Is Your Credit Union Resilient?

CUES managing editor and publisher Theresa Witham
Theresa Witham Photo
VP/Publications & Publisher

2 minutes

From the editor

“We need to build resilience in our organizations,” said Joe Perfetti during the first session of our Directors & Dialogue December event last month.

“One of the things we’ve learned is that we’re living in a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) world, which is basically a lot of uncertainty,” said Perfetti, who is an innovation fellow with Duke CE and a lecturer at the RH Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park. 

The uncertainty affects not just organizations but also the people who work within the organizations, because people struggle during times of uncertainty.

“So, we increasingly are making decisions in uncertainty and that’s adding stress to our organizations,” he said.

Adding to this stress is how work is changing from a centralized model to a teams model. “Today, 80% of the work is centralized. It comes in a more traditional command and control structure,” Perfetti noted. “As we become more agile organizations, the unit of work going forward is going to be the team. Eighty percent of work in the future will be done in teams, which means we’re going to have to push accountability … decision-making [and] agency further down the organization. … And that also provides some anxiety to our organizations.”

Read more from Perfetti’s session at

2020 taught many of us that we are resilient in the face of crisis and rapid change. But to sustain that resiliency throughout your organization going forward, your CU will need the right leaders. In this issue of CU Management, we are looking at leadership from multiple angles. First, we have profiles of two leaders in the CU industry that readers can learn from.

Linda Carver, CCD, board chair at $14 billion America First Credit Union, headquartered in Ogden, Utah, and the 2020 CUES Distinguished Director, has helped her CU thrive through both the 2009 recession and COVID-19. “As we continue to go through these unique and challenging times, I think employees appreciate how we’ve adjusted our way of operating to keep them safe,” she says. “We’re constantly trying to balance lives and livelihood, and I think we’ve done a good job of keeping services open to our members while also being protective of our employees.” Read more about Carver in “Believing in the Cause.”

Then meet the 2020 CUES Exceptional Leader, Ricky Otey. Otey is EVP and COO at $1.7 billion Sharonview Federal Credit Union, Indian Land, South Carolina.

“I view leadership as a privilege, not a right,” he says. “When you accept the responsibility of leadership, you take on responsibility for others. You forfeit your right to have a bad day. You forfeit your right to phone it in. People are counting on you to be consistent, to be honest and to be transparent.”

Finally, our cover story will help you unlock the leadership potential within your current team so you can better face whatever challenges this new year brings us.  cues icon  

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