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HONOLULU- Andy Stefanovich, founder of Play-a consulting firm for brand, strategy, product, culture, and leadership development solutions-presented the mantra “look at more stuff, think about it harder” to attendees of CUNA’s Future Forum last week. “Creativity is the start of innovation,” he mused. So, then you have to think, “What is its inspiration?” “Knowing your inspiration or others’ is how you tap that creativity,” Stefanovich explained. “Your story is where your inspiration comes from,” he said. Stefanovich said he was interested in helping credit unions take `it’ to the next level and noted credit unions’ fairly conservative manner of thinking. But, if they can be just `slightly disruptive’ it can offer a more dramatic impact. For example, he went to an ATM one day and it said, `It’s been a crazy day. I’m out of paper. Would you like to proceed without a receipt?’ Stefanovich recommended that people go out of their way to experience different things, like men should read a column for women; `look at more stuff, think about it harder.’ People need to engage in “recreational thinking.thinking for thinking’s sake.” Even the worst idea needs to be thrown out there because it moves things forward. Play once suggested to Disney executives that they offer trips to the moon to try to attract teenage boys to Walt Disney World. Disney actually called up NASA and followed up on it. You need “everybody coming up with all the ideas all the time.” Stefanovich also suggested that people set up their own personal board of directors with one person who challenges you, one that is unconditionally loyal and challenges the opposition, and an imaginary friend-Stefanovich’s is named Charlie Ravioli-who is always there for you.

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