So I’m in the comment section of my blog (thanks Trey from Trabian for the comment) and noticed I had 71 items in the “Drafts” bucket. Those are 71 blog posts I never finished. I had no idea I had that many. Some of them are pretty funny, some are clearly duds, some were rants I didn’t dare publish, as in “I’ll never work in this town again” if I do. But here are a couple of random thoughts from the draft (trash) bucket of DeniseWymore, LLC.

Why Does Butter Need a Door? (not published on August 29, 2014 at 4:25 am)

paula deenI’m 52 years old, I am living in a 412 sqare foot apartment  – no, let me preface that – at the end of the day I sleep in an apartment akin to a hotel room. I have no microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal or washer/dryer but I have a butter door in my fridge. It’s like a garage door…..for butter.

I feel obligated to join all dairy products in this exclusive space. So I also have my Tillamook cheddar cheese keeping the butter company.

But here’s where I am perplexed. Why does butter need a door? There has to be an historical reference to the coddlng of a stick of butter. You would have thought Paula Deen invited the butter door. I’m not sure of the total square footage of the average refrigerator but I’m going to guess that an inordinate amout of space is devoted to the preservation of a stick of butter.

I’m going to guess that it’s steeped in tradition. Some event in the past that defined a generation and therefore is passed down as folklore.

Why Pie? (not published on October 9, 2013 at 7:41am)

I’m in Vegas, went to MickeyD’s to get me some coffee (sorry Starbucks, I love me some cheap black coffee). And they asked me, at 6:30am, if I’d like Pie. And she asked it in a way that said “I hate you, I hate Pie, I hate my life.” I almost said yes.

Kindle Made a Run for the Borders  (not published on February 17, 2011 at 6:11am)

Yesterday Borders filed for bankruptcy protection and announced they will close 1/3 of their stores immediately. They also said that they will basically begin to “copy” the Amazon model to stay afloat. That’s their strategy.

I know hindsight is always 20/20 but it would seem that Borders filed bankruptcy because they stubbornly hung on to a model that was violently disrupted by the e-book technology, AND the iPod AND Netflix….

I don’t know for sure but I image the conversations in their board room went something like this:

“Well not EVERYONE is going to want a Kindle or an iPod or the convenience of their movies delivered to their home or on their computer…..so I say we are okay. We still have some loyal customers that consider Borders a gathering place and have to have a book in their hand, a CD to put on their shelf and the latest Disney movie to add to their collection.”

Sounds reasonable. And it may be true. But disruptive technologies are aptly named. History has shown us that they destroy industries.

Some examples of disruptive technologies:

  • The automobile (horse and buggy)
  • The telephone (the telegram)
  • The debit card (paper checks)
  • Digital cameras (film)
  • The original cellphone (the land line)
  • The iPad (laptops, books, CDs, DVDs, photo albums)

You get the idea. In my previous blog post I talked about the gigantic disruptive technology looming….the closed payment system that Steve Jobs is creating.

Sure, not EVERYONE will want it……………at first.

Credit unions have a reputation of being fast followers – not innovative leaders.

Time to crank up our differentiator.

Thoughts from the Deep End of the Pool (not published on August 11, 2008 at 6:05am)

Last night I was lucky enough (to be awake) to see the Men’s 4 X100 freestyle relay team kick some French-trash-talking booty. It’s so cool to see those moments “live” with family so you can say….”Remember when….?”

phelpsI admit it. Until maybe last week I probably couldn’t have told you who Michael Phelps was. Until about 12 hours ago I had no idea we had a Men’s 4X100 relay team that included Phelps AND was expected to lose to the team from France. Only an hour before the race did I find out that the French boyz were all “We’re gonna smash the Americans.” But that was enough to get us on the edge of our seats, whooping and hollering for the home team and high-fiving when “we” won.

As I’m getting ready for bed last night, I started thinking about why that was so emotional, why did I care? And did I deserve to feel so good for something that I had nothing to do with? I know, just go to bed, right?

It’s because we love to be part of a group, a club, a spirit, a team. It’s in our nature, our DNA, our psyche. It’s common bond that makes us stand up and cheer.

