Think Disruptively to Grow Your Credit Union

Luke Williams encourages the industry to surface and reinvent its clichés

July 15, 2015

Luke Williams
Luke Williams, author of Disrupt: Think the Unthinkable to Spark Transformation in Your Business, advised credit unions to think disruptively during Tuesday's general session.  

DENVER — Luke Williams, global leadership and disruption expert, kicked off Tuesday's general session at the World Credit Union Conference and America's Credit Union Conference encouraging attendees to escape their comfort zones and cultivate an instinct for innovation.

In the face of accelerating disruption across all industries, Williams challenged credit union leaders to find ways to "be" the disruptive change, starting with disrupting how credit unions think. "If you have a vested interest in growth," said Williams, "you have to have a vested interest in innovation because innovation drives growth."

Williams compared innovation to cooking. "Innovation is about taking the ingredients you have available and seeking a new arrangement," he said. "You are the generation who will formulate new recipes. In order for these to take place, you need to make sure your ingredients are mixing and mating with other industries and countries."

Williams went on to say that analysis is not the only answer. "Data is important but it will only get you 50 percent of the way there. The other 50 percent has to come from human imagination," he said. By surfacing clichés, credit unions can decide which to invert, deny and scale.

Williams concluded by calling on the crowd to, "enjoy the possibilities." Embracing innovation, especially for situations in which other financial institutions are complacent, is the key for credit unions to recreate themselves.

During Tuesday's general session, World Council also welcomed Anne Cochran, Louisiana Credit Union League president and CEO, as its first female chair.

Future Forum
Credit union leaders from some of the largest credit unions in the world convened at the second Future Forum on Tuesday.

The day continued with an engaging lineup of breakout sessions led by industry experts. World Council hosted its second annual International Large Credit Union Future Forum for credit unions from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Brazil and Mexico to brainstorm solutions to build membership and the digital payments gap.

The 2015 World Credit Union Conference and America's Credit Union Conference runs through 15 July and will conclude with a closing night reception at Denver Performing Arts Complex Sculpture Park in Downtown Denver.

Follow and engage in conference activities, including daily event photos, on Facebook and Twitter using #CUinDenver2015.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 89,026 credit unions in 117 countries serve 260 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

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Contact: Kadie Hochmuth
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: (608) 395-2071