The other day, I saw a very interesting phrase as I was skimming a series of random business articles:
“Business is an ecosystem, not a battlefield.”
My first reaction was “Well, duh.” That’s a pretty obvious thought.
A fraction of a second later, I remembered — “oh, yeah… most people don’t see business (or life) that way.”
Ecosystem-style thinking comes very naturally to we credit union people. If an alien biologist landed on your desk, you could describe a credit union as a mostly self-contained economic ecosystem that benefits all participants and its environment.
For-profit financial institutions could be described more like factory farms or mines — they’re artificial ecosystems controlled for the maximum benefit of an entity outside the ecosystem.
However, a lot of people have the “battlefield” view of business and life — there are winners and losers, and for every win, there must be a loss (AKA the zero-sum mentality).
The ecosystem view is a lot more accurate, but the battlefield view is a lot easier to understand and use to make quick decisions.
I sometimes wonder if that fundamental difference in worldview is why we have such a hard time communicating the credit union difference.