INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Credit Union League is striking a match on innovation.
The league has recently unveiled "ignite", a program designed to generate innovation at Indiana credit unions and provide professional development for Indiana credit union leaders.
A joint venture between the Indiana CUL and Indiana's credit union representatives who are directly associated with the Filene Research Institute's i3 group, ignite was created to provide a forum of new idea exchange/implementation, collaboration and networking for Indiana's current and emerging credit union leaders.
"The success of the Filene Research Institute's i3 program has inspired the creation of an extended program that can operate at the state level, which fits perfectly into League Chairman Jenny Budreau's initiative on how we can do more to support emerging leaders and the next generation of CEOs at Indiana's credit unions," said League President John McKenzie.
"The presence of three talented members of Filene's i3 group in Indiana, along with their interest in establishing and overseeing ignite was the key to moving forward with an initiative that promises to enhance the success of Hoosier credit unions."
The Filene Research Institute's i3 group is a working group composed of credit union professionals who are in a position of substantial responsibility at their credit unions. The groups develop, pilot and implement innovative ideas for the credit union movement during a three-year term. Representing Indiana are: FORUM Credit Union Senior Vice President of Technovation and FORUM Solutions President Doug True who is an inaugural i3 member; and Purdue Employees' Federal Credit Union President/Chief Operating Officer Bob Falk and Centra Credit Union Vice President of Corporate Development Nan Morrow, who are both current i3-ers.
"Bob, Nan and I have been blown away by the responsiveness of the league to this idea," said True. "It went from idea to implementation within just a few weeks and the league has really embraced it. We wanted this to be a way to complement what i3 is doing on a national level and develop more local innovations as well. There are also a number of emerging young talent in the Indiana credit union system but there hasn't been a venue for them to do new things and develop their career--so this is a win-win for everyone."
The ignite initiative encompasses educational sessions covering topics ranging from entrepreneurialism and new ideas to technology; a Web-based idea and information exchange network; and working groups.
Individuals in senior management roles at Indiana credit unions who are especially interested in exploring and implementing new ideas to enhance credit union success can complete an application to participate in the working groups.
True says the total of working group participants will depend on the number of applications received, but he expects an inaugural group of about 15-20 people. Half of those selected will be asked to make a two-year commitment, the other half will be asked to make a three year commitment. This will allow for staggered terms so that going forward everyone will make a two-year commitment. The entire group of "igniters" will meet face-to-face at least twice during the year and work virtually in subgroups of 5-6 people on various projects and helping out on i3 initiatives.
"The ignite working groups will take some field trips and be exposed to exciting speakers that will provide brain food and inspiration for innovation," said True.
The program also includes a professional development component that will be available to individuals from all affiliates regardless of whether they are selected for the working groups.
According to Morrow, who along with Falk introduced ignite during the League's Managers Conference, the excitement and interest in the program is high.
"Our credit unions are already buzzing about it and Filene's is excited that this is something that could be replicated at other leagues," said Morrow. "With all the energy behind this, I don't think there will be any struggle for ideas to get working on."
Applications for working group participants are being accepted until November 30 from Indiana League affiliates. Program details and applications have been mailed to all Indiana credit unions and materials are also available online at http://www.icul.org/ignite/default.asp.
"This initiative involves creativity, new ideas and the excitement of it is self manifesting making it real easy to be highly motivated to move on this," said McKenzie. "The synergy from this collaboration is a win for all and from the league standpoint running with new ideas from Indiana credit unions makes us more relevant to our members and the new up and coming talent here."