Branch Transformation George Jetson, Meet Joseph Schumpeter
in League Initiatives
By: David Frankil, NJCUL President/CEO

As a kid, the Jetsons were my favorite cartoon. There was just something about how easily futuristic technologies were magically integrated into daily life without any issues in Orbit City. George Jetson even walked their dog Astro on a treadmill without the inconvenient detail of dealing with what always occurs when you walk your dog. That clearly only works in cartoons.

Financial services has also become a mix of the traditional and the cutting edge, as disruptive, game-changing innovations are developed and make their way into our business. Except we don’t have that luxury of glossing over all the challenges of integration. 

This is classic innovation theory, as first espoused by the economist Joseph Schumpeter back in 1942. Schumpeter coined the phrase “creative destruction,” which describes the "process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one." 

Schumpeter posited that new technologies upset the status quo equilibrium, which offers tremendous opportunity for either new entrants or existing organizations that are nimble and forward-looking—and disaster for those that can’t adapt. There is the oft-cited example of what automobiles did to the buggy whip industry, but more recently look at the impact of digital photography on Polaroid, or how Netflix destroyed Blockbuster.

With all the innovations in financial technology, many parts of our business are experiencing this blend of the familiar and the disruptive—along with the potential for either opportunity or destruction. One in particular is the branch, and more specifically what the branch of the future will look like, and the implications for strategy on everything from payments to member experience.

We’ve scheduled a one-day Branch Transformation workshop on February 7 to delve more deeply into this topic, organized by Sundeep Kapur, a leading expert in this field. Sundeep takes a holistic approach, understanding that branch transformation is one piece of a credit union’s business and member engagement strategy.

Drawing from experiences in over 100 redesigned branches, the workshop will cover five key elements of branch design: transactional data, member journeys, service zones, technology, and training. Attendees will learn how to avoid the three common mistakes of branch design: rebuilding, decoration, and an investment in branch technology without first analyzing the purpose.

Other topics will include:

  • Conducting a branch audit
  • Sprucing up an existing branch with little or no budget
  • Solving for types of member journeys – transactional, service, advisory
  • Modular branch design principles – so you can adjust for space
  • Creating the perfect new branch
  • Technology absolutes
  • Extending the experience to outside the branch

This is one workshop that should be on the calendar for CEOS, senior executives and Board members that need to understand how new technologies will impact our branches and member experience.


Thanks to our sponsor Design Made (, the workshop registration is just $75.For more information and to register, go to