So why are credit unions so quick to kill it? The common bond?

In most cases, the founders of today’s credit unions are probably no longer with us. We no longer tell their stories, or remember their victories of those early days. When 6 school teachers trusted each other with their paychecks and little more than an entry in a ledger book and a desk drawer for safekeeping of the money so they could help each other get through life.  They dared to compete against the big banks, because they had a common bond.

And, if you’re lucky enough to work for a credit union today, you can say “we won.”

Don’t we owe them at least a “high five” for their efforts?

And…Wymore Out! (mic drop).

See you at 6thstory.

peggyI learned how to blog in a bar in Golden, Colorado. That was August of 2006. All the cool kids were doing it. Trey Reeme, Matt Davis, Brent Dixon. They could not believe that I was not blogging, so I gave into peer pressure and started this blog. Pretty soon I was “thinking in blog.” I would be in the middle of an experience and think “This would make a great blog post!” If I was having an exceptionally bad experience it was always tempting to tell the person delivering me the fresh hell that I would blog about them. Alas, it’s a power I’ve always tried to use for good and not evil.

If you look at the time stamp of most of my posts they are before noon. I’m a morning person and do my best writing before lunch. In fact, if you’ve ever worked with me you know my creativity cell shuts down promptly at 3:00 Mountain Time. Seriously, you can hear it.

On May 12, 2010 I was featured on the “Freshly Pressed” site on WordPress. Each day they highlight 10 blogs out of the 450,000 new blog posts each day. Here’s the one they selected. This particular blog post I like to call the “one take.” When I get really passionate about something I can sit down and “knock it out” in one take. Took me about 10 minutes to write this one. That’s why I thought it was so funny it got selected. The ones I spent hours on…not so much.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a handful of fans of my blog. And when i don’t blog regularly will actually reach out to me to find out why I’m not writing and when they can expect another one. If you’re reading this I’m taking about you. I can’t tell you how much that means to me. Thank you.

Now that I am the co-founder of 6th Story, I’ve decided to move my blogging to the “Stories” section of www.6thstory.com. Matt and I want to help credit unions tell their story. There are still so many people in the world that have no idea what a credit union is or what the difference is between a bank and a credit union. We’re talking about over 100 years of credit unions existing in America – that’s pretty sad. We aim to change that. So dear readers, please join me over here. There are three new posts over there I think you’ll enjoy. This is not the end….it’s only a new beginning.

full_moon_water_640The other day I was standing outside contemplating life, looking at the moon. And I thought, why do we call it THE moon. We don’t call it THE Mars or THE Jupiter or…..I have to say it THE Uranus. I just noticed my little fingers didn’t even bother to hit the Caps button on moon. It doesn’t deserve it…cuz it’s the moon. I’m not the only one that has pondered why we haven’t named the moon.

I love to name things (except changing the name of a credit union)  I’ve never said let’s get in THE car. I say, “Let’s take Buttercup to the store!” See how fun that is?

When I was just a fetus in the credit union industry (in the 1980s) the first ATMs came on the scene. Part of my job was to balance the ATM. Notice how we referred to it as THE ATM. So I named the first one Eddie Money. Then I could find joy in feeding Eddie Money. Get it? The next one was Johnny Cash of course. And finally John Dough!

You can always tell the difference between pet parents and pet owners. Pet parents NEVER say “Feed the dog.” Pet parents say “Has Dexter had his dinner yet?” Only pet owners say “Where’s the dog?” Pet parents know where there dog is at all times.

In Portland we’ve named all of the freeways. It’s not THE 84 or THE 26 (like they are fond of saying in California), We give directions by saying “You’ll take the Banfield to the Sunset.” Names are fun.

There’s a lot of psychology around how we feel about our name. A wonderful motivational speaker Alyce Cornyn Selby had a session about such studies and how she felt about her name. She had lost over 100 pounds and more importantly maintained that weight loss for years. Part of her transformational process was to change the spelling of her name from Alice to Alyce. It was her brand, and it worked. I love my name. I have two older sisters, Daedre and Darcie – I definitely got the good name. Thanks mom.

