Great companies focus on who they serve. That’s what makes them great. Our focus, as an example, is always on our members, staff and community. As leaders of our institution, we regularly check our focus; it does not waver.
Granted, we may have it easier than a stock-owned company whose shareholders want the focus to be on the stock price and their subsequent return. But I assure you, too much attention on the shareholder return will manifest itself in a problem at the root of why they exist — service to their consumer. FOCUS is key.
Look, we are as progressive-minded at SLCCU as any financial institution I am aware of. We invent what needs to be invented, we copy what needs to be copied, and we innovate to the market’s demands, but at the end of the day, our commitment to serving our members is unwavering. The values by which we were created remain the bedrock of our existence. In other words, we change what we do without changing who we are.
When leaders see their business as market share, ratios, analyst projections, regulatory demands, earnings and a host of other key performance indicators, they lose sight of why they exist. We’ve never had that problem — nor will we. Our business model demands giveback to our members, so we measure cooperative performance indices as well.
I say all of that to say: What the heck happened to the piece of cheese on the McDonald’s fish sandwich? To call it a piece of cheese is giving it way too much credit. It’s a sliver or less. Even under the magnification of the readers needed to make my 60-year-old eyes work, it is a tiny, tiny piece of cheese. How’d this happen?
The new standard is the morsel of cheese. Multiply the number of fish sandwiches around the world by the sliver of cheese that is now standard, and I assure you that McDonald’s is saving millions of dollars. The sandwich is but a caricature of itself, the brand is hurt, the consumer is dissatisfied, and mice don’t even sneak into the building at night, but some corporate bigwig is lauding the savings as a means by which the stock price has garnered some added energy. Phoooeeeeyyyy!!!!
My guess is that Ray Kroc did not intend for the cheese to be easily hidden under the teaspoon of tartar sauce. Usually, changes occur at the expense of the consumer that brought the business to prominence. Ironic, don’t you think?
At SLCCU, we keep adding, not subtracting. That’s just the way it’s going to be going forward.
Ray Kroc would be proud of SLCCU’s commitment to serve. The cheese on his fish sandwich…not so much.