“Out of many, one” is the motto of the United states. The many states joining to form one union.
This is often how we approach any project, piece by piece, brick by brick, member by member.
Yet cooperative design rests on a different premise. From a place of community (later called field of membership), the credit union emerges to serve individual needs.
Community is the foundation of cooperative design. Even as individual credit unions become financially self sufficient (post sponsor era), and accountable for their individual performance, sustainability requires continuing to create a sense of community. This may be geographic, values based, common employment or even shared purpose.
A shared commonality is the key to maintaining member relationships, which are the real capital on which every credit union depends.