But back to the Moon. I say we name him Monty. Then once a month we can look up in the sky and see a full Monty.

Remember when Ron Shevlin and I used to publicly spar about Net Promoter Score and member service as a differentiator? Good times. Nothing anyone can say will ever make me feel otherwise. We are in the service business, period. We cannot differentiate with unique products or packaging, we sell and move money. Boring. Banking is an errand. Members don’t GET to go into the credit union, sometimes they HAVE to. Boring. And most member’s expectations? Very low. Their goal is to get in, get out and no one gets hurt.

That’s why one “wow” experience can produce so much value. It’s not expected, so it makes a lasting impression.

Fred Reichheld, co-creator of Net Promoter Score said it best. We know loyal members do three things for us:

  1. They will buy more from us and are less likely to rate shop (increasing services per household)
  2. They will market for us. Word of mouth is, has been, and always will be the most effective marketing.
  3. They will tell us how to improve the credit union. When you hear “I’ve been a member for X years” know that that is a gift because you are about to get a loyalty lesson. Listen.

If you would have told me in 2007 when I was in NYC with America First, Baxter, and Educators credit unions at the Inaugural Net Promoter Score conference that 8 years later I would be the one responsible for putting ON the annual conferences in US and London AND that I would also get to resurrect Loyalty Live – well, I would have slapped you and then kissed you on the mouth. Because you never know where life is going to take you, right?

It is with great pride that I invite you to join me and all my friends in Phoenix on March 4th and 5th at the Arizona Grand Spa & Resort for Loyalty Live. We are going to share stories about success, failure and the challenges that come with truly listening and responding to the authentic voice of the member.

I love recruiting speakers for events because I basically get to bring in people I love and admire. Check out who’s going to be there:

Presentation3

  • Sandy Anderson, Sr. VP Client Support & Sales Operations, Experian
  • Sally and John Myers, CEO and President of c.Myers
  • Matt Davis, former Director of Innovation Filene Research Institute and founder of GameFI

Thanks to our amazing and generous sponsors we are able to offer credit-union friendly pricing. Give it up for Co-OP Financial Services, Kasasa by Bancvue, MARQUIS, Geezeo, CUNA Mutual and CU Direct Lending.

I hope to see all the credit unions who are passionate about service there because we’re getting the band back together!

I, like many of you am heart broken over the death of Robin Williams. Why? I never met him. I didn’t really know him, clearly. But I grew up with him and he made me laugh, he blew me away with his mind and when he yelled “Good Morning Viet Naaaam” I was transformed.

But this week he lost his battle with depression. Like cancer it can be fatal. And where we get confused is that his job, his gift, his vocation was comedy. So how can someone so funny be depressed. It’s not a weakness, it’s an affliction.

I come home every evening to my 412 square foot apartment – see last blog post – and turn on my DirecTv to watch Jimmy Fallon from the night before. He’s the comic of his generation. So talented, so funny and so kind. No ego. He has surpassed Johnny Carson in my opinion.

When I dialed up the episode tonight I was rooting for him. Jimmy, you cannot not acknowledge this passing, and he did not disappoint. The opening song, “Hey hey hey hey….” Love you Roots – and instead of yelling the episode number…. Questlove yelled, “Nanu Nanu.” Hell yes. That was enough for me. But wait, there’s more. When they cut to the first commercial after the monologue, they showed “Nanu Nanu” on the front of the drum set. Very classy.

Back from commercial. Jimmy took his seat at the desk and gave us the preview of upcoming guests with the glee of a child. He still can’t believe that he gets to host all of the greats, that’s why I love him. But then it happened. And it caught me off guard. He created a pause, and choking back emotion he acknowledged what we were all feeling. Those of us that need levity at the end of the day – that crave it like a drug are feeling the loss of someone who we counted on to give it to us. Jimmy showed a clip of Robin’s first appearance on the Tonight Show (with Johnny Carson) and then ended standing on his desk “Oh Captain, My Captain.” Cut to commercial. Thank you Jimmy.

Robin Williams is gone. His disease killed his gift. And we struggle with it. Because deep down we can relate. As my Nana used to say “God gave each of us a gift, and our DUTY is to give it back to the world,” And sometimes that becomes a burden we cannot bear.

