Missing Voices


          NCUA’s New Logo

“I wish I had kept the phone numbers and emails of CEOs that are now gone from view.  Ex-CEOs that could tell me what they had wished they had done when they faced downward curves on the way to the end.

I worry that lessons lost and archived outside our industry are what is needed now.

What did we miss when we justified the NCUA or regulators’ actions to end an organization?  What did we miss when no owners really dug into a vote to end a charter?  What did we miss when the life-cycles of leaders and volunteers were more important than CUs needing young blood?

What did we miss when we followed models based on scale that left local communities and individuals on the sidelines?  What did we miss that are the keys to turning a losing streak back towards winning?

Some might say we missed nothing, we witnessed progress and the natural march towards an industry’s maturation.  But that sounds to me like short term winners talking.” (Randy Karnes, 2018)

Tens of Thousands  Fewer Voices

NCUA was converted to an independent agency with a three-person board in 1977.

The results include 12,000 fewer charters and the elimination of  12,000 CEO’s and volunteer board’s leadership platforms.   Their employees  lost independent career opportunities as these organizations were shuttered. 

The movement’s human capital–enthusiasm, insights and entrepreneurial spirit–has been lessened.   

Communities have fewer options.  As charters are pulled up by their roots, the movement becomes less diverse, less democratic, more concentrated and remote.

Credit unions are being depleted.   No movement can sustain itself built on subtraction rather than addition and multiplication.

In the end there will be no need for an NCUA or logo.


One Reply to “Missing Voices”

  1. Whenever I lament over “lost knowledge” I dig out a book titled “If Only We Knew What We Know”. Most of the time I just stare at the cover and wonder how could we have all let so much of what our industry should know JUST slip away.

    Eventually I realize that it is not that it slipped away, but it was simply replaced by today’s translations via today’s leaders. Their interpretations of what will extend their status and careers – not extend the hopes of customer-owners models. Resold to us by the ideas that resonate with business leaders who want to simply grow audiences based on the acceptance of easy themes, cross industry themes, and bland expressions of goodwill – replaced by lamenting social ills beyond our reach, instead of financial tactics within the reach of those who engage our models. I wonder where have all of the contrarian’s faith in cooperative business designs where the consumer and professionals drive hope into careers based on local communities, engaged customer owners, and scaled models long forgotten by mass producers of faceless audiences gone?

    And then I look into my mirror each morning and consider that my pending retirement means that selling ideas for future careers means you have to stay engaged with your own career.

    Where are all of the missing voices?

    Retired by this or that, and resigned to the fact that to sustain a movement you must fight to be engaged with those who wish to be the movement. Fight against the elimination of the valuable ideas that are so easily rewrote and leveraged for tomorrow’s intentions so far from what is needed to survive.

    Retired and resigned – two concepts that make me shiver, and make me worry for all of our souls.

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