Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 3 months ago

226) #DigitalGrowthJourneys: Honoring the Unknown: Insights from an FCU President

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

What does digital transformation look like for you personally?

Everyone’s journey is unique, but we can’t do it alone. Through shared vision and perspective, we can master exponential growth together.

Devin Lyon (https://www.linkedin.com/in/devon-lyon/), President and CEO at Central One Federal Credit Union (https://www.centralfcu.com/), tells us how his path of transformation has led him to an exciting new role. 

Join us as we discuss:

- Coaching on a macro level in the financial industry (10:19)

- Respecting the unknown when managing your team (15:52)

- How emotions play into traditional financial services (23:28)

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

devonlyon@outlook.com

Devin Lyon

You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or at digitalgrowth.com. 

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

You can have the best apr in tone, the highest depository. If you're a transaction based you do not matter because you've already said to the people that come in all you are to me as an accountant. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay, a podcast that empowers financial brand, marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series, where James Robert Lay interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and FINTECH leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Readings in Hello, I am James Robert Lay and welcome to episode to of the Bank King on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the Digital Growth Journey series and I'm excited to welcome Devin lie into the show. Devin recently joined central one FCU as president and CEO, and today we are going to reflect on his own personal journey of growth so far as he begins to write a new chapter. Welcome to the show, Devon. It is good to share time with you today. It's great to share time with you as well. James Robert. It's it's about a minute since we've been able to talk, but it's always good to catch up. It's been a minute and it's been a journey. And before we get into your journey, what's good for you right now, personally professionally, and I know what's good professionally, so maybe just personally, we'll well, we'll start there and then we'll transition to the professional side and frame the rest of the of our conversation around that. I am truly blessed. I have absolutely wonderful spouse and I firmly believe that that everyone marries up right and I was lucky to find...

...my person and we've been together eight magrical years. We just got back from a world wind trip in Spain. My parents are healthy, my dogs are healthy, both my spouse and I are healthy. So everything personally could not be better. Just just very, very lucky. I would agree with you the idea of marrying up. Um, I'm right there with you and I think a lot of that comes down to some of the writings of they're about a years old now, Napoleon Hill and his book thinking grow rich, which is pretty much everyone knows, but the one that people don't know a lot about is outwitting the devil Um, which is a fantastic read. But he talks about the idea of the mastermind Um, and when you can get two minds that are aligned, or three or four or five and they're all working towards a common purpose, really some magical things can happen. And so I've appreciate you sharing that. And then on the professional side, you're starting a new journey of growth. President and CEO of Central One, F cu. What are you feeling most hopeful what are you feeling most excited about as you look ahead towards creating a bigger, better, brighter future for forsential one? I'm excited about all aspects of it. What I mean by that is it's a fantastic institution. I'm very lucky that I'm taking over form a CEO who is an absolute legend in the Massachusetts Credit Union system. It's a wonderfully sized organization, you know, a little over seven forty million in assets, eight total branches, two of them student branches. So that makes you know one of my my passions as financial literacy and and how we just as a credit union. It helps break down down all barriers right. It's it's one of...

...the foundation stones to give people their own pathway to just set themselves up for success with even just basic financial literacy and having the student run branches. That's that's just living your mission, right. So I view just what can we do there and do more of the communities we're serving. We're renovating a hospital branch that's that's been closed for a while. So it's going to be re engaging with the employees at that branch and seeing how can we how can we help them? It's it's getting out into the community and saying we are here, what are your needs, and it's putting the organization on a pathway to continuing to diversify the credit union movement. You know, it's going to be looking at everyone's ideas, regardless of where they come from. It's going to be looking at every type of partner, whether it be a Fintech or somebody that specializes in the credit union space or maybe somebody that's only worked with banks before. You know, I don't believe there is a one size fits all special partner to make an organization stronger. So it's going to be about listening first and then evaluating and helping craft the best process forward to an organization that's that's already doing an amazing job of delivering exceptional service and it's going to be tweaking knobs and dials to take that to the next level and remaining completely relevant to the members that we currently serve well welcoming the next generation of members on board as you're going through. That the the key pattern, the key insight,...

