ACU employee wins National Young Leaders Committee 'Be the Voice' contest
For a second time in 2010, an ACU young leader has been recognized for innovation. ACU’s Duane Nicol, Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility was named winner of Canada’s credit union system’s National Young Leaders Committee (NYLC) 2010 ‘Be the Voice Big Idea’ contest.
This year’s theme was innovation and the challenge was to determine the next opportunity for innovation in financial services/products for credit unions. The NYLC reviewed submissions from young leaders under the age of 40 within the credit union system across Canada.
Duane’s paper was based on a concept he coined ‘Radical Simplicity’. In it, he suggests that future opportunities exist within the credit unions’ ability to relate to their members’ point of view and deliver radically more simple, convenient and flexible service and products.
“Radical simplicity involves creating an environment that is welcoming and comfortable for members to do their business. It’s about making banking easier and more convenient for members so that they feel empowered and more in control of their finances. Member advocacy is the core of Radical Simplicity,” explains Duane.
The inspiration that led to the development of Duane’s winning concept was his experience working with members as a Financial Services Representative, his experience as a consumer of financial services as well as ACU’s commitment to making good things happen for our members, employees and community. “I tried to come up with an approach that would leverage credit unions' strengths and highlight our distinctiveness in an industry that is highly commoditized.”
When asked what the win meant for him, Duane summed it up this way: “I felt a true sense of accomplishment. The acknowledgement and kind words of congratulations I received from the ACU leadership team, my peers and co-workers actually means more to me than the prize. The value of this experience for me lies in the conversations generated by my paper and I look forward to discussing these ideas with others in the credit union system.”
Duane’s prize includes registration to next year’s National Young Leaders Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario along with $1,500 in travel costs and accommodation.
Duane’s winning paper, ‘Radical Simplicity’ can be found at http://www.cucentral.ca/2010NYLCContest