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Credit Unions and Innovation Case Study: Conexus

December 03, 2019

Credit Unions and Innovation Case Study: Conexus

Synopsis
2 Minute Read

CASE STUDY

Credit Unions and Innovation

Conexus

THE PROJECT

Financial institutions face unprecedented change, from the threat of non-traditional competitors and cyber criminals to intensified consumer demands for digital experiences. In this case study, Saskatchewan’s largest credit union outlines the importance of adapting to changing consumer expectations and how it restructured to create a successful foundation for innovation.

THE CHALLENGE

Dramatic changes in the financial service industry have prompted the leader of Conexus, Saskatchewan’s largest credit union and the sixth-largest credit union in Canada, to restructure the organization and its leadership, creating its foundation for success in innovation.

Eric Dillon, CEO of Conexus, believes the key to economic growth – particularly in the Prairies – is focusing on small- to medium-sized businesses. Conexus has restructured its infrastructure around innovation to adapt to a climate of shifting consumer expectations and technological advancements.

THE SOLUTION

“A couple years ago, we built a completely ambidextrous organizational structure,” says Eric. “We sought out the right insights and focused our teams, with one growing business, another exploring pilot-testing on prototypes, another on how to best support member-owners.” By adopting this structure (one used by technology leaders, such as Google and IBM), Conexus tested its approach in small markets, which meant it could adapt and improve rapidly, positioning it for success as it related to executing on innovation. In this process, the credit union created a new proprietary way of measuring the financial health of its members aligning with its purpose: to improve the financial well-being of members and communities.

OUTCOME

“In the first year and a half, we learned a lot,” says Eric. “What’s made us unique in our industry was focusing on dedicated teams who could identify the right skills around creation, innovation, prototyping and learning.”

Now Conexus, MNP and other partners are applying those learnings to a new business incubator in Saskatchewan, which provides education, an entrepreneurial program and venture capital funds to fuel investment-ready businesses in the province.

The Conexus Business Accelerator program (launched in June 2016 and based in Regina) continues to focus on supporting member-owners in growing their own businesses and allowing them to develop their own functional capabilities, building a foundation for success in innovation.

In MNP’s latest whitepaper, Ideas Aren’t Enough: Does your Credit Union Practice Executable Innovation? you will see practical steps to:  
  •   Generate and prioritize ideas
  •   Execute on concepts
  •   Integrate ideas into the business successfully.

For more information, contact:

Annette Bester, CPA, CA

National Leader, Credit Unions

T: 306.664.8327

E: [email protected]

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