Bellco Credit Union

2 minutes

Future leaders need knowledge and skills that go beyond what’s known today.

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If mentoring means that successful CEOs take the time to find protégés and pass on their wisdom and experience to the next generation of leaders, that may be a day late and a dollar short, warns consultant Richard K. Crone, head of Crone Consulting LLC, San Carlos, Calif..

Focusing solely on what has worked in the past could blind credit union leaders to how radically the financial institution world is changing and how quickly their accumulated wisdom and experience may become outdated. Future leaders will need knowledge and skills that probably aren’t already present in the organization, he suggests.


 

 

“Credit unions should model fintech companies in combining rotational and consulting assignments with formal graduate school education through part-time and executive MBA programs.”

Richard K. Crone, head of Crone Consulting LLC, San Carlos, Calif.


So how should mentoring look? Go beyond internal grooming and exposure to current operations, Crone suggests. “PayPal has a Technology Leadership Program that provides six-month stints in different business units around the globe,” he reports. “Credit unions should model fintech companies in combining rotational and consulting assignments with formal graduate school education through part-time and executive MBA programs.”

And smart young people today want to feel they are making a difference. “Let them devise and give them ownership of programs that could improve members’ financial lives, with the freedom to experiment and learn on a smaller scale before rolling it out to the entire organization. Create a virtuous cycle,” says Crone.

“Encourage them to actively participate in industry trade groups and movement collaboration efforts. But also send them to fintech and banking conferences. Encourage them to use not just fintech financial services but to bring insights from other apps they are using,” he says. “Give them contact with the forward-thinkers.”

Richard H. Gamble is a freelance writer based in Colorado.

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