Shawn Kanungo

‘Be the rookie’

Be bold and ask questions to capitalize in a disruptive world, says World Credit Union Conference speaker Shawn Kanungo.

May 29, 2024

Disruption is about changing the status quo.

The changes could take place due to new advancements in technology, but they could also involve disrupting culture and how people think.

For credit unions, it’s about continuing to make things easier and more seamless for members so they can build their best lives, says innovation strategist Shawn Kanungo.

To do that, Kanungo says, credit unions must find ways to streamline processes while making their operations more transparent personalizing member interactions.

The key? Being innovative and asking questions.

“The way to capitalize is for everyone within the organization to build a muscle around innovation,” says Kanungo, who will address the 2024 World Credit Union Conference, July 21-24 in Boston. “It’s about building a mindset, deliberately and consciously, building a culture of experimentation within the organization, and not being romantic about what was working in the past.

‘If we want to be able to embrace disruptions, we have to let go of our ego.’
Shawn Kanungo

“If we all develop this innovation mindset of how we can move our organization forward, that’s how we’re going to continually be on the cutting edge,” he continues. “The reality is that we’re never going to be able to catch up with technology. It’s always going to be faster than we are, but the more we can develop a mindset to say, ‘how do we continuously experiment and try and fail?’ that’s going to give us a chance to keep up.”

Part of developing that mindset involves being bold, Kanungo says.

Those who aren’t afraid to ask questions step outside their comfort zone, embrace risk, and challenge the status quo. 

However, make sure the questions you ask are bold questions.

“One of the things that really holds us back within our organizations is that we’re romantic about our particular positions, our seniorities, our titles, and essentially our identities,” he says. “If we want to be able to embrace disruptions, we have to let go of our ego. We have to let go of that status in order to learn from our peers or other innovators outside our industry. Be the rookie again.”