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Innovation is one of the most important issues for credit unions. It is the key to growth and critical for the execution of long term strategies – created by listening to employees and members, collaborative thinking and trust. In discussions with credit union clients, it is clear that the challenges of risk-averse cultures, continous learning and strengthening leadership teams and boards are priority issues.

Two innovation articles among many have proven useful as data points in this discussion. An HBR article written in the depths of the Great Recession in 2009, Innovation in Turbulent Times, describes the characteristics required for successful collaboration. It takes us through a fashion industry case study that portrays the conversion of non-stop creativity into fruitful business outcomes. Also noteworthy is Accenture’s 2012 Innovation Survey of over 500 executives, published as Why Low-Risk Innovation Is Costly.

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