The Concept of Kaizen
ELEMENT: What do you hope to see the moment your new branch opens?
ISH: It’s not about what I want to see, it’s about our entire team seeing new members engaging in the next evolution of the credit union while having a space that remains true to our heritage and what makes HSFCU great. We want to have our design signal an evolution and growth. This thinking comes from the Japanese concept of KAIZEN. Kaizen means always improving, you never arrive. We want our evolution at HSFCU to embrace the mindset of Kaizen so that we may better serve the community, our members and staff engagement.
ELEMENT: Can you define what the HSFCU heritage is based upon?
ISH: Tanomoshi is a Japanese term at the foundation of our heritage. The term is based on the concept of a community financial pool that can be used by those in need. They pull what they need from the financial pool and on their own volition give back to the pool when they are financially capable. It’s a delivery channel of financial stability that is self-sustaining by the members. With that heritage and foundation of Tanomoshi, HSFCU has created a delivery channel and foundation that is friendly, genuine where we can do right by you, and right by each other.
ELEMENT: Why Element?
ISH: We picked each other – from an existing relationship with Mac Erickson (Account Executive). When you are working with a partner it has to be two ways. One of the things I realized was that we didn’t want to simply do business with someone, we wanted to grow with someone, we looked at our organization and found similar core values. It’s more than just doing business, it’s more helping each other. Mac and I go back a long way. He knew it was not necessarily about building a branch, it was really about making an impact. Mac was clear that if Element couldn’t make an impact then it wouldn’t be the right partnership. It wasn’t about us choosing Element, it was a matter of us selecting each other.
ELEMENT: What attracted you to working at HSFCU?
ISH: I was attracted to HSFCU because of Andrew Rosen (CEO). I saw through his leadership the opportunity to be innovative, a view of the horizon from a different perspective… Anybody can do construction work, but it’s how it is facilitated. It's discovering how it should be, can be, and what we need to do to make it happen. Element has all of that. We want to challenge our team to explore, dream, and deliver. Without the delivery those dreams never come to fruition. At HSFCU, we have designed a RED team. RED stands for Rethink Evolve Design and is comprised of seven highly intelligent individuals handpicked by Andrew Rosen and the executive team. The intention for this team was to be the next tier of HSFCU leadership since they will inherit the branch of today and tomorrow. Andrew and the other executives dug deep to find the courage to give this group of individuals exposure and the ability to build trust and collaboration. This ensures that when the new branch opens, they are ready for the next evolution of HSFCU.
For more on the HSFCU Project, click here to see a blog post on the unique renovation process.
Interview conducted by Dawn Rabinowitz.
Edited by Scott Worroll.
Compiled and edited by Bryn Baldasaro for The Element Group.