Robin, thank you for sharing your gift for 63 years. That’s enough for me. I get it. When I say rest in peace I mean it. You deserve it man. You gave so much joy to so many people in every performance. You have to be worn out.

Cheers!
D

Next week I begin my new adventure with Satmetrix, the Net Promoter Score company. It’s a dream come true for me and it means I still get to work with credit unions through the Member Loyalty Group. Yay!

My office is in San Mateo so I’ve rented a studio apartment in the same town. Bay Area real estate is insane. San Francisco is the second most expensive rental market in the US (Honolulu is number one).

My sister Daedre (pronounced daydream – drop the “m”) is the Queen of “vertical” living. IKEA is only 12 miles away. Her plane lands at 7:45 this morning. She flies out at noon tomorrow, I fly to London at 7:30 tomorrow night (for my first week of work).

Our challenge: to create a gorgeous, comfortable, functional living space in 36 hours. We are starting from scratch. I arrived yesterday with my Mazda Millennia packed full of clothes, shoes, my favorite picture of Mark, bathroom stuff and one flying pig.

My sister has a process she uses for every move. She creates a scale floor plan using graph paper and makes little furniture pieces (also to scale) so you can play around with the room without breaking your back. The apartment is basically one big room, with a separate very small kitchen and bathroom. The main room is almost perfectly square and has a huge picture window on one wall with an amazing view.

Daedre asked me what my requirements were. I need a real bed and I don’t want to eat dinner on the couch. So we are going to try and get a bedroom, dining room and living room in 412 square feet. I am writing this from the Marriott Courtyard. And looking at this room, I think we can do it.

Stay tuned.

I have yet to meet a person in my travels that when asked “So what did you want to be when you grew up?” answered “A credit union employee.” And yet in my 34 years of adulthood I was blessed to be just that.

I have never considered myself to be a cog in a machine. A cube rat. Desk jockey. I will forever refer to credit unions as a movement – not a category. I publicly vowed that I would not let credit unions go down on my watch. And none of that has changed.

The big change in my life that my partner, friend and muse Matt Davis announced yesterday, is my move to Satmetrix. And to San Mateo, California.

I know what some of you are thinking. What? So let me say once and for all, Mark and I are still NOT married. Kidding aside, we are career people. We both chose years ago not to have real children – credit unions are our family and in may ways our children of the corn. A dysfunctional family to be sure. Mark loves working at SECU of NM. Cochiti Lake will always be our home. My office is going to be in California. United Airlines is my commuter tube.

Anyone who has heard me speak since 2008 or read my second book knows my devotion to Net Promoter Score. When my dear friend Rebecca Secor emailed me “You must read this book (The Ultimate Question) it’ll change your life.” Well, it did.

I have been steadfast in my belief that NPS is the missing link for marketers and business development. I mean how can you go tell the world how great your credit union is if you never take the time to find out, from the member/owners, if they agree?

Check it out. I get to manage the NPS community for the founders. If you have not already joined – come play with us – www.netpromoter.com. I also get to coordinate their conferences. The first one will be in jolly old London! I get to play in the sandbox with some of the biggest minds in the loyalty world.

Best part of my excitinb new world? The Member Loyalty Group is a Satmetrix client. Some really smart leaders (Baxter, BECU, San Francisco Fire, Educators (Racine), Addison Avenue and AmericaFirst) founded MLG 5 years ago. They brought the gold standard of NPS to credit unions. Today over 50 and counting have joined the fold.

Last year I found the following saying – it has been framed and sits in my home office. Now I get why it spoke to me.

I’m not worried about what could go wrong, she said. I wonder if I’m in a position where I could handle it if everything goes right.”Brian Andreas

Sent from my iPad

One of the most difficult concepts for credit unions to grasp today is that of target audience. And yet every single credit union alive today owes their very existence TO a target audience. Firefighters, teachers, postal workers, churches, big employers like Boeing, IBM, GM, and the like. The common bond is what launched our industry and carved a niche in a very crowded marketplace.