...the key trend for the dear listener to take away when thinking about future growth. It's one word and we've talked about it before on the PODCAST, but I want to bring it back. It's listening. It's going all in on people, and going all in is an acronym that I wrote about banking on digital growth, where you ask good questions and getting really good at asking really good questions, which is a skill set in and of itself. Number two, just simply listening to what people share, to what they say, but also learning through observation, because sometimes it's the unspoken that also provides insight as well. I can't help but think too, is you're starting this journey. What John Jane Clays has shared before on the podcast, going on a listening tour Um and and and using that as a way to just take some really good notes and then maybe a little bit of Um Socratic reflection and stoic reflection into what is it that we're learning to then take that and apply that knowledge, apply that insight and apply that wisdom going forward, but then not get too far ahead, pause, reflect, course, correct and continue down that path. But it's, like you said, it's not something that we can do alone. It's something that we're now having to align ourselves with others, and I think the key is that share a similar perspective, that share a similar belief and when we get those people together, like we talked about before with our wives, that's how we create a mastermind for exponential growth. Couldn't agree more. I mean, one thing that that we did well and direct that I'll absolutely look to to install and replicated, central one, is we had a program called direct thinker, Mhm, where anyone in the organization...

...we had both an APP and like physically stationed ipads when we were in the office, where they could make suggestions either for their own department, Cross Department, the employee experience, of the member experience, whatever it was, and every year we would synthesize those ideas to work on them as part of strategic initiatives. And I firmly believe that the role of the CEO is twofold one. It's to listen. Listen first. The second is I've always used the acronym it's it's not chief executive officer, it's chief reminding officer. Play on the C R O. here's the great things we're doing, here's the scoreboards to point to, here's the important things. We don't want to lose sight up. Here's the organizational mission, vision and why, and explain that again and again and again. That, right there is, I think, critical to call out. It's not just the mission, it's not just the vision, it's to you said, it's the why, or what we would define as the purpose. But reminding time and time and time again and calling back how is this being applied historically and then how can we continue to apply that going forward? There is a rather large financial brand that has been in the banking on digital growth program for about the past year and a half. Tremendous amount of history, and they have landed on a purpose to guide them forward. Extremely New Thinking for this organization and I continuously am reminding them this is not something that you just communicate once and they haven't brought this externally yet. I was like you're gonna have to take a lot of time to bring this internally and remind and teach and guide and coach, and that right there.

Let me get your take on that idea. I think a decade off might actually be a pipe dream. Unfortunately, when you were talking, I'm a huge Fan of coaching. I forgot which, which influencer says it, but he said, you know, he was talking about golf and he goes, you know, I was working with a with an amateur, and he said, you know, look, I go out and I played twice a month. I can't understand why I can't hit it down the fairway. And he goes, you realize, Tiger Woods, says, a coach. You realize rory mcrory has a coach, like Aaron judge on the Yankees who's on pace two to possibly beat bonds, has a hitting coach. All great athletes have coaches. So my idea of coaching is if you don't have leadership programs mentor programs up and doubt like reverse mentoring programs. I feel like you're you're growing stale. So one thing that I'm going to be very, very insistent upon is what does what does the training look like at Central One? And then what do we do to add rocket fuel to that? Now, getting to your point about what does coaching look like for a credit union to to be able to hold their members accountable? I think that's the the evolution of data analytics. So let's let's let's pretend you and I are having this discussion in so I've been in in the role for six years. My ideal situation is we have every member have a financial literacy component to their membership. I have...

...a robust data warehouse. I know what they're they're short term long term financial goals are. I have financial products that are reading their transaction history and sending them sms alerts saying you just went over your food budget. That could potentially put in jeopardy your ability to do x, Y and Z. or hey, you made an extra deposit to your money market account this month. That's going to go a long way towards paying Sally's First Year of College. In doing this, years in advance. That's the accountability piece. That's where all institutions need to look at their data, look at what warehouses they have and how can you link that financial literacy to then push out true, effective coaching conversation, viab electronic means when they call a call center, when they come into ranch, whatever it is, but it's putting that on a holistic platform. Digital growth is a journey from good to great, but sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to take this journey alone, because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs who are all learning, collaborating and growing together. VISIT DIGITAL GROWTH DOT com slash insider to learn more about how you can join the digital growth insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now back to the show, yes, and this idea of coaching. It's so funny the analogy that you used with, you know, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan's best of the best, I mean top of the game. We were just having this conversation the other day internally and and Audrey, who's our our operations lead here. Um, we did a partcast.

Uh, since we read so many books, were like, we should probably read these books and at least break them down and create some value for other people. And literally this this is the book that I have on my desk. It's the coaching habit. Say Less, ask more, change the way you lead forever, and I keep it on my desk because it is that constant reminder. And I think there's a difference too, between when when you coach someone. It comes back to the point I was making before about getting really good at asking you questions. You know, the right questions to ask to help themselves actualize what the answer is, because that then allows them to take ownership versus just being told this is what you need to do. And I know with four kids, whenever I tell them what to do, they either a they don't do it or be the outcome isn't so pleasant for any of us. But whenever I ask them really good questions, they self actualize, they take the path forward. The other thing too, and I want to trace this in the conversation here, and it's I think it's very unique to you and just your own personal journey of growth. You knowing your background, knowing your history, coming coming into this role, you spent some time Um at napheqw um, director of education, training, learning. You mentioned training before. I want you to think back on your own journey of growth, of what you know, where you've been to at this point. Now, starting this new journey would have been. What's a big lesson or two that you've learned yourself along the way? You have to honor what you don't know. M I feel like too often people get very comfortable with what they know and they're they're an expert in it, and I've seen too often they'll say, okay, I've mastered this thing or this idea. So clearly...

