The Business Breakdown: X-Men Edition

Mutant isn’t a bad word.  Hidden powers to right the economy reside in everyone from veterans to your marketing staff. 


When you meet someone, you have no idea what they can do. Once you spend some time working or living with the person, you slowly become aware of their skills. Things become more routine. You learn what to expect.

But that's not always productive. This summer, X-Men: First Class, the new installment in the X-Men series of movies, hit theatres. The movie tells the story of Professor X, Magneto, Beast and the rest of the mutants before they fully harnessed their powers. Abridged version: The good faction of X-Men (led by Professor X) celebrates both humans and mutants; the bad faction (led by Magneto) mistrusts humans and wants mutants to rule the world. Here’s a minute-long clip that’ll give you an idea of what these folks are about.

The message of the X-Men is simple: Not only can different people prosper together, but these differences must also be praised for what they can add to a situation. Credit unions can benefit from that line of thinking: Employees, members and community residents can all bring something great to a workplace, a credit union or a family. Three examples from the news prove that point.

  • Veterans In A Vice: The L.A. Times reports on the difficulties veterans are facing in the job market. Once these folks come home from abroad, their lack of education can be a significant detriment. The Breakdown: Although veterans might not have the traditional four-year degree, they do have attributes that make them solid candidates for a job. Your cooperative could easily have a veterans mixer at a branch. Perhaps you could find a new teller in the mix. Veterans have experiences unlike any other group; they’ve been through more than most people could imagine and came out the other side. Don’t let the lack of a degree keep you from finding out what powers these heroes possess.
  • Less Temp Time: USA Today shares the latest news on the temporary employment market, and it’s not encouraging. The number of placed temps fell by 12,000 last month. The Breakdown: Perhaps your credit union is struggling to maintain proper staffing. You’ve made cuts to deal with the recession’s realities, but now it’s starting to negatively affect member service. Consider hiring a temporary worker or two. These are folks who are eager to get work (and their gratitude should show in their performance), and many will have a diverse background. Plus, you can use the temporary time to vet the employee and see if he or she is worth the investment of full-time employment. Evaluate each temp candidate for what their strengths are and look for ways their background can propel the credit union forward.
  • Marketing Magic: The N.Y. Times has a cool piece on the edgy new Zappos marketing campaign. The online retailer is using skin to sell clothes. The Breakdown: Zappos is all about customer service and originality. We’ve written about the company’s top-shelf call center before. And now Zappos is making waves again. Think about how your last few marketing campaigns have gone. Are you pushing your marketing department to be as creative as possible? Maybe one employee has an idea that could redefine the public’s perception of your cooperative, but he or she is too afraid to mention it. Get your creative team together for a no-holds-barred brainstorming session. You’ll be surprised by what they can do.

Check out the preview for X-Men: First Class below. I don’t know that it was my favorite in the series, but the last battle scene is pretty stunning. There's one more awesome theme in X-Men: No one’s perfect. Once you have that realization, you realize what it takes to make a successful cooperative: Finding what people are good at, putting them in a position to succeed and guiding them toward a common, mutually beneficial goal.


July 12, 2011



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