But fast forward today and through mega-mergers, charter changes, two recessions and some bad management most credit unions have adopted a community or multiple SEG charter. Their territory – anyone who lives, works or worships in a multiple county area – is confused with target audience.

One of the arguments I hear against declaring a target is the misconception that you will exclude a group of people. After all, everyone needs financial services so why would I turn anyone away?

In my opinion there are two reasons why it is absolutely necessary to take the time today to figure out who your target audience really is:

1. Targeting an audience focuses your very limited resources.

2. Targeting an audience allows you to innovate and make the competition irrelevant – again.

There is one shining example of how a company innovated through targeting and as a result dominates their marketplace. Here’s the story of the iPod.

Steve Jobs readily admits that he came to the MP3 player game late. His passion was video. But when he realized there was evolution of portability and durability happening at a record pace (get it?) he used the power of psychographic targeting to disrupt the music industry.

Most people think of target audience around demographics. Females age 25-35, for example. To really innovate, that’s too broad. A psychographic approach to that same group might be “single moms with toddlers.” Psychographics identifies a problem that exists and aims to solve it. Every time I look to solve a problem I begin my thought process with “How might we……” In the case of the single moms “How might we make the errand of banking joyful for single moms with toddlers?” By asking that question and narrowing the audience I’ll bet you can immediately think of changes you would make to your lobby, service delivery, speed, etc.

Okay – so back to Steve.

Consider the evolution of music. Let’s go way back to the 1970s….

The vinyl record album. 
Problem? Durability and portability (you couldn’t play it in a car)
Solution? The 8-track tape and player

The 8-track tape player
Problem? Took us away from the familiar Side A and Side B – music was hard to find on demand. Not as durable as we hoped.
Solution? The cassette tape.

The cassette tape.
Problem? Still had some durability issues but gave us the ability to record our music – the mix tape was born.
Solution? The compact disc (CD)

The CD
Problem? The initial roll-out did not allow for recording but the quality was so great, music junkies replaced their vinyl and tape libraries with CDs.
Solution? The audio file format and the MP3 player

Here’s where it gets interesting. As you can see from the evolution of music above, the focus was always on durability, portability and not until the CD format, quality of sound. By now people demanded all of those features. And the person that was most interested was this target audience:

Raise your hand it you were the type of person that would call a radio station, request a song, and then stand by your tape recorder and wait for it to be played so you could record it?

In every audience that I ask this question there are always a small group that fit this profile. The audience always laughs, the “guilty” however are proud of it and when they see who else did it they form a bond – a common bond.

That was the target audience that allowed Apple to truly innovate. It wasn’t the iPod that was revolutionary. Is was iTunes. He knew that there were people so passionate about controlling their music listening experience that they would spend hours making the perfect mix tape. How easy is it to make a mix tape with iTunes? It’s insane.

And so consider this, and this happened two weeks ago. I asked a group of 75 credit union employees to raise their hand if they were the target for iTunes (the song requesting, mix tape making crazy). Only 4 people raised their hands. Then I asked, how many of you have iTunes today?

Every hand went up.

I rest my case.

Now go target an audience before your competition forces you to merge because you are still trying to be all things to all people.

One of the first times I visited Santa Fe I discovered StoryPeople by Brian Andreas. I guess you’d call him a poet/thinker/artist. I get daily “stories” in my email that never cease to amaze and inspire me.  Here’s the story for the day:

tetilla peakIt is not what you first think.
There is no effort of will,
no firm resolve in the face
of this thing called life.

There is only paying attention
to each quiet morning,
while you hold your cup in the cool air
& then that moment you choose to spread your love
like a cloth upon the table
& invite the whole day in again.

12th-Man-SeattleCongratulations to the Seattle Seahawks! Russell Wilson, the quarterback made this comment after the win against the 49ers on Sunday:

“We played so hard,” Wilson said. “We talked at the beginning of year, `Why not us? Why not us?’ That’s kind of been our mind-set.”

 

Indeed – here’s my favorite speech of all time that echoes that sentiment:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant? Gorgeous? Talented? 
Fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
As as we let our own light shine,
We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fears,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

From the 12th man to the Hawks.

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