...what made me successful to grasp that I can take the exact same set of thinking, the exact same set of facts, the exact same management systems, thought processes and apply this to the thing I don't know. And you either get a false sense of security with that, where you missed the eight ball entirely, and I think going in saying I'm comfortable with with this thing that I've mastered, but now I need to honor this thing I've never done and and what about it can I do? How the elephant bite sized chunks. Right. What do I need to do? Who Do I need to talk to? Who Do I need on my team to give me the tools and the success and the knowledge transfer? So so I, or whoever is is asking these questions can be comfortable then transitioning that from something I don't know to something I know. I want to come back to the point of thinking about the WHO, not the how, which I've had. Dan Sullivan from strategic coach Um wrote a book with Dr Benjamin Hardy on the subject, and that's a key part of the model we teach is to think who before how, because I think the idea as a leader, you know, it's important to cast the vision. This is why this is important help determine what success looks like and then get out of the way with the how. That that created so much tension and conflict for me early on in my entrepreneurial journey, and I think, you know, it was youthful pride. I thought I needed to know everything. But then when we lean back into ancient wisdom, socrates...

Um, you know, he said to things, I know one thing, that I know nothing, and then he said the only true wisdom is in knowing, you know nothing and I think when you own that or, to use your words, you honor that, it allows you to accept Um that reality and then you're like, okay, well, what I know is why this is important and what I know is this is what I hope success to look like and can define that, but I have no idea how that this is going to happen. And I think when we try to like fight that and when we were worry about the how, it's we're never going to get there. But when we start thinking about the WHO, who do I need, it opens up a whole new world of opportunity. Right, it does, because it allows you to to truly just objectively look at a situation issue because, as you said, you know we say, okay, this is the this is the vision of whatever this thing is, and here's how we're going to measure success, here's how I'm going to hold the people working on achieving this accountable. Now it's it's time for me to get out of the way and measure how the team is doing with their respective areas. I think you and I talked about this in very frank terms. Is a reason why in a lot of the thought leadership that's coming out now, some of the titans that people respected for gears in the business community. We're now taking a very hard, reflective lens to and saying, would the Jack Welsh method work now? And I think everyone looks at this says absolutely not. You know, it's it's almost to tyrant, and I think when you look at behavior...

...like that you can because that's the this is the vision, here's exactly, here's a B C d e and here's what. I'm gonna hold you accountable for a B C D and E. It's why, when that person leaves, those organizations take a nose dive because you haven't coached or you haven't given your leaders and staff the freedom to one, make mistakes. They can micro fail, not macro fail. You need to allow them to have micro failures and your goal as a leaders to direct them back on the course so they get that experience. And two, then they come up with new ideas they self actualize. They're saying, okay, here's the vision, but what if it goes beyond that? And that's where it gets exciting, because then your strategic discussions become just that discussions. I like the idea of discussion. The idea of dialogue, the idea of discourse. This is how we develop new ideas and new insights. I was working with someone the other day and encouraging them. They're looking to grow into a C level position around the idea of behavior, chief behavioral officer, and they're working in the digital space right now and I recommended I said, look, you've got to open up your horizon and and and really read a wide array of perspective and just have an open mind to it, like very objectively. And when, when, when you read different perspectives, new ideas begin to form in your mind. And I like what you shared Um and I was talking with jody from Nimbus about this...

...on the podcast. Through the Lens of innovation we even have here we call you know, when you have an idea, drop it in the innovation jar and it's safe, it's it's we know we're gonna come back to it quarterly or annually and we're gonna Review and we're gonna re prioritize, but just that one act alone. And we call it the innovation jar because I think in some organizations it's been called a parking lot and I don't like that word because the words have power. You Park things in a parking lot and you might not ever come back to get it Um, but in an innovation jar it's the act of like you know as a kid, you know you put a coin in the jar. Now, maybe these Gen z ears these days they don't even know what it feels like, but you put something and so you're kind of making the intangible idea of thought. You're making it tangible by making a deposit, even if it's a digital deposits like and that's adding to inclusivity other people feel and that's so important and I know that that one word. I want to get your take on this. They feel like they're part of the experience, they feel like they're part of the process. But when you look in the traditional financial services space, feelings aren't necessarily something that we talk a lot about. I do, but at the macro level I don't really feel that we pay homage to that, even though, and I was just talking with Nancy Harrut yesterday, you know, people make buying decisions exponentially more in feeling than they even do on logic. Even really, really smart people were too long. The broad term of financial services evokes a sense of something my grandparents did because there was no other option. Yeah, and it it was literally transaction based evoking feeling. It's what are the large reasons why so...

