Hot Air Might Lift You Up, But It’s Steam That Drives You Forward

Don’t just be a commenter in the game of life, be an active player.

We’ve all been there before, posting on Facebook and Twitter, reading the comments section of a favorite news site, or watching television, saying things like someone should do something, they need to solve that, or I wish we could help.

Yet how often do those sentiments prompt us to call our representatives, sign a petition, or join in a rally? How often do we spend the time to understand all the issues behind an event that upsets us, much less step forward in a real attempt at remedy?

Too often, our hot air activism cools on the wake of other news, dissipating in time to the click of the remote and the tick of the clock.

You see, speech can change the world, but it can also give a false sense of accomplishment, something Fast Company points out in an article called Lazy Americans Think Tweeting About A Cause Counts As Advocacy.

The November 2014 article cites a Cone Communications Digital Activism Study, which found that approximately 58% of Americans think sending a tweet or posting on social media is an effective way to support their cause.

I’m not suggesting that electronic efforts such as liking or following an organization or watching a video are not without merit. In fact, these can be a stepping stone to further action. But it’s also far easier to be a commenter in the game of life than an active player.

At the end of the day, someone has to step out from behind a screen and take action, like a steam engine channelling hot air into the force needed to propel an object forward. In fact, that’s exactly what our 3Q 2014 issue of Callahan’s Credit Union Strategy & Performance is all about.

Case in point is Member One Federal Credit Union, a Roanoke-based, $655-million powerhouse born out of the railroad industry and adapted to a modern marketplace. This institution plans to one day hit $1 billion in assets as a result of moving faster and smarter than the competition. You can read more about Member One in our four-part Anatomy Of profile.

Then there’s our Ideas In Action section, chock-full of HR insights from cooperatives with award-winning cultures and big ideas on everything from personality testing for hiring and development to new communication strategies for a modern workplace.

Technology@CU is entirely core focused this quarter, and while we start the section off with a market-share snapshot of the industry as it stands today, we also profile several cooperatives who are working more closely with these core companies and one another to make sure the future of these offerings are shaped according to their evolving needs.

Even our Diversions section favors the bold this quarter, with tales of outside companies that either reinvented themselves or dug in deep in the face of hardship only to emerge stronger as a result.

We hope this issue of Strategy & Performance inspires healthy discussion and contemplation at your own institution, but more importantly, we hope it spurs you to take action and build the types of organizations, communities, and cooperative mentalities you’d like to see thrive in 2015 and beyond.

January 5, 2015

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