...many of the more successful fin techs are winning? And it's because the feeling of a frictionless experience gives you confidence. The feeling of them using near real time data to immediately call you by name, even if it's with a Chapbot, gives you a feeling of they understand me, they recognize me, they see me. This the fin techs that are going into communities that banks have left and created these banking deserts. They're they're saying to these communities and the communities are feeling we matter to you. That, to me, was the original mission of credit unions that all remaining credit unions need to harness, because you can have the best digital platform, you can have the slickest, newest branch, you can have the best apr in town, the highest deposit rate, if you're a transaction based you do not matter, because you've already said to the people that come in all you are to me as an accountant, and that is where I have continuously have said on this podcast in my own writing the speaking that I do, the coaching that I do with organizations. When you commit to put the transformation of people over the commoditized transaction of dollars and cents, that is an exponential growth opportunity. That's truly a way to differentiate yourself in and really exit the bloody waters of competition. Noting Blue Ocean...

...strategy. But what does it all boiled down to? It's what we started this conversation with and what you shared. It's just simply listening, going all in, asking, listening, learning and putting people at the center of your thinking, people at the center of your doing. Devin, this has been a good conversation. As we start to wrap up, I always like to send the dear listener away with one practical action that they can take next on their own journey of growth and as we've talked a lot about listening as a key strategy to achieve exponential growth going forward, I think personally and professionally on that front, internally and externally. What is one small step that they can do next to to really make listening even more of their daily practice, regardless if you're working remote or you still have a commute. If you work remote, I know far too many people that say I used to get up at seven so I could be out of the House by seven thirty and I drove an hour to the office. Now the good news is by day starts at nine, so I roll out about eight seven. I have the coffee pop program so I'm in my chair at night. Take Twenty to thirty minutes and take a topic that you either know a little about or a topic that you don't think you have any interest in, and take twenty or thirty minutes and find a podcast on that topic and commit to listening to it for ten days, for two weeks worth of business. Twenty to thirty minutes something you know a little bit about or something that you don't have a necessary interest in, because in life you're going to be in meetings and in situations where you may...

...be saying, I don't know why I'm here, or Oh boy, today we're going to talk about long division math. But the point is too often our default is I'm going to zone out, I'm going to play on my phone and do the cell phone prayer and hope no one calls on me. Whatever it is, if you can condition yourself for twenty or thirty minutes to listen to something that might not be up your ailing. It's going to be a behavior that you will take into every meeting because you'll be tuned to listening and it will also begin to teach you how to keyword spot, to learn to ask better questions. That is so practical, and do you mind if I build on that just a little bit, because this is this is this is a practical exercise that I'm putting in banking on change. It's specifically for the season of learning, because there are four seasons for exponential growth. There's a season to learn, to think, to do, to review, and then we'll just repeat through each one of those Um and a lot of it could be you know, and I know we're of the same age, but being a kid of the eighties and growing up watching three to one contact on PBS, Um it's it's an exercise, it's a practice, it's a habit of and unfolds over the course of a week, similar to what you're talking about. Three articles, two podcasts and one video on a particular subject, and it's compliments what you're talking about. And the reason I say three articles, one video or three articles, two podcasts one video is we're cycling through seeing and reading hearing and then getting the best of both worlds by through the visualization of video. I love this idea that you just and I love to...

...see a challenge like that. If if we could create a challenge as an organization to make it even more practical, or even as a team, and we committed this practice over the course of we start small, three days and then we'll go to five and then we build up and then at the end of the week we can use the what's going well methodology that I teach winning exciting learning. Looking it's the learning there. It's like we share one thing, because that knowledge is now getting transferred into others and we're creating this upward spiral of growth. Well said, well done, Devon. I appreciate you joining me. This has been a great conversation. If someone wants to connect with you and continue the conversation, what's the best way for them to reach out and say hello? The best way to reach out and say hello currently is Devin Lyon at outlook dot com. Um, I know you and I are going to talk after I take over my official position with central once updated contact from then. I'm also available on Linkedin. Devin D E v O N, lion L I o N. please connect. Always happy to talk show. Connect with Devin, learn with Devon, grow with Devon. Devon, thanks so much for joining me for another episode of banking on digital growth. Pleasure my friend, as always, and until next time, be well, do good, make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on digital growth with James Robert Lay. To get even more practical and proven insights, along with coaching and guidance, visit digital growth dot com slash insider to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and fin techs. Until next time, be well and do good.

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